Despite chase efforts, break again successful on stage 11 of Giro d'Italia

Wed 20 May 2015

Former pink jersey wearers Simon Gerrans and Michael Matthews rolled in with a largely diminished peloton for 15th and 16th positions on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia today.

Despite the best efforts from their teammates, including Luke Durbridge, Simon Clarke and Esteban Chaves, ORICA-GreenEDGE were unable to shut done an early breakaway to contest the final.

Meanwhile up ahead, Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) attacked the escapees for a solo victory in Imola.

Much like the surprise finish of yesterday’s stage, a lack of interest from teams to bring it back together that saw another successful day for those up the road.

“Today was an incredibly hard stage and it was always going to be,” sport director Matt White said.

“Quite a selective group formed early in the stage and we decided we were going to try to bring it back together on the circuits but we weren’t able to catch Zakarin.

“The first person to work was Luke Durbridge who did a big pull for three-quarters of a lap, then Clarke and Chaves did what they could until they had nothing left but we fell a bit short.”

How it unfolded

At 153km, the eleventh stage may have been short compared with many of its predecessors but with minimal flat sections it was likely to be another animated one.

After some molding, ten riders established the day’s first break and rode to almost four minutes advantage but after some aggressive descending by BMC Racing and Tinkoff-Saxo as the race hit 70km to go, their lead dropped to just two minutes.

The pace from behind also saw several splits in the peloton that eventually settled into two large groups.

BMC launched Stefan Kung in pursuit of the escapees on the finishing circuit but ORICA-GreenEDGE reacted to shut the move down.

Ahead, Zakarin attacked his breakaway companions in a solo attempt with a little over 20km remaining.

The Russian continued to make time on the chasers and despite the best efforts of Chaves and Clarke, the diminished peloton also failed to close down the gap.

Tomorrow’s stage 12 is pan flat for the first 125km before featuring three smaller climbs in the last 60km to Vicenza.