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Giro d'Italia Stage 11: And Then There Were Five

Wed 21 May 2014

Michael Matthews withdrew from the Giro d’Italia ahead of the start of stage 11. Luke Durbridge crashed out of the Italian Grand Tour with a broken collarbone. It was a tough day in the office for ORICA-GreenEDGE but another day of celebration for Australian cycling fans as Mick Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) soloed to victory in Savona.

It was widely believed that the winner of Wednesday’s stage would come from the early breakaway. As a result, making the move of the day proved a challenging exercise. Repeated attacks came from the bunch during the opening two hours of the stage. Eventually 14 riders escaped the peloton’s stranglehold.

Androni-Giocattoli were none too happy to miss out the action. Sent to the front to chase when the breakaway had eight minutes in hand, the Italian team pegged back the race leaders to within two minutes on the start of the final climb. With a bridgeable distance between the peloton and the break, attacks came from the main bunch, and it was game over for the breakaway.

Mick Rogers launched a daring attack on the descent. Although he never gained more than a minute, his solo effort was enough to evade his chasers. He crossed the finish line 10” ahead of Simon Geschke (Giant-Shimano), who led home the substantially reduced bunch. Ivan Santaromita was the top finisher from ORICA-GreenEDGE in 123rd place at 18’14.

COMMENTS FROM SPORT DIRECTOR MATT WHITE:

ON LUKE DURBRIDGE’S CRASH:

We can confirm that Luke Durbridge has broken his collarbone. We can also confirm that this is the only injury he sustained. He will need to have surgery, which will happen in Girona on Friday morning.

It’s obviously very disappointing for Durbo to break his collarbone the day before the time trial. He was in the front group over the climb – not the breakaway group but the main bunch in the peloton. It’s clear he recovered well from illness. He was ready for tomorrow.

The other big favourite for me for tomorrow was Adriano Malori (Movistar). He was involved in the same that crash. That’s just how it is in cycling. It’s obviously disappointing, but these guys are tough and know how to move on quickly.

We’ve read some comments about Durbo’s Tour de France participation. His crash today certainly does not rule him out of the Tour. If this happened in two weeks, he would lose his slot. That’s the positive we can take out of it. It’s six weeks Saturday until the Tour. A week off the bike after what he’s done here in the Giro isn’t going to do anything to his condition. He’ll have five weeks of preparation, and my money is on him being ready. 

ON OUR APPROACH TO STAGE 11:

In case you missed the pre-race news, we did not have Michael Matthews start today’s stage due to lingering injuries after his crash over the weekend. It would have been a good day for him. Without Michael, we only had two boys that could have done anything in today’s stage: Pieter Weening or Ivan Santaromita. Pete is still a bit fatigued from his effort the other day and Ivan wasn’t feeling super. There was nothing left for us to do today without being in the break. There are certainly other stages we can target, and it’s better to save our energy for those opportunities.

ON THE STAGE 12 INDIDIVUDAL TIME TRIAL:

Svein Tuft had hoped to target tomorrow’s individual time trial, but his injuries from his crash on stage four have not sufficiently healed. It would be counter-productive to his recovery for him to push so hard. With both Svein and Durbo out of the time trial, the stage will be a low key one for us. 

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