Giro Stage 11 Preview

A shorter stage, a lively route with a tricky finish, this is a fun stage to ride and watch.

Stage 10 review: a disaster for Esteban Chaves, a catastrophe for Simon Yates. The stage started uphill and within moments Esteban Chaves was sliding down the overall classification. Caught the wrong side of a split he was in a sizeable group that tried to give chase but the gap went out to two minutes as several teams worked as hard as they could to eliminate the Colombian as a threat to the overall classification and he and the team mates dispatched to help him surrendered and would finish 25 minutes down. On RAI yesterday Mario Cipollini, the Italian Scallion, said it was good for Simon Yates but even for glass-half-full types it has to be seen as a downer for Simon Yates too because he’s now the sole Mitchelton-Scott rider to worry about, should Chaves so much as stand on the pedals nobody will mind, nor even if he goes berserk and gains 10 minutes on a mountain stage. The Aussie team has gone from holding two aces to one and a joker which is still luxurious but not what they wanted. What caused Chaves to crack? Nothing’s coming out of the team for now.

Matej Mohorič was in the early move but with the GC teams toiling to punish Chaves he and the early move were reeled in. Only for him to go again later and win the stage. He and Ag2r La Mondiale’s Nico Denz, a German rider who came up via their development team, came to the finish and the Slovenian had the better finish in a close sprint. It’s a great win for him, already a stage winner in the Vuelta last year and he’s only 23 and last year he racked up more days of racing than anyone else but hasn’t turned stale.

The Route: 156km, a short dash across Umbria and into the Marche region on roads familiar from Tirreno-Adriatico including several unmarked climbs where the road simply takes the direct route over the rolling hills via some suprisingly steep ramps and some risky descents, nothing too technical just a lottery at times with the road surface. They ride into Filottrano including climbing the same road into town that Michele Scarponi rode down to his death before going to Osimo, a town they rode through in Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.

The Finish: a spicy finish that twists and turns around the ramparts of the town including some cobbles, not really rough but polished smooth.

The Contenders: Matej Mohorič won yesterday, selfishly spoiling the picks for today. Ben Hermans is a strong rider and this terrain suits him, the Israel Academy team will count on him to show today. If this was March the hard finish would suit Zdeněk Štybar and he needs a result at the moment while fellow Quick Stepper Max Schachmann could do well, is he still floating on the pedals? Ag2r La Mondiale are still searching for a World Tour win and Mikaël Cherel is riding aggressively but has a low win rate. Given the route harks back to March maybe Tim Wellens (Lotto-FixAll) will be active. Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) should be a pick for today but hasn’t looked to sharp while Enrico Battaglin (Lotto-Jumbo) is spriniting well in these finishes. Lastly Valerio Conti (UAE Emirates) has to win a Giro stage sometime. Otherwise it’s hard to pick names out of the hat, make your own pick remembering the finish suits a punchy, explosive rider.

Zdeněk Štybar, Tim Wellens, Ben Hermans
Conti, Schachmanm, Battaglin, Cherel, Brambilla

Weather: cloudy with showers and the chance of thundery downpours, with a top temperature of 19°C.

TV: Host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage, Eurosport has the rights for many countries across Europe and Australia and it’s streamed via Fubo in the US and Dazn in Japan. The finish is forecast for 5.15pm.

101 thoughts on “Giro Stage 11 Preview”

  1. More pressure on Yates now, but as his grabbing of bonus seconds yesterday showed he’s in the form of his life. And Chaves could prove an asset come the high mountains in week 3.

    Also just to follow up on the Dimension Data talk from yesterday, O’Connor finished in the front group, Meintjes in the grupetto.

    • Yeah, well, the Meintjes / O’connor qestion was answered on the road yesterday.
      Don’t actually know much about O’connor… which stages could suit him for a win… what’s his finish like?

  2. Don’t rate Yates’s chances then? From the BBC

    Simon’s one to watch: Simon Yates – am I allowed to say myself?! It may be a stage I am given the green light to target and that final climb suits me. I’ve had a good start to the year, finishing second in Paris-Nice.

        • Yup, short stage, which MTS could look to control and hope to take the win bonuses. However, some of their team will have had a tiring day yesterday, trying to bring Chaves back, plus they need this team to last three weeks, so is it worth tiring them out more than is necessary here for a potential 10 sec, at best, gain? Probably not, I reckon.

          • Yes, and delighted to be so.
            I don’t think it’s a classic yet – not enough long range attacking and mostly just sprint-climbing at the end – but it’s nice to see attacking riding and well done Yates.
            Plus it’s looking like an interesting contest with him and TD (probably).

    • This will have been written before the race started (I assume this is from his race preview piece) so I expect he wont be getting a green light, but I suppose you never know and it would be great to see him try something.

  3. I read on another website that Chavez’s was suffering from a bad reaction to his allergies. The fact they don’t specify what allergies shrouds this comment in mystery.
    I suffer from allergies, my biggest one is to tree pollen, and this year, due to quick and sudden onset of Spring they were worse than I have experienced in a while, requiring prescription medication. My other allergy is to lies, I don’t get a prescription for that, but I’m certainly getting a strong reaction to Michelton Scott’s excuse.
    The cynic in me wonders if a bad BB is the answer.

    • I think my comment got lost. What authorised person made that statement? I have not seen anything from the team suggesting it was allergies.

      • Matt White soon after the finish simply said something along the lines of he didn’t know what was wrong but, as Chaves does have allergy problems it might be that. Inevitably certain quarters ran with the speculation and start repoting it as fact……and equally inevitably the conspiracy theorists smell a cover-up and heap vitriol on what was a casual aside. Is a good old fashioned ‘jour sans’ not a thing anymore? I know I still get them all too regularly!

    • Banana bread? Easy with the serious allegations without much proof to back things up. These comments tend to tell us more about the person posting them than shed light on what’s happening in private.

      Who knows? We don’t and teams often try to hush up things like illnesses because if they’ve got, say, some gastro/diarrhoea doing the rounds then chances are Yates is at risk and the same could happen to him.

      • And the “jour sans” is a classic cycling trope, that dates from way before any form of blood doping. Some cyclists are more prone to it than others though. One quality of grand tour winners is not having the dreaded “jour sans”. It’s what stopped e.g. Erik Breukink from being great instead of really good.

        And then there’s Thomas de Gendt, who seems to more have to occassional “jour avec” on which he is virtual unbeatable.

  4. Michelton Scott were NEVER going to carry two jerseys to the finish anyway! Bad for Chaves yes but overall their concentration is more focussed.

  5. Ok Chaves lost time but MTS still have a huge amount to play for. Chaves is only 8 points off the lead for the mountain jersey and has the leeway and the legs to pick up all sorts of points now. Plus which teams actually worked the hardest yesterday, how much did MTs commit to getting Chaves back in? And how much did other teams contribute to keeping ahead (too much to think it was deliberate but no doubt the work of Sky, Sunweb etc was not lost on White). Dumoulin also had an innocuous looking spill 30 km out, but a sign of him own Jambes Lourdes perhaps. Yates still gaining time in sprints, not sure the Mitchelton Scott bus is gonna be too glum today TBH

    • Dumoulin told the details of his fall to Dutch TV yesterday. He was in 5th or 6th position, the front rider kind of misjudged the corner, causing one of the others to unclip. This for some reason distracted Dumoulin for a fraction of a second and therefore he braked to late and went into the grass. So yes, a bit of a slip of attention, but you don’t really need a bad day for that to happen on a wet fast descent after 200kms of hard racing.

  6. Don’t you think that, with Yates being a favourite for a time gap and perhaps some bonus seconds on this finish, and the race most likely coming down to seconds rather than minutes, MTS will try and keep the breakaway at arms length and this will be a GC finish?

    • It feels likely to me that we’ll have another GC uphill sprint, with both Lotto and EF/Drapac keeping the breakaway within shooting distance for Wellens/Woods, possibly with the help of Lotto Jumbo for Battaglin.

      Would be a little risky for MTS to pursue this option, though, because as good as Yates’ punch is, Dumoulin has proven that he can win these sorts of sprints as well.

  7. People are looking for an explanation to Chaves’ bad day but maybe there isn’t one. We all wake up some days and feel a bit shit, or get on the bike and know it’s not your day straight away. The explanation might be he felt a bit crap and tired. Or even that he was just chatting to his mate at the back of the bunch and got caught by the split. I think ‘allergies’ get used as a bit of a cover all. He might be allergic to steep hills first thing in the morning.

    Today looks like another good Giro stage. Plenty could happen. Those smooth cobbles could be interesting in a shower. Battaglin looks a decent form horse, he seems to be this years Ulissi.

    • Yes, that’s what I thought – presumably there are moments when someone loses a wheel and you just don’t notice quickly enough? Especially since everyone thought a break will go, and everyone will relax for the day. It happens with crosswinds, but there are other times it can happen.

    • I’m not looking for excuses, I just don’t like being told lies. If they had said simply that he was suffering after some tough days climbing you wouldn’t argue with that. But the excuse tells it’s own story, they’re obfuscating to cover up something else.
      White was particularly defensive about the whole thing which is equally a give away that something went wrong, rather than a rider being human.

      • On The Cycling Podcast there was a comment from White saying it was allergies – though Chaves himself didn’t mention it, just said it was a bad day.

        As much as I like him for his ever optimistic nature and bubbly personality I fear he is destined to be one of those potentially great GT riders who never manages to go three weeks without a ‘jour sans’.

        As for how this affects Yates’ chances – yes it robs MS of the strategic possibilities of the one-two punch, but that is surely balanced by the unequivocal support of the team (hopefully including Chaves) towards one rider. We’ve barely seen Kreuziger or Nieve yet – I suspect they will come into their own supporting Yates through week three.

        • I think ‘potentially great GT rider’ is a bit strong. I see him as this generations Joaquin Rodriguez. Great little punchy climber who’s catastrophic lack of ability against the clock will mean podiums at best in Grand Tours. He’s already won Lombardia and worn leaders jerseys early on when the punchy climbs suit him. I see that as his forte. Definitely seems like a nice guy though.

      • RQS, Whose telling lies? You are believing a third party website, which could already be fourth or fifth handed comments and we all know you can believe everything on the internet…can’t we. Get real and comment on facts.

      • Have you already taken into account that it’s pretty well possible even they don’t know yet why he was performing poorly before you started throwing around heavy words like ‘lies’? It sounded more to me like they were still guessing.

    • I agree, sometimes you just have a bad day. Possibly he was tiered, didn’t fuel correctly on the rest day and was caught the wrong side of a split in the bunch. A combination of small factors resulting in not feeling great. I think this is a more likely explanation than allergies etc. Plus once the bunch noticed and stated to push, it was all over.

      • Some cyclists hate rest days. Their body goes into a sort of repair mode and a cold start with a mountain right away might than easily be too much. Maybe Chaves wouldn’t have had a problem if he’d had 100 KM flat to warm up.

  8. A catastrophe for Yates? I had to read this a few times to make sure I wasn’t missing some wordplay, but it seems not. I agree with some others, that whatever happened to Chaves was not particularly good news for Yates, but was certainly a long way from being a catastrophe.

  9. My hunch (albeit ill-informed) is that what happened to Chaves could be a taste of what happens to Yates in the final week. If he’s still the man to beat the unshielded attacks from others could prove too much.

    • Yes, many are talking like Yates is a red-hot favourite and citing his fantastic form so far, but he’s had a good prologue and some good, short bursts of climbing. He could still fade at the end of three weeks and, particularly, he has yet to be tested in this race over multiple large climbs. He looks good, but I wouldn’t be lobbing my money the bookies’ way just yet.

    • While it’s been thoroughly discussed about the loss of a great tactical option by Chavez dropping out the GC yesterday, it will allow him to get up the road on big multi-climb stages, legitimately not work too much, and be there when needed once the (so far) awesome Jack H and Roman K have done all the work they can do…
      For me it’s still about Tom D and that time trial .
      And as we’ve seen many times in the past, allot of unexpected things can happen. I note even in the write up above that there are winding roads, poor surfaces, smooth cobbles… and possible rain.
      Who knows what will happen today??

        • Counterexample just a few hours earlier: Sky working for Bernal in California. But yes, marketing considerations play a role in team tactics. Which is why Spanish teams prefer Spanish speaking stars, and English teams prefer English speaking stars. It works better in interviews for the home crowd.

        • That seems like a nonsense comment based on Chavez speaking excellent english and being generally a sponsors dream, and Yates being a monotone curmudgeon. Chavez was behind on GC already, has a worse TT and said openly several times that Yates was the leader. now he’s been dropped, so there is no story here. people are so damn suspicious!

          • actually since Yates got the pink jersey he’s opened up in his interviews and been quite verbose at times… maybe another sign of burgeoning confidence and maturity?

          • Describing Yates as a “monotone curmudgeon” is a most splendid compliment to a man who hails from Bury, and I suspect he will accept it as such.

  10. Chavez’s bad moment happened very early in the race, on the first climb. If I’m not mistaken the break had gone as well. The other teams saw an opportunity to get rid of one of the main threats and did so. I’m just wondering though, would the same thing had happened if Yates himself had struggled off the first climb?

    You can argue that “the race wasn’t on” at the time, so did the bunch do it because Chaves hasn’t got the Maglia Rosa or the stature of other GC leaders? If Yates, Dumoulin or hypothetically Froome if he was only 30secs behind Yates, would the same thing had happened or would the bunch let them come back because the break had gone clear and “the race wasn’t on”?

    • Not at all, that sort of consideration is only usually applied in the case of a crash or, maybe, mechanical. If Yates had been dropped the other teams would have put the boot in, probably even more so.

    • I would think – and hope (it’s a race) – so. It’s a totally legitimate tactic and the only sensible thing to do if a competitor is suffering. (Maybe different if it’s a mechanical, but poor form/crashing is just part of the race.)

    • There’s no such thing as “don’t attack a leader if he’s struggling on the first climb of the day” in any written or unwritten rule.
      Where do you get this idea from? The opposite is true. If the leader struggles on first climb, you go full speed. It’s a race, no Ponyhof.

  11. As it stands I don’t see that Yates needed the tactical advantage of Chaves also high in GC to win. Yates is simply the strongest climber here through 10 stages. He’ll win it through his own strength on the climbs or not at all. Zoncolan will tell us much.

  12. With regard to Chaves bad day, who knows. Listening to a typically open sounding interview with White he clearly didn’t have the answer, he speculated about allergies in looking for an answer but he very clearly didn’t know what went wrong.
    Responding to a question about what went wrong he said,”…you tell me mate. He didn’t crash and he’s not ill”.

    MS were concerned enough about the stage start that White himself drove the first 100km pre stage and had obviously flagged how deceptively hard it was. Given that things still went pear shaped his understandable, but relatively mild, frustration comes through in the intonation of his answer.
    Most likely explanation is post rest day blues and he just had a bad start. The rider himself may not know. Sometimes I have a bad day and am at a loss to explain why I can’t produce the power I should be able to. Other times I may know a reason (stayed up too late watching the Giro highlights with a beer) but am loathe to admit it to myself let alone anyone else.
    It is what it is and everyone could legitimately be in the dark as to why.

  13. Besides the obvious loss of the tactical option of having two riders high on the GC two things strike me about yesterday. One is Esteban Chaves feeling demoralised after his ride yesterday, I am sure there we be various positive statements about how he will now to riding for Simon Yates etc but he would have to be superhuman if this did not affect him in some way. That must be a loss to the team. Secondly the effort some of his team mates had to put in on the longest stage of the race, over a three week race fatigue becomes a big issue in the third week, futile efforts only add to that fatigue. No doubt MS are in a much weaker position than after the finish of Stage 9, whether anyone else can take advantage we shall see. I suspect we shall see efforts to create an ambush of sorts when no one is expecting it, Sky, Astana & FDJ being the obvious candidates with Tom Dumoulin tagging along.

  14. If anything I think that Yates has come into the race too hot. I will be presently surprised if he can keep this form going all the way to Rome.

    From the interview I heard with Matt White it didn’t sound like he was trying to cover anything up. He sounded mystified and maybe a bit annoyed. I think the allergies was just clutching at straws to find an explanation where sometimes there isn’t one.

    Should be an exciting stage today. Wellens for the win unless it comes down to a GC battle then it’ll be a fight between Pinot and Yates. Yates could certainly do with the 10s.

    • One of the issues now is that very few teams have an interest in chasing the break, doubt the sprinters teams will put in any effort, no one is going to want to drag Simon Yates towards the line or intermediate sprints. This does seem like a day for the break to stay away

      • I think there’s a few teams with guys that would like to challenge Yates for the stage win. Such as Wellens. They don’t have anything to loose. If Stybar is feeling good the same holds for Quickstep. UAE for Ulissi or Lotto for Battaglin have to keep Yates’ bonus seconds in the back of their minds for Aru and Bennett but maybe they care more about the stage win?

  15. Matt White was only speculating about Chaves himself . He certainly didn’t say it was all down to allergies , in fact he said he didn’t really know . Some people love to jump to conclusions don’t they ?

  16. I’m sorry to do this, but I just can’t take it anymore.
    In my line of work I know that everyone, including me, makes mistakes so I don’t correct people, but this one has been so prevalent of late that I can no longer hold my tongue.
    I hope no-one takes it personally – rest assured, there are many who have committed this crime.
    ‘lose’ is the opposite of ‘win’.
    ‘loose’ is the opposite of ‘tight’.
    And… breathe out.

    • @AnotherDavid, I hope the following substances that were used by Juju Pepe will give you some further options:
      In the autopsy, they found out JuJu was on EPO and cocaine. Also, some insulin and anabolic steroids, Oxabolone and Nandrolone. Trace amounts of Norethandrolone and Furazabol. They even found some heroin in his system. There was also Letrozole and Cyclazadone, some estrogen receptor modulators, Raloxifene and Tamoxifen… probably to ward off breast growth. A lot of Oxycodone in his blood, Phentermine as well. Ortetamine, BunAPolol, and Labetalol. Plus he had apparently huffed ethanol and taken a couple MDAs. He had clearly smoked some crystal meth and/or crack, and there was a hormone from monkey testicles that he had cooked down into a broth that he drank. He also had apparently eaten at least one sandwich from Arby’s.

  17. Great to see a Maglia Rosa scrapping and scraping for every second he can get. If Yates can keep it up for three weeks, it will be a pretty fantastic accomplishment.

  18. Rohan Dennis!…. with 34km of TTs to come he could be back on the podium… (ok Zoncolan might be tricky for him…)

    Really fascinating to see this play out… will Yates form last… will TDs form improve…
    what is Carapaz and Bennett’s TTing like?

    but what a joy to see a leader attacking hard, no shortage of panache there…

  19. And I know this is trivial and shallow, but I love that (like Quick Step) Mitchelton Scott riders sport proper cycling caps on the podium.

  20. Still think we won’t really know anything until after the Zoncolan (+ the next day’s ambush stage) and the TT but even with the result today has to be at least mildly encouraging for Doom/discouraging for Yates. Doom’s form looks like it’s coming on – both Doom + Yates said as much.

    • That was a pretty good finish profile for Dumoulin though. But I agree, I’ll be surprised if Yates looks this good in the third week and that’s where you win Giros.

  21. Pretty good profile for Yates too tho – Doom basically battling him to a draw is a win for Doom. Absolute hats off to Yates for scrapping at every turn to pull out extra seconds, and he should keep doing it as long as he can, but I’m sure he knows better than anyone that they’re probably not going to win him the Giro, tho they can make his job in the mountains easier. Either way Doom riding into form is pretty terrifying.

    Really hope all this buildup to Zoncolan delivers, setting up to be sensational.

  22. Interesting to see how closely matched TD and SY were today. If you look at a replay, you see that as Yates goes, TD stays put in 5th or so position while he lets Pozzovivo try to bring back Yates. It is not until TD sees that Pozzovivo’s counter is not good enough, that he puts in an extra dig and leaves the other favourites behind. At that point the difference between him and Yates is pretty similar to what it is at the line.

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