A stage for the sprinters with familiar roads from recent editions of the Giro including the late climb of Tre Monti before the finish on the Imola motor racing circuit.
Stage 11 review: another hard day, the breakaway was kept on a tight leash and brought back just as they started the final kilometres around the hilltop town of Osimo. Zdeněk Štybar and Tim Wellens jumped away but if they got a gap keeping it was harder, they began to mark each other and in no time what was left of the bunch caught them thanks to a big pull by Mitchelton-Scott’s Jack Haig. Simon Yates jumped clear and stayed away for the stage win, just holding off Tom Dumoulin who, if he lacked the zip on the final climb, kept Yates in sight all the time and presumably had a very similar climbing time given he was a few seconds behind when Yates launched his bid. Behind the gaps opened up and Fabio Aru, George Bennett, Richard Carapaz, Miguel Ángel López and Chris Froome all lost time, just seconds but they’re adding up. So far so good for Yates who hasn’t made a mistake all race and if he’s yet to be tested in the real high mountains he’s not lacking confidence, besides he won atop La Colmiane in March. Dumoulin should be more confident too but the Zoncolan will reveal all.
The Route: 214km into Emilia Romagna along the coast and by the beaches until Rimini and often on long straight roads. There are few secrets to this route.
The Finish: a finishing circuit which includes part of the Imola motor circuit and then climbing up the Tre Monti, 4km at 4% but as the profile shows it’s got steep sections and flat parts. The descent is the same too, in fact the profile doesn’t do it justice because it descends, then rises a little before descending again like some fairground slide and all with some twisting corners which won’t be easy if the forecast rain arrives, in fact read very slippery and aquaplaning. The finishing straight is on the motor circuit. It was used in the 2009 Italian national championships too.
The Contenders: Simon Yates? Just joking he’s winning aplenty but let’s pick a sprinter who can get over small climb. In anything most of the remaining sprinters in the Giro meet the criterion. Elia Viviani can do it and has a strong team to help him, Max Schachman and Zdeněk Štybar can be tasked with following any moves uphill. Sam Bennett is versatile too and has less pressure which means he needn’t be forced to launch his sprint too early. The stress is on for Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac) and Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) as they continue to hunt for an opening, a stage win.
A late attack is possible, there’s only 7.5km left from the top of the climb to the finish and the descent is twisty, it’s hard to chase. Matej Mohorič is an obvious pick for his descending skills, Valerio Conti is punchy and Jarlinson Pantano is another pick. Otherwise Ag2r La Mondiale’s Matteo Montaguti is the regional rider.
|Sam Bennett, Sacha Modolo, Niccolò Bonifazio
|Mohorič, Conti, Pantano, Schachman, Štybar
Weather: 21°C at best, rain is likely including a high chance of downpours and thunderstorms.
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.