Swiss rider Schmid lands first career win in Montalcino
Bernal tightens his grip on the leader’s
Carthy moves up to fourth; Yates climbs to fifth
Evenepoel left floundering on the gravel roads
Egan Bernal took control of the Giro d’Italia thrillingly on the white gravel roads of Tuscany on Wednesday,of the race to 45 seconds. Britons Hugh Carthy and also had good days, reaching fourth and fifth place in the general classification. They are now well-positioned should the Colombian falter in the race’s second half.
Stage 11 was a Strade Bianche special, a tribute to the spring race that passes through this Italian area and takes in long sections of white gravel roads that kick up great dust clouds around the peloton. The terrain took high-profile prisoners, notably Belgian wunderkind Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
The 21-year-old is racing in his firstand only returned from a long-term injury a few months ago. But such had been his start to the race; cycling-obsessed Belgium had started to get extremely excited about the youngster’s prospects.
Evenepoel began the day 14 seconds behind Bernal but never looked entirely comfortable on the gravel and was dropped from the pink jersey group with around 20 kilometers to go. He looked thoroughly fed up, ripping out his earpiece at one point as it took an age for teammate Joao Almeida to drop back and help him.
He lost over two minutes to Bernal, who attacked the top of the final climb and rode to the finish alongside Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe). The 2019 Tour de France champion crossed the line three minutes behind stage winner Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka Assos), who was victorious from the breakaway, but nearly 30 seconds ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana), who is now his nearest rival in the general classification at 45 seconds.
Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) and Yates (BikeExchange) were also in Vlasov’s chasing group, Carthy rising to fourth overall at 1min17 and Yates fifth at 1min22sec. The latter said he was happy with his position. He knows how quickly things can turn around. In 2018, Yates took bonus seconds and attacked his rivals in the first two weeks. He ended up imploding. “Onwards and upwards,” Yates said. “It wasn’t a day I looked forward to, but I rode well. I had good legs; that’s the main thing.”
Bernal extends his overall lead at the Giro.
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) attacks Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) before rolling over the line in the 11th spot to extend his lead. At the same time, Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) is next to finish from the big general classification hopefuls ahead of Damiano Caruso (), who managed to creep into third in the overall standings. Great day for Bernal, Vlasov, and Caruso, but not so good for Remco Evenepoel, Giulio Ciccone, and , who all lost time.
An excellent performance from EF Education-Nippo worked hard to protect their leader. Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) moved to fourth, while fellow Briton(BikeExchange) is fifth overall. Today, while Yates must be pleased with that result, having had to race over a terrain,n he has said he is not too keen on it.
Speaking immediately afterwTodayBernal said: “Today we rode well, and I increased my lead in the GC [general classification], but the Giro is still long; all the big climbs are still to be ridden. I’m confident but must
Mauro Schmid, meanwhile, who became the second Swiss to win aGino Mäder’s victory in the opening week, said he even surprised himself. “I cannot believe it. I was only selected for the Giro team about two before the race,” he said. “My preparation was good, but at the beginning of the season, I was not even thinking about riding a . I suffered a lot in the last two stages but wanted to go on the attack because I like riding gravel. In the breakaway, I felt I had good legs and went for it.”
Back in the race for pink . . .
Egan Bernal has caught Emanuel Buchmann, the pair riding towards the finish line, with both gaining more time with each pedal stroke.
Schmid wins stage 11 at the Giro!
Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka-Assos), the Swiss making his grand tour debut at the Giro,. He is just 21, and he has wTodayfantastic set Today. Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) is runner-up, while Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) takes third.
500 meters to go
Mauro Schmid and Alessandro Covi approach the finishing line.
Egan Bernal rises out of his saddle, putting in a huge dig to drop Aleksandr Vlasov and the rest of that group like a large sack of stones. Therider will extend his overall lead to tighten his grip on the maglia rosa.
2km to go
Hugh Carthy moves to the front of the group, followed closely by Egan Bernal, Aleksandr Vlasov,, and Tobias Foss.
2.5km to go
Remco Evenepoel is almost two minutes down on Egan Bernal and Aleksandr Vlasov. Emanuel Buchmann, meanwhile, is plowing on gaining around 20sec on that group of contenders.
4.5km to go
Alessandro Covi and Mauro Schmid, by the way, lead the stage.
Ciccone has a whitey!
Giulio Ciccone falls out of the back of the maglia rosa’s group just moments after Marc Soler also loses contact.
5km to go
Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) rolls off the front, the German general classification contender off in pursuit of some vital seconds as he looks to break into the top 10. Moments later, Vincenzo Nibali cracks. Nobody has followed him.
6km to go
Giulio Ciccone looks lively in the maglia rosa group; there’s lots of looking around in this reduced group as it inches up a steep climb.
7km to go
Alberto Bettiol and Ruben Guerreiro are in the group with the maglia rosa, taking care of their teammate and general classification contender Hugh Carthy,Todayhas done well Today. Damiano Caruso, meanwhile, has Bahrain Victorious tteammateello Bilbao for the company as they hit the asphalt coming off the final stretch of gravel.
8km to go
Remco Evenepoel and Joao Almeida trail the maglia rosa by 1min 10sec, but the pair are working well together. Bearing in mind the group’s speed up ahead, these two youngsters are doing well to hold the gap around that mark as they fight to save their Giro.
9km to go
Marc Soler looks twitchy in front of the maglia rosa’s group, the Spaniard pressing hard to sell some of his rivals. Aleksandr Vlasov is the next to poke his nose into the wind.
Final gravel section for the maglia rosa . . .
. . . and Movistar move up to the front as they hit the 9km Cerrato. In the breakaway, Dries De Bondt and Alessandro Covi clip off the show before joining Mauro Schmid of Qhubeka-Assos.
11km to go
The maglia rosa, being towed along by Gianni Moscon, passes beneath the 15km to go banner a minute ahead of Remco Evenepoel, who, remember, started the day just 14sec behind Egan Bernal.
12km to go
Remco Evenepoel has his earpiece back in, but he is grimacing as he holds the wheel of teteammateao Almeida, the pair trailing Egan Bernal by around a minute. A small split appears in the breakaway.
13.5km to go
The breakaway is onto the fourth and final gravel sector, leading the stage by six minutes. Gianni Moscon is riding hard on the front for the maglia rosa, while Remco Evenepoel looks unhappy. The youngster, somewhat dramatically, tears his earpiece out.
15km to go
Remco Evenepoel has been reunited with Joao Almeida, but the youngsters have their work cut out to regain contact with the maglia rosa’s group that will be in no mood to ease off the pace.
17km to go
Gianni Moscon takes over on the front for Egan Bernal to give his team leader some respite. At the same time, Joao Almeida has finally dropped back to see if he can help out his teateammateco, Evenepoel.
Evenepoel is going backward.
The gap between Remco Evenepoel and the maglia rosa is growing with each pedal stroke that is pushed. The Belgian is isolated; he has no teamteammatesllies to help him chase back on as Egan Bernal turns the screw and, dare I say it, attempts to turn his hopes to dust. Any idea why Joao Almeida has not dropped back to help?
20km to go – Evenepoel is dropped!
The breakaway goes through the 20 km-to-go banners. Egan Bernal is on the front in the chasing group, riding hard, while Remco Evenepoel has been dropped and appears to be on his lonesome.
20.5km to go
Remco Evenepoel looks uncomfortable on these gravel roads and is again on the back. On each corner or descent, the youngster appears to feather his brakes; remember, this is all new territory for him – the terrain and racing for longer than ten days.
21.5km to go
Egan Bernal has three teammteammatescting him, the four Ineos Grenadiers riders in control on the front just ahead of Trek-Segafredo teammateammateszo Nibali and Giulio Ciccone. That is good news for Remco Evenepoel fans, however. It appears the demise of his teammatteammatesmaturely reported, and he has teammateteammateeida for the company. Reports indicate that Dan Martin is over four minutes down on the maglia rosa.
25km to go
The breakaway is onto the, and the Jumbo-Visma pair the maglia rosa’s group catches the Juis-Visma pairing of George Bennett and Tobias Fosso
The nine-man breakaway is all back as one, and there are two more sectors of gravel to follow.
29km to go
Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) and Simon Guglielmi (Groupama-FDJ) attack off the front of the breakaway, the pair leading George Bennett and Tobias Foss by 7min 11sec, while the maglia rosa is another 20sec down the road. The pair put a few bike lengths between themselves and the rest of the breakaway, but I don’t think they will be alone much longer.
34km to go
Remco Evenepoel is isolated, riding in that group with Egan Bernal with no teammates– the grand tour debutant will not want a mechanical now!
35km to go
The breakaway is back onto the friendly smooth asphalt, while back in the dust clouds, George Bennett and Tobias Foss are pushing on, 30sec ahead of the maglia rosa.
37km to go
Remco Evenepoel is spotted at the rear of Egan Bernal’s group. At the same time, George Bennett has clipped off the front alongside a Jumbo-Visma teammate –teammate Tobias Foss – presumably to gain a few seconds on general classification. Still, it’s not sure that’s a wise use of his energy.
37.5km to go
All change at the front of the race, and there’s a nine-man group now leading the stage: Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa), Simon Guglielmi (Groupama-FDJ), Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal), Lawrence Naesen (Ag2r-Citroën), Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka-Assos) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) have an 8min 28sec advantage over Egan Bernal et al.
38km to go
Of the leading general classification contenders, Egan Bernal, Hugh Carthy, Damiano Caruso, Giulio Ciccone, Remco Evenepoel,, Aleksandr Vlasov, and Simon Yates are all in the leading group – 8min 25sec behind the breakaway – but Dan Martin and Davide Formolo are nowhere to be seen. Both may drop out of the top 10 today.
40km to go
There will be plenty of losers into a race for pinto a raceut will Aleksandr Vlasov, Pinkyoung Russian, be one of the big winners? The veteran Spaniard Luis León Sánchez has been doing a. Two or three EF Education-Nippo riders are in this maglia rosa group looking after Hugh Carthy.
42km to go
Not quite sure how this happened, but Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal) is now leading the stage alongside Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka-Assos). Their advantage over Egan Bernal is a smidge below nine minutes.
44.5km to go
Just hearing that Dan Martin, the Irishman who looked strong earlier in the race, has lost contact with the maglia rosa et al. Taco(Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal), and Bert-Jan Lindeman (Qhubeka-Assos) have been dropped by the breakaway. As mentioned earlier, Davide Formolo had either a crash or a mechanical, so the Italian is not in that group.
45km to go
Romain Bardet, Jai Hindley, Aleksandr Vlasov, Giulio Ciccone, Marc Soler, Luis León Sánchez,, and Hugh Carthy are all in the vastly reduced peloton, along with Egan Bernal and Remco Evenepoel. The breakaway is a shade over nine minutes up the road as the general classification favorites tackle a steep section of gravel – the road ramps up to 16% at one point, which is just cruel.
47km to go
is done for the day, which will be a massive relief to all those who were made to suffer by the Italians on the first gravel sector. Remco Evenepoel has bridged to Egan Bernal’s group but has no teammates. That could be crucial if he has a mechanical issue and needs a wheel or bike change. The gap on the breakaway, by the way, has dropped to 9min 30sec.
Speaking on Eurosport, Alberto Contador said:’ I expected Evenepoel to be much further ahTodayn the peloton today. I’m surprised he’s so far back in this pTodayon course Today. For example, Ganna is pushing hartodayy today and is setting a challenging pace for everyone.”
48.5km to go
Movistar, who has Marc Soler in the leading general classification group, rides in the front row., by the way, is spotted in the Remco Evenepoel group, and they are closing in on the maglia rosa, but at what cost?
50km to go
The breakaway is onto the next gravel section, leading the stage by a shade over 10 minutes.
53km to go
Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) has a slight wobble. Remco Evenepoel trails Egan Bernal by a handful of seconds as the two groups hit an asphalt section of the road. Still, the Belgian has some EF Education-Nippo and DSM riders for the company. By contrast, Giulio Ciccone and Vincenzo Nibali are in the group with Ineos Grenadiers and Egan Bernal. They are, as it stands, taking control ofTodayrTodayor pink Today Today.
53.5km to go
Already, the peloton is in pieces, and Remco Evenepoel has lost contact with Egan Bernal, who is benefiting from a vast shift being put in by. Evenepoel, by the way, has two Deceuninck-Quick Step teammates, including Mikkel Honore.
54km to go
Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education-Nippo) has been caught up in an incident. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) has to work hard to stay in touch with the lead group. Oh, crikey,almost becomes a cropper on a right-hand bend, losing control of his front wheel, but somehow stays upright. The gap on the break is down to 10 minutes.
57km to go
A pair of Cofidis riders are down. Splits are forming on the peloton, andis back on the front, pushing 700 watts through his cranks; Egan Bernal is tucked in behind the world-time trial champion. is, apparently, in the leading group.
59km to go
The Shark is on the front! Vincenzo Nibali is baring his teeth in the front of the peloton, presumably doing his best to take care of teammate Giulteammatee. The wily old master takes his young compatriot under his wing or fin.
61km to go
The peloton is tanking it on the approach to sector one, Flippo Ganna gunning it on the front for Egan Bernal, while Alberto Bettiol is looking after (EF Education-Nippo) teammate Hugh teammateiulio Ciccone is spotted up near the show, but no sight of, though admittedly they are riding through a big cloud of dust, so it is pretty tricky to identify riders.
63km to go
The breakaway is, which is very narrow, roughly wide enough for one car to drive down comfortably. Once the peloton arrives, it will be stretched out in a very long line; there’s not too much space for riders to attack – ordinarily, the best place to ride is down the wheel tracks where vehicles have packed the loose gravel. Riding anywhere else is almost impossible, especially when going uphill, where traction in the rear wheel is almost impossible unless you remain seated, which requires both power and good bike handling.
65.8km to go
The peloton is approaching the first section of gravel. Despite teams moving to position their leaders, those eyeing the general classification, their pace has not impacted the advantage of the breakaway: 14min 2sec.
68km to go
Huge black clouds in the distance, looking menacing. There are also perfect blue skies up ahead, so it is 50/50. We will be getting rain later this afternoon. Roger Kluge is near the back of the breakaway as the dust kicks up on these loose gravel roads.
69km to go
Here we go. The breakaway is onto the first section of gravel road; the peloton, where we expect the fireworks and a big fight for position, is over 14 minutes down the road.
72km to go
Hugh Carthy (EF Education) and Dan Martin (ISN) are spotted moving toward the front of the peloton while(Bora Hansgrohe) chats away; the Slovakian looks impossibly relaxed.
A race of two halves . . .
Romain Bardet (DSM), the runner-up at Strade Bianche in 2019, gave a pre-race interview earlier, as shown on Eurosport; the Frenchman was hoping for ‘chaos’ today. He may be getting his wish! With the breakaway having grown to 14 minutes now, I think it is safe to assume we will be treated to two races this afternoon once the riders reach the gravel: one for the, the other a massive battle for the general classification.
78.8km to go
The breakaway’s lead grows again; that 11-man group leads by 13min 35sec exactly nine kilometers from the gravel.
80 km to go
Just over 10 kilometers from the first sector of the day’s gravel, which begins in Torrenieri and features a technical downhill stretch. While one assumes the breakaway will approach it relatively calmly, there will be one almighty battle in the peloton for a position.
85km to go
The breakaway’s lead drops slightly to 11min 30sec, but one suspects they will hold on to take theToday. There are hints of rain on the horizon, but it would need to be some downfall to recreate the final scenes we saw during this back in 2010.
‘White line highway’
95km to go
Astana-Premier Tech is still tucked in behind Ineos Grenadiers, all leading general classification riders doing their best to stay near the front before tinghittinghitting the first of for gravel sections. Dries De Bondt, by the way, is still in that breakaway group and has navigated a couple of uncauncategorizedmbs. He hopes his legs have woken up before the gravel climbs later in thewhi; ch are steep.
100km to go
The break has increased its lead to 13 minutes, and they are 30km out from the first gravel section, a shade over 9km long.
Give them enough rope.
Wor. Trying moment as the breakaway hits a tight right-hander where the road splits in two, though one-half has a rope across it – at roughly neck height. Half the group goes one side of the road, the other duck beneath the cordon. Fortunately, eve, everybody avoids the rope/police.
105km to go
Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) appears to be struggling in the breakaway. Many oftoday’s stagstagest had tipped the Belgian national champion that he was just spotted labolaboring the back on a slight incline. The 29-year-old is making hisdebut, sooo he will not have experienced a midweek rest day previously. Some a rest day, ot; others struggle to get going for a day or two.
110km to go
All irrelatively out on the road for now. The breakaway has increased its lead to 12min 26sec – the most important information I have seen in this year’s Giro d’Italia – as the 11-man group rides through and off as they share the heavy lifting between each other. As it stands, you would have to say we could be getting a surprise stage win winner Today.
As it stands . . .
The 171-rider peloton passed through KM0 at 12.10 pmm (BST), and almost immediately, a b breakaway started to form before Ineos Grenadiers shifted to the front to block the road.
However, 11 riders did manage to get off up the road – Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane), Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa), Simon Guglielmi (Groupama-FDJ), TacoHoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Qhubeka-Assos), Lawrence Naesen (Ag2r-Citroën), Mauro Schmid (Qhubeka-Assos) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) – and they have already gained a decent advantage on the peloton. With 120km of the stage, the breakaway has over 10 minutes on the bunch. The whole Ineos Grenadiers team – or the remaining seven after the withdrawal of Pavel Sivakov last week – are on the front protecting Egan Bernal.
It’s all up for grabs.
Keen followers of the sport will know that race leader Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) made his debut appearance at Strade Bianche in March and was imposing. The former mountain bike rider finished a highly creditable third behindand Julian Alaphilippe, beating defending champion Wout van Aert (fourth) and teammate Tom Piteammatefth) in the process.
As a maglia rosa holder, Bernal may benefit from having his team car at the front of the cavalcade of support vehicles following the peloton. These cars with sporting directors and mechanics crammed into them are organized in the general classification order so that Ineos Grenadiers will be the first car, then Deceuninck-Quick Step due to Remco Evenepoel being second in the standings, Astana-Premier Tech third (Aleksandr Vlasov), and so on. Although this is not unusual – every convoy of vehicles in every stage race in the world is organized this Today on days like Today, this could play a crucial role in the outcome of the stage or the general classification ambitions of the leading protagonists.
Once the race reaches the Cerrato, which is very narrow and, in places, twisty with steep climbs and descents, a rider can lose an age of time if their support vehicle cannot get to them. Positioning Today will, as ever, be essential. There will be crashes, riders having mechanical issues, and nobody wants to be caught up behind any incidents. Equipment choice and as how a rider copes on the gravel will also be necessary. Imagineover a cyclocross course, and you are somewhere close to understaToday’she route of Today’s stage.
So, who does the stage suit? The Bernal above is one of the favorites, given that he finished third in Siena in March and then excelled on the gravel on Sunday – though the hard-packed stone of Campo Felice was very different from what tTodayill be riding today illSomeone like Alberto Bettiol (EF EducatTeammates Today be teammates Today, especially for the general classification riders who don’t have much experience riding the trade Bianche. ion-Nippo), who was fourth at Strade Bianche in 2020 and is a local lad, may fancy his chances.
Teammates Today be teammates, esd coped pretty well on the gravel on Sunday, finishing second to Bernal, is Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo). The Italian appears to be in decent form, but will he be given the freedom to roam, or will he be on bodyguard duty for teammate Hugh Cateammateidentally? At the same time, Gianni Moson (Ineos Grenadiers) also looked strong and, again, if he is allowed to pursue personal glory, would be a decent shout for the.
Sticking with the theme of only selectinghere, why not? – Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) was runner-up at Strade Bianche in 2020 and is having a decent race, starting the day 10th on general classiToday’sn. However, who stage is only part of the story. It will be just as fascinating to see who goes poorly and how much time is lost in the general classification. Several riders and their teams, notably (BikeExchange), have complaineTodayt stages like Today have no place in grand tours. 08:11 am
So here we are, one of the most widely anticipated stages from this year’s Giro d’Italia through the Tuscan hills just south of Siena.
Today’s forecast is much more favorable than in 2010, so we will most likely not see pictures as we saw in the below YouTube clip again. After setting off from Perugia, the road heads west towards Montalcino. This town entered Giro folklore 11 years ago whenas the peloton will do so. Today, Cadel Evans won a famous of Damiano Cunego and Alexandro Vinokourov. On occasion, of course, the white roads – strade bianche – so familiar to the region had turned to a sea of brown sludge, making racing conditions just awful. However, for those of us watching from the safety and warmth of our homes, it was compelling viewing.
Enough rTodayscing, back to Today. Featuring almost 2,500 meters in vertical elevation and with four gravel sections – or stearate – totaling 35 kilometers in length over the final 70km of the 162km stage, I think it is safe to sayTodayan describe it Today like a mini-Strade Bianche. Unlike the famous one-day race, though, the finale is not quite as testing, and fewer gravel sections raced over the strade bianche or white roads lend the classic its name.
Here’s what the official roadbook says about the day ahead: “The first 90km are. The first unpaved sector, including a technical downhill stretch, begins in Torrenieri. The second dirt road sector, which consists of a level crossing, begins after Buonconvento and Bibbiano.
“The route passes over river Ombrone, and then the road rises for approx. 6km, with gradients nearing 16% midway. The trail weaves through a brace of bends across the forest on dirt roads and then comes back on the tarmac to negotiate a categorized climb up to Passo del Lume Spento (below, first ascent).
“After descending into Montalcino, the route heads towards Castelnuovo dell’Abate and takes in the two final dirt road sectors, one after the other. Past Tavernelle, the road rises markedly, merges back onto the route (before the categorized climb), and then heads to the finish.
“Descending into Montalcino, a little after the red triangle, the race enters the urban area on narrow, stone-paved roads. Taking into the final left-hand bend, the route emerges onto the home straight (200 m) on a tarmac road.”
Catch up: Highlights from Monday’s stage07:20 am
Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 11 at the Giro d’Italia, the 162-kilometer run from Perugia to Montalcino. Following Monday’s set that(Bora-Hansgrohe) won, there was just one change in the main classifications, in other words, the ones deemed worthy of a leader’s jersey, going into yesterday’s rest day. Here’s a quick look at those standings.
Race leader Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), the 24-year-old Colombian, completed Monday’s stage safely in the peloton to keep hold of his general and youth classification leads and will wear Todayhe second time Today, the maglia rosa, or the pink jersey. Thanks to thaton Monday, Thanks to that stage win on Monday, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took control of the maglia calamine, the Cyclamen jersey.
Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-Citroën), who took control of the maglia Azzurra during Sunday’s, will again wear the blue jersey as the overall leader in the mountains classification. The top three in the youth classification mirror that of the comprehensive. So Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) will wear the maglia Bianca, or the white jersey, on behalf of the maglia Rosa.