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Paolo Tiralongo Cimbs to Stage 19 Victory in 2011 Giro d'Italia and Alberto Contador Increases Overall Lead

News & Results

05/27/2011| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

Paolo Tiralongo Cimbs to Stage 19 Victory in 2011 Giro d'Italia and Alberto Contador Increases Overall Lead

Team Astana's Paolo Tiralongo of Italy finished ahead of overall leader Alberto Contador to win the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia 2011 earlier this afternoon.

Team Astana's Paolo Tiralongo of Italy finished ahead of overall leader Alberto Contador to win the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia 2011 earlier this afternoon.

The pair finished the 209-kilometer (129-mile) ride from Bergamo to Macugnaga together in 5 hours, 26 minutes, 27 seconds, after the Italian had led the attack on the final climb to the finish. Team Liquigas-Cannondale's Vincenzo Nibali was third, three seconds behind.

"Today I wanted to try to give it my all," Tiralongo said. "I felt good and wanted to try and go for the win. At the 6km mark, Alberto said it would be a good time to attack and that's why I made my break when I did."

Team Saxo Bank-SunGard's Contador extended his lead over Michele Scarponi (Team Lampre-LSD) in the overall standings by 20 seconds to 5:18. Contador has an overall time of 77 hours, 11 minutes, 24 seconds.

"Today was an extraordinary stage. They were tough roads," Contador said. "When I had the chance I had to attack and that is why I was still able to attack at the end because the legs felt good."

Riders had to battle heavy rain early in the day and then contend with slippery conditions on the roads. By the 20km mark Jerome Pineau, Matteo Rabottini and Lars Bak led a breakaway group, with Pineau taking the points for the first climb of the day at Mottarone.

As conditions improved Stefano Garzelli, Mickael Cherel and Johann Tschopp caught up on the descent on Mottarone.

With just over 10km remaining Danilo Di Luca led the peleton as it caught the lead group and the Italian then took the initiative at the start of the final climb to Macugnaga.

Tiralongo was next to attack and opened a lead of more than 20 seconds with less than 5km to go.

Contador positioned himself at the front of the chasing pack and attacked over the last kilometer to catch Tiralongo. But with the line in their sights, the Spaniard moved aside to allow his former Astana teammate to cross the line first.

Riders remain in the mountains for the penultimate stage from Verbania to Sestriere tomorrow. The 21-stage Giro d'Italia 2011 concludes on Sunday with an individual time trial in Milano.

You'll find complete results and more photos from stage 19 of the Giro here.

Watch daily video highlights from the 2011 Giro d'Italia in the video section here on Roadcycling.com.

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