Petrov Escapes to Stage 11 Win in 2010 Giro d'Italia as Overall Rankings are Picked and Mixed

News & Results

05/19/2010| 0 comments
by Reuters and Roadcycling.com
Richie Porte.
Richie Porte.

Petrov Escapes to Stage 11 Win in 2010 Giro d'Italia as Overall Rankings are Picked and Mixed

Australia's Richie Porte left previous leader Alexandre Vinokourov trailing in his wake as he snatched the lead in the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday after riders were again drenched.

Australia's Richie Porte left previous leader Alexandre Vinokourov trailing in his wake as he snatched the lead in the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday after riders were again drenched.

The 262 kilometer 11th stage, the longest of the three-week 2010 Giro d'Italia, was so inundated with rain that the peleton wore wet weather jackets to protect them from the foul weather which has dominated this year's extravaganza.

Nothing could stop a large breakaway group early on, however, and Astana's Vinokourov was stuck way down the field as new pink jersey holder Porte took up a position towards the front.

The unheralded Saxobank rider, who had been sixth overall, suddenly has a 1 minute 42 second race lead over Spain's David Arroyo of Caisse D'Epargne.

"It was a long, hard day. I had two team mates who annihilated themselves for me. It's thanks to the team," Porte, a Tasmanian like stage nine winner Matthew Goss, told Rai TV.

"This week Tasmania is showing itself to be the centre of cycling in Australia."

Kazakhstan's Vinokourov had led since stage seven but is remarkably now down in 12th spot almost 10 minutes adrift of Porte.

Russia's Evgueni Petrov of the Katusha team won the stage after pulling away late on and whipping off his slightly ironic sunglasses as he crossed the line in the rain.

"I'm really happy. I want to say hello to my wife. I did it, I did it," he screamed to reporters.

Petrov completed the route in six hours 28 minutes 29 seconds ahead of Dario Cataldo and Carlos Sastre.

Race favorite and World Champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) entered the day second overall, 01:12 behind Alexandre Vinokourov (Team Astana). But both were not part of the lead group that included Evans's teammate, Brent Bookwalter, who eventually dropped back to help chase.

"It's difficult to come back on 60 riders when you only have a group of 26 chasing," BMC Racing Team sports director John Lelangue commented after the stage. Team BMC Racing is now down to five riders after Jeff Louder (fatigue) and Mauro Santambrogio (stomach problems) abandoned in today's stage.

"The Giro is still a long ways to Verona," Lelangue added and concluded "We are only halfway. The big week of mountains is coming Saturday. So it's still open - even if it will be difficult. Anything is possible. Look at the race today." But there certainly won't be many riders left to support Evans in the crucial mountain stages. Come alliances.

"That was a totally crazy stage, I have never experienced anything like it," Christian Henn, Team Milram's directeur sportif, stated after the stage. "When the large group got away, all the favorites stayed calm, nobody reacted and the group built up a huge lead unbelievably quickly. This situation was naturally optimal for us. Linus Gerdemann made the leap to the group together with Matthias Russ and could make a lot of time good.

2010 Giro d'Italia favorite Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) sprinted to third and climbed to eighth overall, at 07:09 behind new leader Porte. More importantly,

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