Sella Wins Stage 11 of Giro
Emanuele Sella (Panaria) has won Stage 11 of the Giro. The 23-year-old Italian surged away from six companions to take the hilly, 228-km ride from Porto Sant'Eladio to Cesena in 5:19:08. Cristian Moreni (Alessio) outsprinted Steve Zampieri (Vini Caldirola) for second at 0:30. Damiano Cunego (Saeco) remains the maglia rosa.
From the start, the racing was fast. After a number of abortive sallies, Dean Podgornik (Tenax) attacked, and 19 others joined him. Six of the riders were dropped. Saeco rode tempo, and the break's lead maxed out at about three minutes.
With 66 km remaining, Oscar Mason and Steve Zampieri (both from Vini Caldirola), Sella and Brett Lancaster (both from Panaria), Vladimir Miholjevic (Alessio), Marcel Strauss (Gerolsteiner), Francisco Vila (Lampre), Pedro Lobato (Saunier Duval), and Leonardo Bertagnolli (Saeco) bridged up to the break. With about 50 km left, Sella attacked on the Passo delle Siepi.
With 37 km left, Sella led a four-man chase group by 0:25. At 195 km, he led by 0:50 on the Sogliano al Rubiconde. The remains of the break caught the four chasers. Sella led this group by 0:45 and the peloton by 3:40.
Sella continued to increase his lead on the chase group. With 20 km left, he led it by 1:28 and the peloton by 3:05. The Italian neo-pro struggled on the day's last climb, and the chase group and the bunch were able to close. Their efforts were too little and too late, however, as Sella held on for his first professional victory.
In the overall, Cunego leads teammate Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) by 0:10 and Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) by 0:28. Stage 12 will not change this state of affairs. The flat, 210-km run from Cesena to Treviso should end in a bunch sprint. Who will take it? Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo)? Robbie McEwen (Lotto)? Fred Rodriguez (Acqua e Sapone)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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