18/05/11 - 12:35
Tortoreto Lido - Castelfidardo
Giro d'Italia • Stage11

Tortoreto Lido - Castelfidardo

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Joaquim Rodriguez took second and Visconti third. Contador finishes fifth to retain the leader's pink jersey.


Heartbreak for Moreno, who came so close to taking the win.


Gadret holds on! What a win for the AG2R rider! He timed that to perfection, launching himself on the steepest part of the finish and holding off the peloton by a whisker.


John Gadret attacks! The Frenchman catches Moreno!


Moreno goes early! Kono cracks and he's caught by the bunch...


Pirazzi is caught. This is tight. The peloton are right behind Moreno and Konovalovas!


That crash involved Agnoli and Kiryienka. And the 3km rule does not apply today so they're going to have to fight to get back and limit their losses.


Attack from the front of the peloton: Stefano Pirazzi of Colnago again! He's been very combative in this Giro. The gap is just 14 seconds.


Liquigas are on the front as well as Lampre... and there's been a crash in the peloton!


Petacchi's leading the bunch - a clear indication that Lampre want this one for Scarponi. But it looks like this will be decided by one of the two leaders. They have 44 seconds, whilst the chasing group have been swept up.


It's going to be tight. The leaders have 34 on the chasers and 52 on the bunch.


The peloton has stretched right out in pursuit of the leaders. Androni are really giving it some beef. Stortoni is being caught by the rest of the chasing group. They are still 30 seconds down on the leading duo. Now Lampre make their move to the front, maybe thinking about a finish for local boy Michele Scarponi.


Moreno has a second wind. He looked spent, but he's now driving on the leading duo. These roads are pretty narrow and winding. It's going to be difficult for the peloton.


Attack from Stortoni from the chasing group! The Colnago rider gives it one last dig in a bid to catch the two leaders. But Moreno and Kono have 33 seconds at the moment. Kruijswijk has Stortoni's wheel.


Le Mevel and his quintet continue their chase as Moreno manages to return to Konovalovas.


Konovalovas catches and passes Moreno! The Spaniard is cooked.


Moreno can see the finishing town of Castefidardo in the distance as Konovalovas continues his chase. He's not far away from the leader now.


It's still Androni on the front of the peloton as Konovalovas breaks clear of the chasing group in pursuit of Moreno.


Moreno takes the sprint around 20 seconds ahead of the chasing group. The peloton is another minute back, so it looks like Le Mevel won't be in pink tonight.


It's pretty brutal, this finish. All up and down - absolutely leg-sapping. Betancourt went off in pursuit of Moreno, but he's just been pegged back by the chasers. It's Le Mevel who is setting the pace. Oddly, there's an intermediate sprint coming right up.


Androni are now on the front of the chasing peloton. Moreno looks good, but he's going to stuggle to stay away once the hammer goes down.


The pink jersey peloton is 1:42 down on Moreno, who's putting in a belting time trial on the front. It's been a very tough day today - and the average speed is a whopping 40.9km/h for the day, which is extraordinary for this kind of terrain.


Colnago's Stortoni is trying to bridge the gap to Moreno. Kruijswijk follows. The whole leading group is a bit scattered at the moment.


This is a rapid descent from Moreno! He's almost caught in a crosswind on that open straight.


Moreno attacks on the climb, followed by Agnoli, who's keen to sew up those points over the summit. But the Liquigas rider doesn't have the legs, and Katusha's Moreno will take the points and start the descent on his own. He's got quite a few seconds on the other leaders.


The leaders are on to the final fourth category climb of the day. Kruijswijk and Machado put in stints on the front, but the gap is coming down. 1:19 at the last check.


Visconti, in the Italian national champions jersey, is sticking to Contador's wheel. Astana, Androni Giocattoli and Farnese-Vini are all putting in shifts alongside Saxo Bank. The gap is down to 1:38.


The lead is beginning to drop as Acqua & Sapone come to the front of the bunch - despite their two men further up the road.


Farnese-Vini are more apparent on the front of the peloton now in their flourescent yellow-shouldered jerseys. The gap is still just over two minutes as an Astana rider leads the bunch under the 40-to-go banner.


The gap is up to 2:25. Roman Kreuziger is riding alongside Contador and David Millar on the front of the peloton.


Yet another spectacular hilltop fort town to gawp at. This must be the prettiest scenary we've had so far in this year's Giro - made all the better for the blue skies and hot sun. 1:50 is the gap with Saxo Bank keeping everything under control.


Agnoli crosses the third category four climb in pole position, with Betancourt a little behind. Then there's a few seconds before the rest of the leading group arrive at the summit. Saxo Bank lead the peloton over at 1:54.


Down below in the comments section, Cleve thinks today's stage will be won by Vincenzo Nibali... It would be nice to see - but not likely given his role as one of Alberto Contador's main rivals.


Very nice road surface here: must have been laid especially for the Giro. Le Mevel is setting the pace on the front of the leading group, which rides at 2:08 from the peloton.


Le Mevel refuses to drop back from the leading group, which has 1:54 on the Saxo Bank-led peloton. So, the Frenchman is virtual pink jersey - and to be honest, I really don't see Contador losing too much sleep on this one.


Betancourt leads the breakaway over the second category four summit and they have a lead of about 2 minutes. Earlier, Agnoli appeared to ask Le Mevel to drop back, the Frenchman being just 1:19 down on race leader Alberto Contador, and as such a marked man. Kruijswijk has a problem with his race radio and needs assistance from his Rabobank team car.


Break in full: Carlos Betancourt and Fabio Taborre (both Acqua & Sapone), Simoni Stortoni (Colnago), Daniel Moreno (Katusha), Marco Marzano (Lampre), Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas), Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar), Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank), Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Cevelo), Tiago Machado (RadioShack) and Lars Nordhaug (Sky).


One withdrawal to report on today: Borut Bozic of Vacansoleil. The Slovenian sprinter hasn't been in great form this Giro so his departure is not entirely unexpected - especially with all those mountains looming on the horizon.


Stunning scenery here in sunny Italy as the race passes the beautiful hilltop town of Combatte. Of the leaders, both Machado and Moreno Ferna have already had a pop today.


The leaders include Christophe Le Mevel! That's big news... but also probably good reason for it not being allowed too much leeway: the Frenchman is 3rd, 1:19 down on Contador. Other riders are Machado, Nordhaug, Konovalovas, Marzano, Agnoli, Stortoni, Moreno Ferna, Taborre and Betancourt. They have about 1:25 on the bunch.


Another break is having a go: around 10 men out in front. Names coming up...


It's all still together. Results of the first category four climb coming right up. Who do you think will win today? Have your say below... and give good reasons!


The early break was never going to get away owing to its interesting composition. The likes of Petacchi and Ventoso were just too big names to let get away - despite their lowly placing in the GC - and Kiryienka, being just two and a half minutes down on Alberto Contador, was the death knell of the break.


It's all back together again. These breakaways are just not sticking. One man who will be keen to put on a good showing today is Michele Scarponi, who was boen just 25km away from the finish. Although race leader Alberto Contador won't want to see his Lampre rival take any time off him at this stage in the race.


Another group has formed and are riding about 15 seconds up the road. There are around 12 riders, including David Millar, Dario Cioni and Rinaldo Nocentini.


Gruppo Compatto! Ventoso and Brutt held on the longest, but it's now all back together. A fiesty start to today's stage, that's for sure.


Kirienka, Brutt and Ventoso have dropped the other leaders, who ride 18 seconds further back. Omega Pharma-Lotto's De Clercq has been dropped back to the peloton but his team-mate Francis De Greef is in the chasing group. The bunch is 20 seconds further back. The first of those four category four climbs is coming up.


The leading group in full: Angel Vicioso (Androni Giocattoli), Marco Frapporti (Colnago), Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre), Vasili Kiriyenka (Movistar), Francisco Ventoso (Movistar), Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Francesco Reda (Quick Step).


Eight riders have managed to get away. They are: Reda, De Clercq, Kiryienka, Petacchi, Frapporti, Brutt, Vicioso and that man Ventoso. They have a gap of 25 seconds over the peloton, while two men are in pursuit - De Greef and Berard.


Despite his words in defence of Cavendish, Blazin' Saddles was involved in a war of words with the HTC-Sprinter this morning on Twitter. It seems Cav took issue with Saddles' belief that @MarkCavendish got someone else to write his tweets, a Twitter ghost if you will.


Yesterday, Britain's Mark Cavendish won his first stage of the Giro amid claims of cheating leveled at him by Francisco Ventoso. The Spaniard believes that Cav should no longer be in the race after being pulled up Mount Etna by his team car on Sunday. Read our blogger Blazin' Saddles' take on the situation...


Five riders - including RadioShack's Tiago Machado - tried to get away but they were quickly reeled back into the bunch.


No attacks so far from the 188-strong peloton but today's stage will surely be won from a breakaway. Even Alberto Contador has admitted he would not mind losing the pink jersey today - provided it's not to one of his big rivals, mind. The likes of Danilo Di Luca, Johnny Hoogerland, Emanuele Sella and Mikel Nieve could be ones to watch... and don't discount a rider from Sky, perhaps Kennaugh, Downing or Cioni - they're winning in California so will want to keep the run going.


A nice sunny day for the peloton. The finish in Castelfidardo averages 6% over the last kilometre.


The peloton face a conky day through the foothills of the Central Apennines with the longest flat section being just 3km. There are a quartet of catergory four climbs before the uphill finish in Castelfidardo.


Alberto Contador is the overall leader heading into the 11th stage of the Giro, a hilly 144km trek from Tortoreto Lido to Castelfidardo.