Giro d'Italia Stage 11 as it happened - Alberto Dainese edges Fernando Gaviria to end Italy's wait for win
Welcome to Eurosport's coverage of Stage 11 of the 2022 Giro d'Italia. After the drama of Stage 10 and Biniam Girmay having to abandon the race due to firing a Prosecco cork into his eye following his epic victory, we now have a pan-flat run from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia on Stage 11, with Mark Cavendish among the pre-stage favourites as a bunch sprint surely looms.
‘I can’t believe it happened!’ – Dainese on shock Stage 11 win
Here's how Dainese came from nowhere to take maiden win
It was the Italian's first win in two years and only the third of his career. But you have to feel for Fernando Gaviria who must have felt his three-year wait for a Grand Tour stage win was over... Here's the full report and a video of the finish below.
‘Out of nowhere!’ – Dainese stuns big hitters to win Stage 11
Richard Carapaz up to second on GC
By virtue of those three bonus seconds and finishing ahead of Joao Almeida, the Ecuadorian moves above the Portugese and France's Romain Bardet and into second place on GC, 12 seconds behind the race leader. Spain's Juan Pedro Lopez is still in pink.
Victory for Italy and Alberto Dainese
It's a maiden Giro stage win for Alberto Dainese of Team DSM who picks up the first win for the host nation and in quite stunning circumstances. He came past Consonni so quickly there to deny Fernando Gaviria the win. Arnaud Demare had to settle for fourth and Caleb Ewan fifth in what was probably his last chance before withdrawing. Sixth for Britain's Mark Cavendish.
Dainese thinks he's won it!
What a finish! Demare went early and looked too strong - but Gaviria came back and then powered past the Frenchman... and the win looked certain until Alberto Dainese propelled himself from the slipstream of Simone Consonni to take it on the line!
15:47 - BikeExchange launch man off the front
Final kilometre: Is it Lawson Craddock? In any case, he's swept up - and so, too, is De Bondt with 1.2km to go. It's time for a massive bunch kick... with Cavendish and Ewan on the wheel of Demare...
14:45 - Heart-in-mouth moment for Ineos
4km to go: Two Ineos riders almost come to grief after a coming together of shoulders. It's so chaotic in the pack as they chase De Bondt, who has 11 seconds and is exploiting this cross-tailwind to the best of his ability. He's never won a WorldTour race before... will that change in a few minutes?
15:41 - Race rampages onto narrower roads
10km to go: They leave the wider main road and swing onto some narrower farm roads. Groupama, Ineos, QuickStep and DSM are all trying to get onto the front of the pack. But De Bondt won't budge... He has 20 seconds.
15:34 - De Bondt still holding on
15km to go: Despite Sean Kelly’s disparaging remarks earlier, the Belgian has really given this a good go. And with his Alpecin teammate Mathieu van der Poel currently right at the back, it’s clear why De Bondt decided to have a pop. His advantage is up to 35 seconds.
Dries De Bondt of Belgium and Team Alpecin - Fenix attacks during the 105th Giro d'Italia 2022
Image credit: Getty Images
15:24 - Bunny hops and jostling for position
22km to go: With that flashpoint coming up the tension is palpable in the pack as the race passes through numerous pinch points and roundabouts where riders are forced to take evasive action and even bunnyhop up onto raised kerbs. They all want to be on the front in the case of winds - whether thinking about their sprinters or their GC men. De Bondt is still out ahead with 20 seconds.
15:13 - Crash in the pack! Two down...
30km to go: Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix) and Davide Cimolai (Cofidis) have gone down in the streets of Carpi. That's a blow for Cofidis for whom Cimolai usually plays a role as leadout for Simone Consonni. De Bondt still has 35 seconds.
15:08 - Cavendish and Gaviria chatting in the pack
35km to go: They'll be rivals in the final sprint but they're all very genial now as Mark Cavendish and Fernando Gaviria chew the fat near the front of the pack. Gaviria won here in Reggio Emilia five years ago but he hasn't picked up a Grand Tour stage in three years. The Colombian has had terrible luck and made some poor decisions in this year's Giro - most notably his deviation and barge last week that saw him relegated on the day Demare picked up his second win.
De Bondt, meanwhile, still has 40 seconds to play with so he's been kept out there and allowed to keep his mad solo suicide mission alive for a little longer.
15:00 - Average pace over 46kmh today
41km to go: That's a pretty monstrous pace in all fairness. Dries De Bondt seems to be testing the UCI's resolve here by riding with his elbows on the hoods in a position that, if I recall rightly, has been banned by cycling's organisational committee. His gap is down to one minute now. Ben Swift just ushered the entire Ineos team across to the right-hand side of the road because of an impending directional change which will result in the wind coming in from the left. Swift has been the consummate road captain today since we hit this second phase of the race.
14:55 - Tension ramps up again
45km to go: "If I was De Bondt's DS I would tell him to stop, sit up, and have a go later. Here he's out burning energy for nothing." Sean Kelly still isn't impressed. "I agree with Sean," says Robbie McEwan, "he's almost too good to be doing something like this." The Belgian has 1:30 over the pack as they go under the 45km banner with all the teams of the race favourites on the front, as well as the Groupama team of Arnaud Demare, the Frenchman eyeing a third sprint win today.
14:47 - Over a minute for De Bondt
51km to go: "What's he doing out there like this? You talk of the magic minute but he'll need five minutes if he wants to hold on." Sean Kelly hasn't been won over by Dries De Bondt's tactics. But someone had to do something otherwise the tension would have stayed very high. According to Rob Hatch the section which is really dangerous comes with around 20km to go - so do keep patient, we'll get there soon!
14:40 - Attack from Dries De Bondt!
58km to go: It's pretty inexplicable but perhaps a reflection on the relaxing of pace in the peloton but the former Belgian national champion has zipped clear. Perhaps Mathieu van der Poel really was telling the truth this morning and the Dutchman will not compete in the expected bunch sprint... With a tailwind De Bondt quickly builds up a gap of 20 seconds.
14:30 - Hairy moment through tight bend
66km to go: It's a miracle no-one went down there after a piece of road furniture appeared from nowhere around a tight left-hander and in the shade. Many riders have to take evasive action but everyone seems present and correct afterwards. The pace eases afterwards and it's a flat line on the front of the pack, giving those behind the chance to return to the fold.
14:18 - Three bonus seconds for Carapaz
76km to go: Canny riding from Ineos and their Ecuadorian leader as Richard Carapaz catches his GC rivals napping by taking the three bonus seconds at the second intermediate sprint at Giovanni in Persiceto. That puts Carapaz above Romain Bardet and into third on the virtual general classification and level on time with second place Joao Almeida at +12 seconds from the pink jersey Juan Pedro Lopez of Trek-Segafredo.
14:12 - Quick-Step try to force another split
81km to go: Things settled a bit, allowing Ewan and the others back on, but then Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl came to the front with Bert Van Lerberghe and one other to up the tempo considerably. But they knock it off quickly when they realise that this stretch of road is actually quite sheltered by a line of trees. Still, Simon Yates of BikeExchange is one rider to have been caught out - the Briton needs to close a gap off the back.
14:04 - Ewan caught out in early split
89km to go: There's already a split with about 30-odd riders caught out - including Caleb Ewan who, for some reason, was riding near the back when he really should have known better. The Australian's confidence is clearly rock bottom after his early crash and subsequent travails - most notably tomorrow's stage which he finished in last place after riding the last 80km on his own. Ewan at least as teammate Thomas De Gendt helping to pace him back. But this is an unnecessary expense of energy.
14:00 - Breakaway swallowed up
92km to go: Gruppo compatto! It's all back together - not only has that Italian duo been reeled in but also Richie Porte is back on following his tumble and bike change. Riders are in team formation near the front and it really feels like it's about to kick off in this cross-tailwind.
13:55 - Prospect of wind taking its toll
96km to go: The pace is ridiculously fast right now with the peloton reaching speeds of up to 70kmph on these wide streets through the southern Bologna. It's all because they have been told there may be a wind threat on the exposed roads ahead - and even if there is no wind, it's the prospect of that wind which could prove the undoing of some riders. You need to be on the front in case the wind does materialise - otherwise you could be caught out - but by racing like this, the peloton is collectively making it much more dangerous for everyone involved.
Best place to be is out ahead - although the two escapees can't be too smug for that much longer: their lead is down to just 40 seconds as a result of this fierce tempo.
13:49 - Richie Porte hits the deck
100km to go: A few riders take a short-cut on a tight corner and that causes some bunching up - and Richie Porte has nowhere to go when the rider in front of him slams on the brakes so the Australian takes a tumble. It's nothing too bad - more embarrassing than anything - but the Ineos veteran needs a new bike because he can't get his chain back on. He'll now have a fierce chase to get back on before the big turn after Bologna and that potential flashpoint.
‘You should be able to put your chain on!’ – Porte changes bike after mechanical woe
13:46 - Lead halved in just 20km
102km to go: On account of that potential danger point coming up after the race passes Bologna the advantage of the two Italians out ahead has dropped below two minutes.
13:37 - Gap comes down for leaders
110km to go: It's still the calm before the storm here ahead of the moment which *may* spark some action into proceedings. It's in around 12km when the route hangs a right after Bologna and the wind may play a role on some exposed roads. At least, that's what Dan Lloyd is saying/hoping in the commentary box right now. The gap is 3:15 for these two escapees Filippo Tagliani and Luca Rastelli, who have been out since kilometre zero.
13:20 - Cav pips Demare and Nizzolo
123km to go: When the peloton comes through the intermediate sprint it's a chance for the sprinters to stretch their legs a little ahead of today's expected fast finish. Demare benefited from a lead-out by his Groupama team but it looks like he was just edged by both Mark Cavendish and Giacomo Nizzolo. To be fair, they weren't really racing for points but just for the chance of warming up the legs and getting in some practice.
That means that Cav and Nizzolo - fourth and fifth in the maglia ciclamino standings - cut their deficit a little in the points classification, but only faintly, and the Frenchman's lead is still extremely commanding. Demare now has 155pts, Van der Poel 90pts (he did not contest the sprint, having earlier being off the back with his team car), Cavendish 84pts and Nizzolo 64pts.
If it seems like a done deal it's worth noting that there are still a maximum 388 points remaining in the battle for the maglia ciclamino...
13:15 - Tagliani wins intermediate sprint
126km to go: At Toscanella di Dozza Tagliani kicks clear of Rastelli to add to his intermediate sprint haul. The real action will come in just under five minutes' time when the peloton comes through and the jostle for the remaining maglia ciclamino points plays out.
We've just seen a close up of Jaakko Hanninen and it was definitive proof that the Finn was the Ag2R-Citroen rider who went down in that crash with Mattias Skjelmose earlier today: his jersey and shorts are rather torn and he has some cuts to his right elbow.
13:00 - Groupama-FDJ come to the front of the pack
137km to go: The proximity of the intermediate sprint has coaxed Arnaud Demare's train forward as the Frenchman prepares to pick up more points to extend his lead in the maglia ciclamino standings. He's got a huge lead of 61pts in this competition following Biniam Girmay's withdrawal from the race - but others will look to pick a few up because there's no guarantee Demare will ride all the way to Verona and so the landscape could quickly change.
As a result of the increased tempo behind the advantage of the two escapees comes down to 4:!5 as they approach Imola and its famous motor-racing circuit.
This classy tweet from Demare's leadout man Jacopo Guarnieri before today's start. Demare's lead was slashed to just 3pts yesterday before Girmay's sad withdrawal following that cork incident on the podium.
12:45 - Winless duo pass through Faenza
147km to go: Neither of these two escapees has ever won a professional bike race. Tagliani, 26, is riding his second Giro and his best result so far is 15th in Scalea in Stage 6 last week - one place better than his best result last year in stage 13 to Verona. Meanwhile Rastelli, 22, is a Giro debutant whose best result so far is 64th in Stage 3 back in Hungary.
This is the fourth time Tagliani has been in the break, the Italian having now amassed 428 breakaway kilometres (and counting) in the race. His regular presence on the front of the race means he leads the intermediate sprint competition with 58 points ahead of Drone Hopper teammate Mattia Bais who has 45 points. It's Bais who leads the fuga classification, though, with 617km to his name.
12:30 - Crash! Three hit the deck in the peloton
158km to go: The worst off is Mattias Skjelmose of Trek-Segafredo who looked a bit stunned after hitting the deck after what was probably a touch of wheels or a clip of the curb as the peloton bottlenecked through some road furniture. A rider each from BikeExchange and Ag2R-Citroen were also involved but they're on their way much quicker, while the Dane needs a new bike after his handlebars twisted around 90 degrees. The gap for the two leaders is 4:45.
Yesterday's highlights make for entertaining viewing
A day of two halves saw a breakaway of three riders – Italians Alessandro De Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech) and Mattia Bais (Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli), and the Belgian Lawrence Naesen (Ag2R-Citroen) – build up a maximum lead of over six minutes on a pan-flat schlep up the Adriatic coast before seeing their advantage get whittled down over the undulating roads in the beautiful yet unforgiving hills of Le Marche.
Then all hell broke loose as one by one the pure sprinters got caught before Mathieu van der Poel duked it out with Biniam Girmay at the finish - but not before the former had to fight back from a mechanical and the latter went the wrong way at a split in the road...
Stage 10 highlights: History for Girmay as Van der Poel salutes rival in sprint
Demare hat-trick to secure maglia ciclamino?
Now that yesterday's winner Biniam Girmay is sadly no longer on the race, Arnaud Demare's grip on the maglia ciclamino looks pretty tight. Girmay's win yesterday saw him come within 3pts of Demare's lead in the sprinters' classification but now that he's had to leave the race, the Frenchman's nearest challenger is Mathieu van der Poel, who had 90pts to Demare's 151pts.
Demare should be one of the favourites today if things come down to a bunch sprint. And if he does win it will be his second Giro hat-trick in three years. He won four stages and the maglia ciclamino back in 2020 - could history be repeating itself?
12:13 - Four minutes for the break
170km to go: The riders look like they're soft-pedalling a bit but they're still covering 10km in around 14 minutes which amounts to an average speed of over 40kmh which is more than most of us amateurs could manage going flat out even on flat closed roads such as these.
11:59 - Ineos Grenadiers come to the front
180km to go: The pace is slow and the wind is more like a gentle breeze at the moment but Richard Carapaz's teammates are taking no chances. After all, the Ecuadorian crashed yesterday - a reminder that anything can happen even during a supposed non-GC day. The reasons why they are there is because the peloton is about to leave a town and enter a stretch of exposed road through flat fields where the wind may be felt a little more acutely. Or may not.
The two leaders have 3:30 on the pack with Rastelli currently stuffing his face with what looks to be a huge chunk of Brie. Each to his own.
Last chance for Caleb Ewan?
The Australian sprinter has not disguised the fact that he's not going all the way to Verona in this Giro. And with today's stage perhaps the last chance of a guaranteed bunch sprint, it would be a surprise if the Lotto Soudal pocket-rocket doesn't pack his bags tonight. The question is - will he do so after firing a cork into his face or will be not get that opportunity?
Ewan experienced a hideous day in the saddle yesterday after being distanced with 80km remaining and entirely jettisoned by his Lotto Soudal team, who chose not to drop any riders back to help nurse their man to the finish. In the end, Ewan rolled home in last place over 31 minutes back. He then posted this message on Instagram afterwards:
The Giro from hell continued for me today. Got dropped around 80km to go alone and just made it within the time limit. Since my crash on the first stage I feel like my Giro just keeps going downhill. Another sprint chance tomorrow so I'm hoping to turn it around.
11:45 - Two minutes for the two leaders
190km to go: So far things have been fairly sedate with those two escapees Rastelli and Tagliani building up a lead of two miniutes on this long stretch of road which pretty much doesn't deviate in line all the way to Bologna via Cesana, Forli and Imola.
11:30 - Stage 11 under way
203km to go: The flag goes down and two go clear from the gun. Italians Luca Rastelli (Bardiani-CSF) and Filippo Tagliani (Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli) have drawn the short straw and go up the road to little reaction from the pack. It's the calm before the storm...
Windy conditions could cause problems today
There's a side tailwind today and many people think this could tear through the peloton lately. This means that what looks on paper to be a routine day in the saddle could well be quite nervous and sketchy - especially with those narrow exposed roads in the finale.
"It could be a real killer of a day," says Sean Kelly. "There'll be some people rubbing their hands out there," adds Rob Hatch. "I cannot wait for this," chips in Adam Blythe. We're ready to get going... stay tuned for all the action live.
History-maker Girmay the one non-starter
In the most tragicomic episode you could imagine, an exploding Prosecco cork almost took out the left eye of Eritrea's Biniam Girmay during the podium ceremonies yesterday after his history win. The 22-year-old was taken to hospital and emerged hours later with a protective eye patch amid fears that he would not start today's stage.
Girmay was photographed not wearing his eye patch during a celebratory meal with his teammates later, sparking hopes that his injury was not as bad as first feared...
How sad that the man who made history has been brought down to earth in such a way – floored by the very means by which he was meant to celebrate his watershed moment. We wish “Bini” a rapid recovery.
Here's a message from the man himself...
Van der Poel’s gesture and Girmay’s historic win
The way that Mathieu van der Poel congratulated Biniam Girmay on his Stage 10 victory in the Giro d’Italia even before the Eritrean crossed the line was a mark of respect from a rider who doesn’t take losing lightly. Last night I wrote a piece on how a burgeoning rivalry – as encapsulated by the Dutchman’s fantastic thumbs-up gesture – is proof that we’re experiencing a true golden age of racing.
Mathieu van der Poel gives Biniam Girmay the thumbs up as the Eritrean wins Stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia 2022
Image credit: Getty Images
Here's a little taster...
The advent of Eritrea’s first ever Giro d’Italia stage winner was far from a box-ticking exercise. Biniam Girmay didn’t just win a routine bunch sprint or kick clear from a reduced field on terrain that suited his strengths. Nor was he gifted the historic win – the first for a Black African rider in cycling’s Grand Tours – or triumph because others had gone home or thrown in the towel.
Girmay won in quite ridiculous yet utterly glorious circumstances. Distanced after taking a wrong turn, he had to fight back while relying on his superb Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert team-mates to put out all the fires in his absence. He then had to go from distance and beat arguably the best rider in these circumstances and over this terrain of his generation.
And Girmay didn’t just beat Mathieu van der Poel. He broke him. He snapped his elastic at the very moment when his own could and should have been torn in two. He pushed and pushed and pushed the Dutch superstar so far and for so long that his rival had no choice but to buckle and concede defeat – in a two-up slumping of the shoulders that recalled Van der Poel’s unexpected loss to Denmark’s Kasper Asgreen in the 2021 Tour of Flanders.
Today's stage runs from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia and it's a completely pan-flat 203km but one which sees the riders tackle some narrow farm roads near the fiinish where pinch points and the threat of crosswinds could cause a little bit of havoc. A bunch sprint is likely but you never know what's going to happen in a Grand Tour... Watch the action on Eurosport 1, with uninterrupted coverage on discovery+
The Eritrean (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) was seen wincing on the podium before he was treated in an ambulance and taken to hospital in Jesi. He was discharged with a bandaged left eye on Tuesday evening.
Intermarche said they would make a decision on Wednesday morning as to whether he started Stage 11 - a pan-flat run from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia - the team's doctor, Piet Daneels, told Eurosport's Andrea Berton.
And in a message on social media on Wednesday morning, Girmay confirmed he would not be starting.
"Today I didn't start the race because still with my eye I need some rest to give more power to the eye," he said.
Intermarche doctor Daneels added: "Following an incident on the podium, medical examinations revealed a haemorrhage in the anterior chamber of the left eye of Biniam Girmay. His injury is evolving in the right direction and will be followed up by a medical team in the next days.
"In order to minimise the risk of expansion of the haemorrhage and the intraocular pressure, it is strongly recommended to avoid physical activity. Our priority is a complete healing of the injury and that's why we decided together with the rider and the sports director that Biniam will not appear at the start of the 11th stage."
Eurosport understands Girmay may potentially target the Tour de France instead. A well-placed source confirmed to Eurosport commentator Bobbie Traksel that the team did not want to take any risks due to the condition of Girmay's eye.
Girmay became the first Black African rider to win a Grand Tour stage after holding off Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) in a thrilling finale on Stage 10.
The 21-year-old was forced to fight through the pack in the closing kilometres after briefly turning the wrong way on a hairpin with 7km remaining – but his superb Intermarche team-mates marshalled him back to the front for the bunch sprint.
Girmay cracked the fancied Van der Poel in the closing metres, with his Dutch rival classily giving his rival the thumbs up as he crossed the line.
Victory had catapulted Girmay to within three points of Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) in the race for the maglia ciclamino, with his withdrawal promoting Van der Poel into second in the standings.
STAGE 11 ROUTE AND PROFILE
There should be no repeat of Stage 10 on the pan-flat run from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia.
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