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Giro d'Italia Stage 11: Porte in pink as huge breakaway causes seismic shift in GC

Overall contenders Vinokourov and Evans caught out as break gets home with 13-minute advantage

The general classification was sensationally turned on its head in the Giro d’Italia today as Richie Porte of Team Saxo Bank took the race leader’s maglia rosa from Alexandre Vinokourov after getting into a 56 man escape group that headed off the front of the peloton 20km into the day’s stage.

On a cold, wet day that is sure to rank among the most dramatic in the Giro’s 101-year history, today’s 262km stage, the longest in this year’s 93rd edition, took the race from Lucera to L’Aquila, the city in central Italy struck by an earthquake a little over a year ago, Team Katusha’s Evgeni Petrov claiming victory with an attack inside the final kilometre.

But the big news was the seismic shift in the general classification, with Vinokourov and second-placed Cadel Evans, as well as Liquigas riders Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali, taking a massive, perhaps fatal, blow to their hopes of topping the podium in Verona a week on Sunday, while Cervelo TestTeam’s Carlos Sastre, who crossed the line third, and Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins, fourth, headed back towards the top of the overall standings.

But besides Porte, the two big winners today in general classification terms were David Arroyo of Caisse d’Epargne, 1 minute 42 seconds down on the Australian, and the Croation Robert Kiserlovski of Liquigas Doimo, a further 14 seconds back. Cervelo TestTeam’s Xavier Tondo is fourth, 3 minutes 54 seconds behind Porte.

There are conflicting views about quite how a number of maglia rosa contenders – not to mention the jersey’s wearer himself – got caught out so badly by a breakaway that besides Porte contained a number of riders whose chances of a podium finish seemed to have disappeared.

One is that there was a delay in the race organisers reporting back to the main peloton the details of the escape group, meaning that it was too late for them to react. Another is that poor weather made radio communication difficult, so the composition of the escape group was not known until it was well down the road. A third is that as the rain came down early in the stage, the main peloton sat up to sort out their capes and arm warmers, heedless of the escapees speeding off ahead.

Whatever happened, the fact is that even with 200km left to run, the escape group had built a lead of a quarter of an hour over the peloton and it was clear that not only did it contain some big names, but also that it wasn’t going to get caught. In the end, the main group including Vinokourov and Evans trailed in almost 13 minutes down, leaving a general classification that looks very, very different to how it looked this morning.

Giro d'Italia Stage 11 Lucera-L'Aquila

1  PETROV Evgeni           KAT 06:28:29
2  CATALDO Dario           QST    00:05
3  SASTRE Carlos           CTT    00:05
4  WIGGINS Bradley         SKY    00:07
5  EFIMKIN Alexander       ALM    00:07
6  GERDEMANN Linus         MRM    00:07
7  PINEAU Jerome           QST    00:07
8  ARROYO David            GCE    00:07
9  TONDO Xavier            CTT    00:07
10 BAKELANDTS Jan          OLO    00:07
11 KISERLOVSKI Robert      LIQ    00:18
12 SERPA Jose Rodolfo      AND    00:18
13 PORTE Richie            SAX    00:21
14 MAYOZ Iban              FOT    00:23
15 VOECKLER Thomas         BTL    00:23
16 ARDILA Mauricio Alberto RAB    00:26
17 MONCOUTIE David         COF    00:31
18 DE GREEF Francis        OLO    00:31
19 DUPONT Hubert           ALM    00:41
20 CODOL Massimo           ASA    00:41

Overall standings after Stage 11

1  PORTE Richie            SAX 45:30:16
2  ARROYO David            GCE    01:42
3  KISERLOVSKI Robert      LIQ    01:56
4  TONDO Xavier            CTT    03:54
5  AGNOLI Valerio          LIQ    04:41
6  EFIMKIN Alexander       ALM    05:16
7  GERDEMANN Linus         MRM    05:34
8  SASTRE Carlos           CTT    07:09
9  DIDIER Laurent          SAX    07:24
10 WIGGINS Bradley         SKY    08:14
11 BAKELANDTS Jan          OLO    08:35
12 VINOKOUROV Alexandre    AST    09:58
13 EVANS Cadel             BMC    11:10
14 NIBALI Vincenzo         LIQ    11:28
15 BASSO Ivan              LIQ    11:49
16 PINOTTI Marco           THR    12:15
17 DE GREEF Francis        OLO    12:21
18 KARPETS Vladimir        KAT    12:32
19 GARZELLI Stefano        ASA    12:42
20 CUNEGO Damiano          LAM    13:03



Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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