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Giro d'Italia Stage 11: AG2R's John Gadret gets last-gasp win in Castelfidardo

Final rider from day's break Daniel Moreno overhauled 200 metres short of line...

John Gadret of AG2R attacked with the line almost in sight to overhaul the last survior of the day's break, Katusha's Daniel Moreno, to win Stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia in Castelfidardo this afternoon, the biggest win of his career. Moreno's team mate, Joaquin Rodriguez, came second, with Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti of Farnese Vini-Neri Sottili third. Alberto Contador crossed the line in fifth spot to retain the race leader's maglia rosa, with the other big names in the general classification all arriving well up the finish order.

Today’s 144km stage featuring rolling terrain as the race passed through Italy’s Marche region, with four Category 4 climbs and an uphill approach to the finish in Castelfidardo.

After the solemnity of a minute’s silence to mark the funeral today, 1,400km away in Ghent, of Leopard Trek rider Wouter Weylandt, once racing began in earnest there were bound to be a number of riders who fancied going on the attack, but it wasn’t until around half distance that a break finally managed to get away.

That group comprised ten riders, and surprisingly given the way the general classification riders have kept a close watch on each other throughout the race to date, it included Garmin Cervelo’s Christophe Le Mevel, who had started the day 1 minute 19 seconds down on Alberto Contador in the overall standings.

He was joined by two riders from Acqua & Sapone – Carlos Betancourt and Fabio Taborre - Simoni Stortoni of Colnago-CSF Inox, Katusha’s Daniel Moreno, Lampre ISD’s Marco Marzano, the Liquigas Cannondale rider Valerio Agnoli, Movistar’s Ignatas Konovalovas, Steven Kruijswijk of Rabobank, RadioShack’s Tiago Machado and Lars Nordhaug from Team Sky.

Le Mevel’s efforts to ride his way into the pink jersey were fated to come to nothing, however. With the peloton ripping along at a cracking pace behind, the escapees were picked off one by one in the closing kilometres.

In the end the Frenchman lost 9 seconds to most of his rivals in the overall standings, coming home in the second group 13 seconds behind them, offset by a 4 second time bonus he picked up during the break.

He now lies fourth on the general classification, 1 minute 28 down on Contador and on the same time as Lampre-ISD's Michele Scarponi. Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas Cannondale moves up to third, while Kanstantsin Sivtsov of HTC Highroad remains second.

Two riders attacked off the front of the break as the race approached its final 10 kilometres, Katusha’s Moreno and the Movistar man Konovalovas. Had the stage been a couple of hundred metres shorter, or had the road not reared up quite so much in the closing kilometre, Moreno, who had managed to ride away from his rival, may well have prevailed.

As it was, with the line almost in sight, Gadret launched himself off the front of the peloton, passing the tiring Spaniard as they approached the final bend, and doing just enough to hold off the rapidly gaining main group as the big GC names jostled for the minor placings.

It’s by far the biggest win of the 32-year-old’s career – previously, his best result was a 3rd place in the Plan de Corones mountain time trial on Stage 16 of last year’s Giro.

We imagine that back in France, some bottles of the local wine will be opened tonight in his honour – he hails from Epernay in the heart of Champagne country.

Giro d’Italia Stage 11 Result

1  GADRET John           AG2R                     3:33:11
2  RODRIGUEZ Joaquin     Katusha                 same time
3  VISCONTI Giovanni     Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli   “
4  SERPA Jose            Androni Giocattoli          “
5  CONTADOR Alberto      Saxo Bank-SunGard           “
6  KREUZIGER Roman       Astana                      “
7  CATALDO Dario         Quickstep                   “
8  SCARPONI Michele      Lampre ISD                  “
9  LASTRAS Pablo         Movistar                    “
10 NIBALI Vincenzo       Liquigas-Cannondale         “
11 MENCHOV Denis         Geox-TMC                    “
12 CARRARA Matteo        Vacansoleil-DCM             “
13 RUJANO Jose           Androni-Giocattoli          “
14 ARROYO David          Movistar                    “
15 ANTON Igor            Euskadi-Euskaltel           “
16 SIVTSOV Kanstantsin   HTC-Highroad                “
17 GARZELLI Stefano      Acqua & Sapone              “
18 DUPONT Hubert         AG2R                        “
19 POZZOVIVO Domenico    Colnago-CSF Inox       at 11 secs
20 FRANK Mathias         BMC Racing                  " 
Giro d’Italia Overall Standings after Stage 11 
1  CONTADOR Alberto      Saxo Bank-Sungard       40:37:51
2  SIVTSOV Kanstantsin   HTC-Columbia             at 0:59
3  NIBALI Vincenzo       Liquigas-Cannondale         1:21
4  LE MEVEL Christophe   Garmin-Cervelo              1:28
5  SCARPONI Michele      Lampre-ISD                  1:28
6  ARROYO David          Movistar                    1:37
7  KREUZIGER Roman       Astana                      1:41
8  SERPA Jose            Androni-Giocattoli          1:47
9  CATALDO Dario         Quickstep                   2:21
10 CARRARA Matteo        Vacansoleil-DCM             2:21


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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