Ignatas Konovalovas was the main performer from Movistar Team in the evelenth stage of the 2011 Giro d’Italia, a breathtaking 142km race where the Lithuanian based in Oliva near Valencia has contested the day’s victory until the hard 400m final slope.
Konovalovas was making part of the break of the day, started along with ten other riders in the 60th kilometer after a hectic beginning that left many riders dropped, within those Sergio Pardilla, whose bad sensations in the opener of the stage made him lose fifteen minutes across the finish line. Movistar Team was the main attacking force in the first part of the race, with several attacks from Pasamontes and a serious move from Kiryienka and Ventoso, who hold onto the head of the course for several kilometers.
In the finale, Moreno (KAT) attacked from the escapees with 25k remaining and went solo before a strong attack from Konovalovas allowed the Lithuanian from the telephone squad reach him and form a solid duo at the fore, shortly before the group of favourites caught them in the final slopes, where Gadret (ALM) won ahead of Lastras and Arroyo, 9th and 14th respectively. Bad fortune stroke Vasil Kiryienka, who suffered a crash with two kilometers remaining and lost just under a minute despite his effort and teammates Samoilau and Pasamontes to bring him back on front in the final 2,000 meters.
Ignatas Konovalovas: “Since the first day I looked to the race guide, I knew this was going to be a stage where a breakaway could succeed. We were into all main cuts right from the start, but my legs were doing really, really bad in that moment. Bit by bit i got over the down and i tried it at the end, because I was seeing other riders were suffering. When Dani Moreno attacked, there was a moment when I saw that I had to jump after him otherwise we would get caught. The team car was telling me how the route was and I attacked in the right moment, because it was a short ramp followed by a gentle descent that suited me well. When I caught him, I tried to put some gap on him because you never know how tired a rival is, but after that we cooperated well and, even though I knew it was difficult, because the group was near, but it’s always better to make it to 2nd rather than 40th, as it happened at the end. Still I’m satisfied, and I think this will give a huge boost in moral. I’ve come into the Giro in my best form of the year and will keep trying. It may be a good day for Ventoso tomorrow and we will keep helping Arroyo as much as possible.“