Giro d'Italia (st. 11)
Pedrero, Samitier -the latter one place up- stay 15th and 16th overall as Démare (GFC) grabs fourth stage win.
/ Today’s route
After a great race on Tuesday in the hills of the Abruzzo, the Giro was facing on Wednesday the first of two bunch sprint opportunities in this second week, after 182km from Porto Sant’Elpidio to Rimini, with only one Cat-4 climb 4ª categoría and easy roads for the sprinters near the finish.
/ Weather report
Splendid conditions, which we could even define as rare in mid October, more so when we consider we’re getting further and further north in Italy, from Marche to Emilia-Romagna. A maximum temperature of 19ºC, a breeze on the riders’ tail and slim chances of rain.
/ Keys to the race
- The stage was expected to follow a classic scheme, break / chase / sprint, and all chapters were read out loud with precision. Just 5km after the start, a five-man group went away with Mazzucco, Romano (BCF), Bais (ANS), Armée (LTS) and Frapporti (THR). Their advantage was kept under five minutes by a peloton where four teams put a rider each to have them under control: Deceuninck, UAE, Groupama and Cofidis.
- However, it wasn’t a done deal as the break resisted fiercely opposed to be caught. Just over thirty kilometers from the end, Armée and Bais upped the pace, with the Belgian going solo shortly after with almost 2′ over the peloton. UAE and Groupama, the teams most committed to bringing him back near the finish, had to spend lots of energy to catch Armée –the junction happened with only 6k left– and set up the sprint, where Démare (GFC) claimed his fourth win ahead of Sagan (BOH) y Hodeg (DQT).
- The Movistar Team, which had two riders in yesterday’s winning break with Villella and Cataldo, saw Dario facing the wind and covering his team-mates in the approach to Rimini. Albert Torres, always available to give a helping hand, completed the work to cover Antonio Pedrero before a technical, dangerous finish the Catalan climber reached in one piece.
/ Upcoming goals
A beautiful mid-mountain route will be faced by the peloton on Thuesday‘s stage twelve of the ‘Corsa Rosa’, a 204km parcours in and around Cesenatico -hometown of the late Marco Pantani- over a profile with no respite whatsoever. Five categorized climbs -the latter of which, San Giovanni in Galilea (Cat-3), will be crested with 31km to go-, with even more numerous short, difficult 3-4km climbs non categorized. It should be another good chance for a breakaway.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto