Ulissi at the double in Giro d’Italia

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) claimed his second stage victory at this year’s Giro d’Italia after a late attack on the road to Asolo. Ulissi easily beat fellow escapees Andrey Amador (Movistar) and race leader Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step) in the sprint to the line.

Stage eleven of the Giro d’Italia began at breakneck speed from the start in sunny Modena with the average speed for the first hour of racing over 50kph. A group of nine riders attempted to breakaway but never managed to develop a lead of more than a minute before being reeled back in by the attentive peloton.

After 75kilometres of racing a trio of riders finally made a move that was allowed some freedom and Anton Vorobyev (Katusha) along with Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM) and Liam Bertazzo (Willier-Southeast) extended their advantage to a massive ten minutes 100kilometres into the race.

With the first 200kilometres of the stage almost completely flat the situation on the road stayed pretty much the same with the three leaders contesting the sprint points and the peloton trundling along behind them.

Head and cross winds started to pick up around the 150kilometre mark and the trio in front began to lose some time with their lead falling to around six minutes with 85kilometres to go.

Etixx – Quick-Step and FDJ were the two teams putting in the work on the front of the peloton now as the lead of the breakaway continued to fall steadily, dropping to under four minutes with 70kilometres remaining.

Heading into the final 35kilometres of the stage and the three leaders still had three minutes on the peloton with the climb up to Forcella Mostaccin on the horizon. With gradients of up to 16% more teams including Orica-GreenEDGE were gathering at the front of the bunch as the chase intensified ahead of the climb.

A mass pile up in the last third of the peloton occurred with 27kilometres to go. The crash involved Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) among others.

As expected the breakaway began to fall apart on the first ramps of the climb, a select group of favourites including Nibali, Valverde and Chaves had accelerated away from the reduced peloton and were closing in on the dysfunctional trio of leaders.

The group passed what was left of the breakaway with 19kilometres left to race and immediately attacks began to spring from the group of favourites with Carlos Betancur (Movistar) the first to test the waters. The group began to split as a result of these attacks with Chaves, Nibali, Valverde and the pink jersey of Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) among those left at the head of the race.

Fast and technical rolling roads dotted the approach to the finish with Nibali attempting to take advantage of the terrain with a fast attack on the descent from Forcella Mostaccin that was followed closely by Chaves and Valverde. The trio were caught by the Jungels group one or two kilometres later as the road started to climb again. Andrey Amador (Movistar) attacked and was followed instantly by Jungels with the duo developing a ten second gap on the Chaves group with only eight kilometres to go.

Jungels and Amador were working together when Ulissi bridged across with five kilometres to go and the trio speed away towards the finish with the favourites group only ten seconds behind. Ulissi won the stage from a three up sprint to the line, getting the better of Amador and Jungels with Valverde, Nibali, Kruijswijk and Chaves all finishing together a few metres further back.

The twelfth stage takes place tomorrow and covers 182kilometres on completely flat roads from Noale to Bibione which are both small municipalities of the famous port city of Venice in the north eastern corner of Italy. Winds may play a part in the race but it will more than likely be a day for the sprinters.

Giro d’Italia 2016 – stage 11 results (Modena – Asolo):

1 Diego Ulissi (Lampre – Merida)


2 Andrey Amador (Movistar)


3 Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)


4 Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)


5 Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani CSF)


6 Matteo Trentin (Etixx – Quick-Step)


7 Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida)


8 Enrico Battaglin (LottoNl-Jumbo)


9 Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal)


10 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)



General classification after stage 11:

1 Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step)


2 Andrey Amador (Movistar)


3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


4 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo)


5 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)


6 Rafal Majka (Tinkoff)


7 Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha)


8 Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge)


9 Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step)


10 Diego Ulissi (Lampre – Merida)