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Giro d'Italia Stage 11 Preview

For almost the first time in the race, the stage panned out precisely as we expected. An early breakaway group that was reeled in, an attack from Franco Pellizotti on his local slopes, and the smaller climbers pulling away from Wiggins and Gesink on the steepest sections of the climb.

Giro d'Italia Stage 11

After the brutal climbs today, stage 11 would appear to be suited to a breakaway success, although if Team Sky look to set a pace as they did today, then it could come down to a select group on the final climb. The next two stages are designed for the sprinters, so the GC contenders could look to give it one final attack before two gentle days to recover.

The battle for the mountain jersey should recommence with the category 2 climb of Sella Ciampigotto. Both Stefano Pirazzi and Robinson Chalapud were quiet today, but I would expect both of them to be in the break and competing for maximum points on the peak. Vini Fantini will likely look to put a rider in the break as well. The likes of Danilo Di Luca, Matteo Rabbotini and Stefano Garzelli are all far enough down in the GC that they will be allowed to go up the road. It is tough to decide which might be the one that goes - it could simply come down to whoever feels best in the morning.

Cadel Evans
Cadel Evans could look to steal bonus seconds by winning
a sprint between the leading contenders

The biggest shock in today's stage was that the defending champion, Ryder Hesjedal, cracked on the first climb and is now over 23 minutes back with his hopes of retaining his title in tatters. With that out of the question, Garmin may now look to go for stage wins, so it would be no surprise to see one of their riders up the front - Ramunas Navardauskas or even Hesjedal himself would appear to be the main candidates.

However, having seen how Team Sky pushed the pace on the climbs today, they could well look to do the same tomorrow and go for the bonus seconds available. With both Uran and Wiggins in the top 3, they have options and we could see either going for stage victory. Whether they could create any gaps remains to be seen, but the bonus seconds could be crucial in narrowing the gap to Nibali and Evans. In this scenario though, Cadel Evans would certainly be one to watch. Also targeting bonus seconds, he has shown his ability in the sprints against the other favourites and cannot be ruled out.

Two other riders to watch out for are Carlos Betancur and Enrico Battaglin. With back-to-back 2nd place finishes, Betancur has shown that he can attack and he will be desperate for that elusive stage win. While the finish is not the steepest, if he attacks, he has shown that he is tough to catch if he gets a gap. Similarly, Battaglin has shown that he can hang in on the less challenging climbs and he is very quick at the finish if he can make it there with the front group.


1. Evans
2. Wiggins
3. Betancur
4. Nibali
5. Uran

Recommended Bets

Cadel Evans @ 12/1
Enrico Battaglin @ 33/1
Bradley Wiggins @ 50/1

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