A classic Appenine stage featuring a series of climbs and descents to move from one valley to the next. From Florence (Ponte a Ema) the route climbs up the Passo della Consuma, then enters the Park of Foreste Casentinesi with the della Calla pass followed by the testing Sella di Raggio. After a pass over the finish line, the stage parcours takes the climb up to Monte Fumaiolo, and a descent leads straight to the finish.
Stage 11: Fraile takes maiden Giro victory
Omar Fraile took the biggest win in his seven-year pro career Wednesday, out-sprinting three others to claim Giro d’Italia stage 11 in Bagno di Romagna, Italy. Former world champion Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) was second behind the 26-year-old Dimension Data rider. Cannondale-Drapac’s Pierre Rolland was third.
“This is incredible. I couldn’t have hoped for anything better,” said Fraile. The Giro has been my passion since I was a kid.”
The overall standings remained unchanged with Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) keeping his substantial lead over Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Top 10, stage 11
- 1. Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ, TEAM DIMENSION DATA, in 4:23:14
- 2. Rui Alberto FARIA DA COSTA, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
- 3. Pierre ROLLAND, CANNONDALE DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM, at :00
- 4. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
- 5. Giovanni VISCONTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :00
- 6. Ben HERMANS, BMC RACING TEAM, at :00
- 7. Dario CATALDO, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :00
- 8. Simone PETILLI, UAE ABU DHABI, at :00
- 9. Maxime MONFORT, LOTTO SOUDAL, at :03
- 10. Laurens DE PLUS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :03
- 1. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM SUNWEB, in 47:22:07
- 2. Nairo QUINTANA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 2:23
- 3. Bauke MOLLEMA, TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 2:38
- 4. Thibaut PINOT, FDJ, at 2:40
- 5. Vincenzo NIBALI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 2:47
- 6. Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA, MOVISTAR TEAM, at 3:05
- 7. Bob JUNGELS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 3:56
- 8. Tanel KANGERT, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 3:59
- 9. Domenico POZZOVIVO, AG2R LA MONDIALE, at 4:05
- 10. Ilnur ZAKARIN, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 4:17
Fraile went on the attack early in the hilly 161km route. He collected king of the mountains points on three of the day’s four categorized climbs. After Wednesday, he was tied with Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) in the KOM classification. Fraile won the mountains classification in the 2016 Vuelta a España.
The eventual winner joined Sky’s Mikel Landa in a two-man breakaway. They were reeled in by a counter-attacking group containing Portugal’s Costa. Landa was dropped as the riders went over the final categorized climb. The stage climbed a whopping 4,000 meters of elevation.
Coming into the finale, it was Fraile, Rolland, and Costa. Rolland attacked with about two kilometers to go, but Fraile pulled back the Frenchman.
Soon, Astana’s Tanel Kangert bridged up to the trio from a chase group that was breathing down their necks.
Kangert led-out the sprint with one kilometer to go, uphill to the finish. The chase had the four leaders in sight, with Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) driving the pace.
Sensing the danger, Fraile started the sprint a bit early, driving up the right side. Costa jumped on the Spaniard’s wheel, but he couldn’t come around in the sprint.
“I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” said Fraile. “I marked Rui Costa at the end because I knew he was the strongest of our bunch. It’s a victory I’ve been dreaming of for many years.”
Of the riders in the lead group, only Movistar’s Andrey Amador posed a threat to the overall standings. He moved up to sixth overall after stage 11.
“We were not scared of Amador or the Astana riders. We were just doing our own pace,” said Dumoulin. “I new other teams would stress when they [the break] got more and more time. They also don’t want Amador to be close on GC. I knew if we just did a good pace we would be fine.
Italy’s two-time and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) saw teammate Franco Pellizotti crash but get back on his bike. Nibali remains fifth overall at 2:47 as the contenders for the maglia rosa look forward to two days of comparative rest on stages 12 and 13, which are more suited to sprinters.
Sky’s Geraint Thomas more or less ended his bid for the overall after finishing 2 minutes, 25 seconds in arrears Wednesday.
Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) attacked over the final climb in a bid to move up the GC standings. He was third overall going into stage 11. However, he did not manage to escape.
“I was not stressed. I didn’t want to follow. I knew we would catch him back in the downhill,” Dumoulin added when asked about Pinot’s attack.
The Dutch leader shouldn’t be too stressed in Thursday’s stage 12 either. The long, 237km stage has a long, flat run to the finish in Reggio Emilia.