After a pedestrian day in the peloton, Valerio Conti successfully retained the pink jersey on the 221km stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia from Carpi to Novi Ligure.
There were few obstacles for the UAE team riders and Conti was able to savour the day in pink as the sprinters teams took control. A trio of riders got away but with so much firepower in the bunch, the stage was set for a sprint.
Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) proved fastest to the line, with Simone Consonni bouncing back from his crash yesterday to sprint home for a fine 6th.
Valerio Conti: “Of all my days in the pink jersey, today was the best. I really enjoyed it. Tomorrow is a hard day and everything will be different.”
Tomorrow will see the road peak upwards again with a 158 km heading from Cuneo to Pinerolo.
Stage 11 Results:
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 5h17’26”
2 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ s.t.
3 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe s.t.
6 Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates s.t.
General Classification after stage 11:
1 Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 45h02’05”
2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo Visma +1’50”
3 Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale +2’21”
UAE Team Emirates’ Valerio Conti will remain in the Pink Jersey at the Giro d’Italia, taking it into the first rest day.
Sunday’s stage, a 33.4km Individual Time Trial (ITT) saw Conti finish with a time of 55:26, in what were difficult conditions for all riders. The Italian finished “3:34 behind the stage winner, Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma), who climbed to second place in the General Classification (GC) standings and closes the time gap to Conti, which now sits at “1:50.
There were also positive individual performances from UAE Team Emirates’ Jan Polanc (“1:55) and Diego Ulissi (“2:08) – who finished the stage 12th and 15th respectively, and both climbing in the GC standings.
Commenting on the stage, Conti said: “As planned, I did not take any risks, especially with this unbelievably bad weather. I raced the entire time trial in the pouring rain.
“It was hard to see, I tried to keep focus and to push hard on the climb. My goal was to retain the pink jersey and I achieved it; I made that promise to my team-mates.
“We will spend the rest day in pink, which is great.”
Riders will now take a day to rest, before hopping back on their bikes for Stage 10 on Tuesday morning. The 145km route is almost completely flat and a bunched sprint finish is the most likely outcome.
Stage Nine results
Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) – 51:52
Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) – “11
Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) – “1:00
Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) – “1:55
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) – “2:08
Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) – “3:34
General Classification Standings
Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) – 35:08:32
Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo Visma) – “1:50
Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) – “2:21
UAE Team Emirates’ Valerio Conti remains in the pink jersey after another tough day at the saddle.
Saturday’s stage saw riders tackle a mammoth 239-kilometre route from Tortoreto Lido to Pesaro on the east coast of Italy, and spectators again saw a breakaway go early. They managed to hold off the chasing group until the final 6.5km, where the route started to twist and wind.
It was an anxious finale to the stage, with light rain causing many to question whether it could impact the downhill finish.
The cautious approach to the final hairpins paid off, and a thrilling sprint finish saw Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) cross the line to take the stage win.
Commenting on the stage, Valerio Conti said: “It was a tricky finish today but once again the team did a super job and they kept me out of trouble. Now I will try to relax and rest as much as possible so I can give my best tomorrow in the time trial and honour the pink jersey.”
Stage nine of the Giro d’Italia will see riders tackle their second Individual Time Trial (ITT) across a 34.8 km course, finishing in the province of San Marino.
Stage eight results:
General Classification standings: