Savona - Australia's Michael Rogers won the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia on
Wednesday as his compatriot Cadel Evans retained the leader's pink
Rogers, riding for the Tinkoff team, came home 10 seconds
ahead of the pack at the end of the 249km ride from Collecchio to Savona
after breaking clear on the final descent, 20km from the finish.
Simon Geschke of Germany claimed second place in front of Italy's Enrico Battaglin and Wilco Kelderman of the Netherlands.
the 34-year-old Rogers, it was a first stage win in a Grand Tour and
his first success since his return to the sport following a positive
test for clenbuterol last year.
Rogers had always claimed that his
positive test was due to eating contaminated food and he was later
cleared to return to racing by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in
time to compete in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic in April.
"It was one of the hardest rides of my life, for sure," he said.
the top of the climb, I realised that most guys in the group were GC
contenders and this was the time to jump. So I went. From then on, it
was all about keeping my head down, pedalling away and I guess I was a
little lucky that the GC guys were probably looking at each other,
hesitating a bit."
The victory for Rogers, who dedicated it to his Italian wife, continues Australia's fine record in this year's Giro.
Orica-GreenEdge team won the opening stage team time trial and Michael
Matthews triumphed on the sixth stage, while Matthews held the pink
jersey from the second stage until it was seized by Evans after stage
Evans, of the BMC team, will now hope to extend his lead of
57 seconds down to Colombia's Rigoberto Uran of the Omega Pharma team
in Thursday's 12th stage, a 41.9km individual time trial from Barbaresco
"The time trial is always the race of truth," Evans
said. "We have had a difficult first week and this week - though we have
had a recovery day and a short stage.
"Now we have also had a
very long and intense stage. I think that will probably have a little
bit of an effect on the performances.
"For me, it is one of the key stages and on paper, it looks like it suits me. I go into it feeling pretty well, feeling ok."
were several falls on Wednesday's stage, and Germany's Fabian Wegmann
was forced to abandon the race along with Luke Durbridge of Australia.
Switzerland's Steve Morabito, a team-mate of Evans, was also hurt but was able to finish the stage and is fifth overall.
However, former leader Matthews pulled out of the race at the start of the day due to injury.
Results from the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 249km ride from Collecchio to Savona on Wednesday:
1. Michael Rogers (AUS/TIN) 5hr 48min 07sec, 2. Simon Geschke (GER/GIA) at 10sec, 3. Enrico Battaglin (ITA/BAR) s.t., 4. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) s.t., 5. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) s.t., 6. Moreno Moser (ITA/CAN) s.t., 7. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) s.t., 8. Matteo Rabottini (ITA/NRI) s.t., 9. Fabio Duarte (COL/COL) s.t., 10. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) s.t., 11. Julian Arredondo (COL/TRE) s.t., 12. Damiano Cunego (ITA/LAM) s.t., 13. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) s..t, 14. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LTB) s.t., 15. Jos Herrada (ESP/MOV) s.t., 16. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA/AST) s.t., 17. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) s.t., 18. Sander Armee (BEL/LTB) s.t., 19. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/AND) s.t., 20. Alberto Losada (ESP/KAT) s.t.
38. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) at 10sec, 138. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/FDJ) 18min 14sec, 155. Svein Tuft (CAN/ORI) s.t.
Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI)
1. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 48hr 39min 04sec, 2. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) at 57sec, 3. Rafal Majka (POL/TIN) 1min 10sec, 4. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA/ALM) 1:20, 5. Steve Morabito (SUI/BMC) 1:31, 6. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 1:39, 7. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 1:44, 8. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 1:45, 9. Robert Kiserlovski (CRO/TRE) 1:49, 10. Ivan Basso (ITA/CAN) 2:01, 11. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC) 2:56, 12. Wout Poels (NED/OPQ) 3:03, 13. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LTB) 3:41, 14. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) 4:25, 15. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 4:30, 16. Matteo Rabottini (ITA/NRI) 4:36, 17. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) 5:01, 18. Hubert Dupont (FRA/ALM) 5:36, 19. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR/SKY) 5:42, 20. Franco Pellizotti (ITA/AND) 5:46
29. Michael Rogers (AUS/TIN) 12min 45sec