Saxo's Porte Grabs Giro Lead
Zipp and SRAM equipped Richie Porte of Team Saxo Bank has throughout his first grand tour been vigilant and ready for the demanding race. Today, his strength and ability to be at the right place at the right time gave him the chance of taking the overall lead of the race from Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana).
It has been quite an unusual and even experimenting Giro d'Italia in terms of the nature of the stages. The Giro took its beginning on narrow roads in Holland and mixing an eager pack of riders into these circumstances was obviously a dangerous cocktail Afterwards, the whole caravan went to Italy and eventually did a stage very similar to a Belgian Classic on sand sections in pouring rain which completely tore up the overall rankings.
Today's 11th stage was a bumpy stretch of 260 kilometers from Lucera to L'Aquila. Extreme situations call for extreme methods and it was rather extraordinary that no less than 56 riders, including Team Saxo Bank's Richie Porte, Laurent Didier and Chris Anker Sørensen broke clear after only 20 kilometers and left Alexander Vinkourov (Astana) and Cadel Evans (BMC) in the remains of the peloton.
With 120 kilometers left of the stage, the front group had created a gap of around 17 minutes which gave Team Saxo Bank's Richie Porte the virtual lead of the race as he was the best placed rider in the front which included Bradley Wiggins (Sky), David Millar (Garmin), Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) and Alexander Efimkim (Ag2r).
As the stage progressed, both groups kept getting smaller due to massive rain, relentless climbs and a pace which took the front group 56 kilometers during the first hour of the race.
In the front group, Team Saxo Bank's stage winner Chris Anker Sørensen and Laurent Didier worked tirelessly to keep the distance to the chasing bunch where all the favorites now did their part of the work in front of the pack in order to minimize the time difference.
On the uphill finish, Ygeni Petrov (Katusha) was clearly the strongest but Team Saxo Bank's Richie Porte is the new leader of the race.
Cervelo Test Team's Carlos Sastre moved into 8th overall while teamate Xavier Tondo moved to 4th riding Zipp and SRAM.
Copy: Team Saxo Bank