By Graham Jones
and Barry Boyce

CyclingRevealed Historians



Giro d'Italia Champions
Living and Dead



CyclingRevealed's Giro '08 Perspective

Tappa 11, May 21st, Urbania to Cesena, 199 km Rolling Stage (?)

This is NOT a Mountain Stage ?

“Mista” (mixed, rolling, undulating) is the official description of stage 11. The 193 km course rolls through the Madone Hills and includes the category 1 Monte Carpegna , two category 2 climbs, the San Marino and the Perticara , then the category 3 Sorrivoli (only 20 km from the finish). The sprinters were grumbling “This is not a mountain stage?” Given that it will be hard to find a flat section you can be assured there will be suffering today!

Monte Carpegna: Narrow roads and 15% climbing [ Image courtesy of fourlakes_99 ]

Monte Carpegna: additional obstacles.. cows [ Image courtesy of fourlakes_99 ]

From the start in Urbania a group of five riders formed the breakaway of the day. The quintet Laurent Mangel (AG2R), Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne), Tiziano Dall'Antonia (CSF Group Navigare), Jussi Veikkanen (Francaise des Jeux), and Alessandro Bertolini (Diquigiovanni) built a 9'10” lead at the base of the category 1 Monte Carpegna.

A heavy rain and cold temperatures were making the nasty and narrow climb of the Monte Carpegna even tougher. Danilo Di Luca's LPR team set a strong pace up the climb as tired leg began to struggle. An elite selection was made at the front of the chasing peloton.

The breakaway descending the Monte Carpegna in heavy rain [ Images © La Gazetta ]

The elite chase group cut the breakaway's lead to 5'06” over the summit of the climb. Gingerly the riders descended the extremely wet roads of the Monte Carpegna . A crash in the breakaway by Bertolini and Dall'Antonia slowed the pace of the leaders, but the time gap increased to 5'40” on the approach to the next climb the Perticara .

LPR's Gabriele Bosisio, third place overall, escaped the elite chase group with Fortunato Baliani and began a brilliant pursuit of the lead quintet. LPR shutdown the chase, which allowed a basic re-grouping of the major contenders and the Maglia Rosa group.

On a foggy descent Bosisio's crashed very heavily. Baliani continued alone and made the junction with the breakaway. Bosisio recovered and chased hard, but began to lose time on the leaders.

The peloton led by Liquigas and Quick Step started a hard chase under the 35 km to go banner. Testa della Corsa (the head of the race): the breakaway hit the bottom of the category 3 Sorrivoli. While Bosisio was absorbed by the peloton.

The gap fell to 3'14” over the summit of the Sorrivoli, but the Maglia Rosa crashed. Savoldelli and Di Luca attack as hot Italian tempers get short. Chasing groups were everywhere. The chase slowed to wait for the race leader, as Paolo Bettini paced Visconte back to the bunch.

The breakaway crossed the finish line for the first time and enter the finishing lap of 11.9 km with a 4'13” lead.

Under the 1 km to go banner Baliani, Bertolini, and Lastras set up for the sprint. A cobbled corner at the 800 meter mark caused a problem. Bertolini attacked and Baliani crashed. Lastras was slowed but made it past the crash.

Fortunato Baliani loses control in the final corner [ Images © La Gazetta ]

Alessandro Bertolini rode across the line for a huge Italian stage win and the biggest victory of his career. Lastras came second with the unfortunate Baliani third.

Stage winner Alessandro Bertolini [ Images © La Gazetta ]

Liquigas brought the peloton into town getting Bennati the field sprint and a seventh place finish. An injured Giovanni Visconte rolled across in the peloton to save his race lead.



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