Giro d’Italia, Stage 11: Time Trial Looms Large
Cadel Evans finished in a chase group that did not catch solo stage winner Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) Wednesday as the BMC Racing Team’s leader held onto the maglia rosa on the eve of the first individual time trial at the Giro d’Italia.
Evans said the longest stage of the three-week race – 249 kilometers – was similar to last week’s 247-km stage that saw many riders go down in a late crash. But this time it was heat and climbing, not rain, which presented a challenge. “The conditions in both of the long stages were particularly difficult and today was no different,” Evans said. “The split at the start, the split in the middle and the last climb were all added together to make a really difficult stage.” The BMC Racing Team successfully chased a 14-man breakaway for much of the day but received a scare when Steve Morabito was involved in a crash with 75 km to go. “I could have avoided it, but the guy behind me hit me going full gas and sent me flying into the air,” Morabito said. “I hit the same wrist I broke in this race last year. But I am sure nothing is broken. It is painful, but we have a good staff here who can help make sure I am OK.”
Time Trial Thursday
Evans placed 13th on the day and part of a group of 39 riders who finished 10 seconds after Rogers, who attacked after the final climb was summited. Heading into Thursday’s 41.9-km time trial, Evans holds a 57-second lead over Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and a gap of between 1:10 and 1:49 on seven others. “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.” Morabito, who is fifth overall, said he is not sure if he will race to hold onto his own spot in the top 10. “It is kind of weird, as I have not been in this position in a race after two weeks,” he said. “Today, when I came back from my crash, I wanted to be there for Cadel. That is my No. 1 job: to protect the pink jersey.”
Listen to complete comments from Evans (English and Italian) on the BMC Racing Team’s special Giro d’Italia Audio Line: