As a reserve sprinter, Dainese ends his win-free series

The Italian wins the 11th Giro stage

By Felix Schoenbach


Alberto Dainese (DSM) celebrates stage victory at Giro d’Italia for the first time | Photo: Cor Vos

18/05/2022 | (rsn) – In the final meters of the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia, Alberto Dainese (DSM) passed Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Simone Consonni (Cofidis) and celebrated his first stage victory in the Grand Tour. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain – Victorious) finished in ninth place in the mass sprint. The overall standings are still led by Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek – Segafredo).

At home in Reggio Calabria, Dainese benefited from the right rear wheel and the top speed. “I was in Gaviria’s slipstream for a long time and was able to sprint past him in the last 20 meters,” said the 24-year-old, describing the final. The sprint talent won a stage of the Herald Sun Tour in 2020, but has since then waited in vain for a breakthrough at the highest level.

Behind the finish line, captain Romain Bardet, who was moved with joy, hugged today’s winner hard. For his team, it was the long-awaited first stage victory in this Giro. “It’s very emotional for Dainese. He’s been through a lot. At the Vuelta last year, he narrowly missed the victory three times (1 x second, 2 x third, red “This victory was important to us today,” said Dainese’s teammate Nico Denz, explaining the emotional response of the entire team.

The Italian was not originally intended for the final sprint. “We really wanted to drive for Cees, but we changed that in the last few kilometers because he was not feeling well. I remained calm and relaxed and the team gave me a good sprint. It shows that we work well as a team. ” said Dainese afterwards.

Carapaz catches up with three seconds

Driven by a strong headwind and crosswind, the riders completed the 203-kilometer stage with an average speed of 47 kilometers per hour. When the dreaded windbreaks did not occur, the only change in overall position was the three bonus seconds that Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) secured in the second intermediate sprint. That brought him within twelve seconds of overall leader Lopez, and he is now the new runner-up in the tour.

“I can not ask like Richard. But today the only thing that counts is that we defended the pink jersey. I want to thank all my teammates, but especially Otto (Note: Vergaerde). He took care of me all day. Sometimes I’m a little nervous, but he always reassures me, “Lopez commented.

Due to the injury-related retirement of Biniam Girmay (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert) before the start of the stage, Arnaud Démare (Groupama – FDJ) was able to further expand his lead in the points classification despite finishing fourth. Maglia Ciclamino seems to be hard to take from him. The mountain classification is still led by Diego Rosa (Eolo – Kometa). Lopez is also ahead in the junior class. The best team is Bora – hansgrohe.

This is how the race went:

Immediately after the start, Luca Rastelli (Bardiani – CSF – Faizanè) and Filippo Tagliani (Drone Hopper – Androni Giocattoli) withdrew from the field. The duo was able to achieve a lead of a maximum of five minutes. Tagliani won the first intermediate sprint. From the field, Démare, Cavendish and Nizzolo secured the remaining points.

Due to a change of direction after passing Bologna, the teams in the field started to position themselves early. Due to the increased speed, Rastelli and Tagliani were already trapped 92 kilometers from goal. But when the dreaded wind edge did not go away, the pace quickly dropped again.

De Bondt dares a solo attack

In the second intermediate sprint with 74 kilometers to go, Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) paved the way for his captain Carapaz to secure the three bonus seconds. With almost 55 kilometers to go, Dries De Bondt (Alpecin – Fenix) made a solo attack. The former Belgian champion was able to extend his lead to a maximum of 1:30 minutes.

The sprint teams, however, remained attentive and overtook De Bondt just before the last kilometer. Groupama – FDJ had everything under control up to 500 meters from goal. But Démare started his sprint early and was passed by Gaviria with only 150 meters left. He already felt like the sure winner.

Dainese, who was still in fifth place up to the 200-meter mark, started a furious race to catch up and with his higher top speed put Gaviria just before the finish line. Consonni also enjoyed Gaviria’s slipstream and sprinted up to the podium in front of Démare. Behind them were Ewan and Cavendish, who had no chance today.

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