Another day which is bound to prove a tug of war amongst the bunch and the breakaway, Stage 11’s 156km from Assisi to Osimo is likely to be explosive and fractious once again. Rising steadily from the start, it will take time for the day’s breakaway to form, though it would not be surprising to see this early move scuppered and reformulated mid-stage like yesterday, yet the main focus shall undoubtedly remain upon the finish itself. The final 5km starts with a rise of 16%, then sends the riders plunging immediately back down, before playing out the last 2.5km entirely uphill; featuring another ramp of 16%. It will take a gritty performance to take the stage honours in Osimo, with plenty of grimacing faces as the riders cross the line.
Diego Ulissi shall look upon the finale of Stage 11 gleefully, confident that he has been successful upon this type of terrain on numerous occasions before. His form may not be comparable to his historic best, but class is permanent and he is more than worthy of being picked out as a key player in the final moments of today.
Gianluca Brambilla was surprisingly anonymous yesterday, though still finished in ninth place, seemingly happy to allow his teammate Jarlinson Pantano a shot at breakaway success instead. The course suits the Italian well, providing him with opportunities to join an initial large break, before then seeking to whittle the group down in the final kilometres. Relatively quick against a strong gradient such as today’s, he could finally put to bed the illness and misfortune which has seen him fall from people’s radars in the last year.
Enrico Battaglin made a clear effort to sweep up the final points in the sprint competition on Stage 10 and knows he has the form required to win Stage 11 to step up the seriousness of his campaign upon the maglia ciclamino. Having already won at this year’s Giro d’Italia, he has far less pressure to perform and will enjoy the ability to monitor his rivals ahead of reaching out for his own glory.
Michael Woods looks to be the most likely contender amongst the general classification riders, as the final sharp run to the line is reminiscent of the Ardennes terrain which we have seen the Canadian do so well on previously. With his ambitions of a strong overall performance looking precarious, a victory today would be a great confidence booster and there is no denying he has the talent to do so if interested.
1st Diego Ulissi 2nd Gianluca Brambilla 3rd Enrico Battaglin