Alberto Dainese sprints to victory on stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia

The Team DSM rider becomes the first Italian rider to win a stage at this year's Grand Tour in his home country

Alberto Dainese Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) timed his sprint perfectly to triumph on stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia, becoming Italy's first stage winner of this year's Grand Tour. 

Decided on a photo finish, Dainese launched from way back off the back of Fernando Gaviria's (UAE Team Emirates) wheel to steal the victory with his superior throw. Gaviria looked best-placed to take the win in the final 100m, but the Italian powered past him at the most opportune moment to steal the victory. 

Heading into the final kilometre, Groupama-FDJ were the team most in control with their lead out to propel Arnaud Démare to his third stage triumph at the Giro. Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) were both in contention too, but the three favourites were unable to deal with Gaviria and Dainese's pace once they had both launched.

Juan Pedro López remains in the maglia rosa for stage 12 tomorrow, his Trek-Segafredo team comfortably keeping him at the front of the race to ensure he didn't lose any time in the GC. However, Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) is now within 12 seconds of him in the standings, having picked up three bonus seconds thanks to an intermediate sprint win. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

Stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia presented a 203km ride from Santarcangelo di Romagna to Reggio Emilia, following a punchy race the day before. Biniam Girmay (Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux) won that race, but, unfortunately, the Eritrean withdrew from the rest of the Grand Tour after being struck in the eye with a cork during the podium celebrations. 

Filippo Tagliani (Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli) and Luca Rastelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) formed an early breakaway, but with stage 11 the joint-longest in this year's Giro, and with a profile score of zero, any likelihood of their efforts proving successful seemed minimal at best.

The duo's lead rose to around five minutes throughout the opening 100km of the race, with Tagliani also winning the Toscanella di Dozza intermediate sprint. At the halfway mark, though, the peloton's pace markedly increased, comfortably catching the two breakaway riders with 90km left. 

The exposed roads after Bologna and on the run to the San Giovanni in Persiceto intermediate sprint allowed the crosswinds to cause havoc with the peloton, stringing riders out as they battled against the elements. 

Ineos Grenadiers lifted the pace at the front of the bunch, causing a group to be cut off the back - among them, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal). Having endured a difficult first ten stages at the Giro, the Australian pointed to today's race as one where he can turn his fortunes around. He did manage to re-join the peloton with the other riders split, but for a second there Ewan must've feared the worst. 

Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) won the intermediate sprint to San Giovanni in Persiceto, bringing him ever closer in the general classification to leader Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo). The Ecuadorian moved within 12 seconds of López in the hunt for the maglia rosa, level with João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) virtually. 

Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) launched a solo attack with just under 60km left in the race, the peloton allowing the Belgian rider build up a gap of one minute and 30 seconds at the front of the race. De Bondt's lead didn't stay at that distance though, as he seemingly wasted energy on the flat course with the peloton catching up to him. 

However, De Bondt did manage to hold on for a considerable amount of time, his lead fluctuating around the 20-second mark coming into the final 10km. The narrowing roads caused the bunch to stretch out quite a lot during the final stages, too, the course not working to the benefit of the large bunch. 

Groupama-FDJ and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl were both working strongly at the front of the peloton in order to best place their sprinters in Arnaud Démare and Mark Cavendish, but into the final 5km De Bondt still held a 19-second lead. 

At the 1.3km mark, De Bondt's long-range attack came to an end, with the pack's lead out teams working much more comfortably than the solo rider as the Belgian rider's remarkable effort just didn't quite come to fruition. 

Into the final kilometre, all of the fast men were still in contention, but it seemed like Groupama-FDJ were most in control for the points classification leader to win the third stage of this year's Giro. It wasn't to be for Démare, though, who eventually finished fourth. 

Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) powered past the Frenchman with just under 300m left, and looked certain to win the race. However, Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) picked up an excellent slipstream off of Gaviria and pulled up alongside him heading towards the finish. Dainese executed the superior throw on the line, allowing him to win by half a wheel, which was later confirmed by a photo finish.

Meanwhile, Juan Pedro López remains in the maglia rosa for stage 12 tomorrow, with the GC unchanged, apart from the aforementioned Richard Carapaz moving up the order slightly. 

RESULTS

GIRO D'ITALIA 2022, STAGE 11: SANTARCANGELO DI ROMAGNA TO REGGIO EMILI (203KM) 

1. Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team DSM, in 4-19-04
2. Fernando Gaviria (Col) UAE Team Emirates, at same time
3. Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis
4. Arnaud Démare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
5. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
6. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
7. Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
8. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
9. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Victorious
10. Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 11

1. Juan Pedro López (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, in 46-43-12
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers, at 12s
3. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at same time
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM, at 14s
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 20s
6. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 28s
7. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 28s
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, at 54s
9. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 1-09
10. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 1-22

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Hi, I'm a Trainee News Writer at Cycling Weekly. 


I have worked for Future across its various sports titles since December 2020, writing news for Cycling Weekly, FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture. I am currently studying for a NCTJ qualification alongside my role as Trainee News Writer at the company. 


Prior to joining Future I attended Cardiff University, earning a degree in Journalism & Communications.