Alberto Dainese claimed the first home victory of this year’s Giro d’Italia by winning stage 11 in Reggio Emilia.
The 24-year-old upset the fanciest of sprinters as he overtook Fernando Gaviria, Simone Consonni and Arnaud Démare to win on the line and claim his first win in two years – and his first in a Grand Tour. Both Mark Cavendish and Caleb Ewan were too far back – Cavendish may have paid for the loss of key man Michael Morkov to illness – but Dainese had been alongside the Briton when he kicked off his attack, finding space on the left to come well back in the peloton.
Dainese expected to ride in support of DSM teammate Cees Bol, but took advantage of a late change of plan. “In the morning, the plan was to go get Cees in the sprint but in the last kilometers we switched because he wasn’t feeling very well,” he said. “I tried to stay relaxed and follow the guys. Have Roman [Bardet], third overall, giving me a lead until the last corner showed how we work as a team. I was a bit stuck but found a gap to the left and in the last 20m I passed [Gaviria] and it was great.
With the threat of crosswinds failing to materialise, the sprint finish at the end of the 203km stage from Santarcangelo di Romagna allowed Juan Pedro López to retain the leader’s pink jersey for another day. However, there was a noticeable change to the overall lead with Richard Carapaz using the bonus sprint to pick up three seconds which moved him up to second, 12 seconds behind. pink maglia. This moves João Almeida and Bardet to third and fourth place, with Jai Hindley, Guillaume Martin and Mikel Landa the other riders still within 30 seconds of López as the race passes halfway.
The day started with confirmation that Biniam Girmay had been forced to retire from the race after injuring his eye as he celebrated his historic stage win on Tuesday. Girmay became the first black African to win a stage of a Grand Tour when he beat Mathieu van der Poel in a reduced sprint at Jesi, but his celebrations were cut short when he was struck in the eye by the cork of a bottle of prosecco on the podium, with his first Grand Tour now over.
“Yesterday when I arrived [at the hotel] after the hospital, the bad moment, I enjoyed it a bit with my teammates, the staff, everyone,” Girmay said in a video posted by the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team. “I’m happy now, I was a bit sad about what happened with the champagne but when I came back they were super happy.
“But today unfortunately I didn’t start because despite everything, my eye, I need a rest to give more power to the eye. I look forward to the rest of the season. Thank you to everyone who supported and pushed me. I’m fine now. See you soon.”