16/05/12 - 4:45 PM
Assisi - Montecatini Terme
Giro d'Italia • Stage11

Assisi - Montecatini Terme
Giro d'Italia - 16 May 2012

Giro d'Italia – Follow this cycling race live with Eurosport. The action starts at 16:45 on 16 May 2012. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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Thanks for following today's live coverage. The Giro continues on Thursday with the undulating 155km stage 12 from Servezza to Sestri, which includes four categorised climbs.


1. Ferrari (Androni), 2. Chicchi (QuickStep), 3. Vaitkus (GreenEdge), 4. Cavendish (Sky), 5. Beletti (Ag2R).


That's Ferrari's first ever Grand Tour stage win - and who would have thought?


Roberto Ferrari takes the win! The controversial Italian had it uncontested after those crashes disrupted the finale... A second win for Androni!


Three down on the final corner!


Movistar's Visconti right on the front for Ventoso now. Tight bends coming up...


Ballan is reeled in. Meanwhile, reports that Schleck has been distanced off the back.


Sky have five riders leading out world champion Mark Cavendish, who has old team-mate Mark Renshaw on his wheel. Alessandro Ballan of BMC has a pop from distance!


Now GreenEdge come closer to the front. No sign of Goss's red jersey though.


Sky driving a ferocious pace. NetApp and Saxo are involved too, with the bright yellow Farnese Vini boys a bit further back. No sign of GreenEdge at this stage.


It's Uran on the front, so that slight tumble couldn't have done much damage.


That move by Kreuziger and Scarponi propelled the peloton into action and it's come back together. Cavendish is there with his Sky men. He's the favourite now, for sure.


Damiano Caruso is one of the leading quartet of riders in the Visconti group. They are being joined by a couple more: Astana's Roman Kreuziger and Lampre's Michele Scarponi. Interesting.


Earlier in the climb there was a small incident involving Rigoberto Uran on a tight bend. The Colombian went down, but nothing serious and got back on his bike.


The Visconti quartet cross the summit of the fourth cat climb with a handful of seconds over the peloton, but it's sure to come back together on the descent.


Now Visconti attacks from the peloton! The Movistar man takes a few riders with him and they quickly catch and pass Selvaggi. But it's coming back together again.


Attack by Denis Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) and Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM). The pair break clear on the start of the climb to Vico. The Belgian can not keep up with the Italian though, and is quickly swallowed up by Liquigas.


Boaro is swept up by the bunch. He's spent almost 230km out in front today.


The three consecutive 90 degree bends are going to be pretty brutal in the final bunch sprint. The bell sounds and Boaro heads onto the final lap of Montecatini.


Still it's Jeremy Hunt on the front of the peloton as the peloton zips down what will be the finishing straight at the end of a 14km loop. Boaro has just 10 seconds now.


Boaro still holds a 23 second lead over the bunch, but there's that climb coming up and it will be a surprise if he's still out ahead by the time the road heads upwards.


Spaniard Saez has been caught by the peloton and so it's just Boaro out in front now. He has 43 seconds over the pink jersey peloton.


Boaro using his time trialling skills to pull out a lead of 55 sconds over Saez, who is now just 10 seconds clear of the bunch. The Saxo Bank rider is an Italian time trial champion at junior, U23 and senior levels. This is quite unexpected after such a long day in the saddle. Boaro had already been out in front for 210km before this solo effort...


Boaro is still out ahead on his own, with Saez between him and the peloton. The gap between the two riders is 20 seconds, with the peloton another 30-odd back.


ATTACK: Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank) breaks clear of his fellow escapees, and is followed by Adrian Saez (Euskaltel). It's pretty futile - the bunch is only a handful of seconds behind. The other three are caught.


The back of the peloton is splitting up a bit as the pace continues to rise. 12 seconds the latest gap for the leaders, who look resigned that their long solo escape has pretty much come to an end.


Bernie Eisel brings Sky team-mate Mark Cavendish up near the front on the left hand side of the road. The peloton passes the 35km-to-go banner 20 seconds behind the leading quintet.


They just don't want to reel in this group, do they? The gap is 23 seconds and the five have not yet given up, although it's certainly a matter of time.


Jeremy Hunt still pulls along the peloton, which now trails the leaders by just 30 seconds. The Team Sky veteran has been riding on the front for pretty much the whole day today.


There's still a lot of action to be had today: the final category three Vico climb is 3km long has an average gradient of 5.2% with ramps at 8%. It comes about 12km from the finish. As for the finale, there are three corners inside the final 400m, including one very tight bend. We could well see another crash if the riders are not careful...


Tom Boonen announced yesterday that he will not ride the Tour de France this year. Instead, the Belgian powerhouse will ride the Tour of Poland as he ramps up his preparations for the Olympics after what has been a splendid spring classics season for the QuickStep rider. Back to the Giro, and the gap is still just under one minute.


Now Liquigas come towards the front of the bunch, still led by Sky's Hunt. Ivan Basso is currently sixth in the standings, 57 seconds down on Purito Rodriguez.


The gap is back up to one minute so perhaps there was a glitch in the official Giro timings then. Either that, or the pace in the peloton has suddenly slowed as they unpack their sandwiches and energy gels...


The lead has tumbled down to just 27 seconds. The carrots are pretty much cooked for the five escapees.


The leaders pass through the second feeding zone at Ginestra Fiorentina. Today's stage is so long they need two musette moments... Wonder if red wine is on the menu? After all, the riders are very close to Chianti...


It's still old boy Jeremy Hunt, 38 years young, doing the dog's work on the front of the bunch. What a trooper. The peloton has stretched right out now as the gap falls to 1:10.


Cavendish, Renshaw, Goss... who is your tip for the victory? Have your say below...


Vineyards and olive groves line the roads as the peloton cuts the deficit to 1:55. Rabobank and Sky on the front, working for their men Renshaw and Cavendish.


It's a bit of a stalemate at the moment, with the peloton happy to keep the escape group just over the two minute mark. The length of today's stage is quite odd - presumably it's because they used up a rest day after Denmark and so can't afford any long transfers.


The five leaders are on to yet another small uphill section. It's Kaisen, the big man from Lotto, on the front, with the peloton rolling along 2:48 further back. There's no worry - it will all come back together for a bunch sprint or, perhaps, a counter attack on the final climb of the day, 12km from the finish.


Cavendish at the start: "I'm happy with two wins but disappointed with two crashes. Now every day is getting better and better. The Giro is famous for its technical finishes and there is always going to be crashes. It's up to the riders to read the race manual and to know there's a sharp corner. But that's bike racing. I hope to get to Milan and win the red jersey. But when we reach the Dolomites, Scarponi will get 20 points every day, so it will be hard."


The peloton is taking things fairly easily as it plods up this small rise in one big cluster. From above you can see the whole Farnese Vini team forming a triangle right in the middle. Those bright yellow shirts are ridiculously bright.


The road is heading up again for the peloton - and it's nice to see the rainbow stripes of Mark Cavendish tugging on the front.


It's a long, sweeping descent from this climb. In typical, Italian style, there's some roadworks going on and so the road narrows on one bend. The gap is 1:50.


Team Sky lead the descent on the front of the peloton. They'll be hoping to propel their man Mark Cavendish, the world champion, to the stage win today.


Confirmation of the Poggio alla Croce climb: 1. Kaisen (Lotto), 2. Delage (FDJ), 3. Denifl (Vacansoleil-DCM), 4. Saez (Euskaltel).


Liquigas, RadioShack and Sky all marshal the front of the bunch, with a lone man from Farnese Vini providing extra colour. They pass over the summit 2:01 in arrears.


Loads of fans out today on this climb - and the sky is without a cloud as the sun beats down. Here comes the finish - and it's uncontested, as Kaisen takes the points as he did in the first intermediate sprint.


Team Sky come to the front for this climb, alongside a lone rider from Rabobank and a few RadioShack men. The five leaders have 2:23 and are combining well. It's Vacansoleil-DCM's Denifl doing the pace setting now. His team have been pretty explosive on the race so far this year.


The five leaders are onto the Poggio alla Croce climb. They have 3:25 on the peloton.


The Katusha team of pink jersey Joaquim Rodriguez are controlling things on the front of the peloton, which trails the five leaders by 2:55 ahead of the first of two climbs of the day, the third-category Poggio alla Croce.


In other cycling news today, French rider Sebastien Turgot, who finished second in the Paris-Roubaix classic last month, is likely to face a ban after three "no shows" for doping controls over an 18-month period, his Europcar manager said.


The lead of the five escapees is down to 2:45.


The average speed for the third hour of racing today was 36.4 km/h so the pace is not very high. We're not yet half way through today's longest stage in the race... The gap is back up to 4:06 for the leading quintet.


Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol) won the intermediate sprint at Indicatore.


Stage 11 is dedicated to former Tuscan campione Gino Bartali, who was born not far from Montecatini Terme. The Giro has visited Montecatini 12 times in the past. The last was in 2003 when Italy’s Mario Cipollini won while wearing the world champion’s rainbow jersey. It was his 42nd stage victory at the Giro d’Italia and so set a new record for the number of stage victories by one rider.


The gap is 3:15 as the first intermediate sprint approaches. Cavendish will no doubt try and swipe the final point for sixth and move within two digits of Matt Goss's lead in the red points jersey standings. A reminder of the break: Stefan Denifl (Vacansoleil-DCM), Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank), Mickaël Delage (FDJ-BigMat), Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol) and Adrian Saez (Euskaltel)


The riders have just passed another Tuscan gem, the city of Arezzo. Set on a steep hill overlooking the floodplain of the River Arno, Arezzo is a medieval town that boasts some imposing Etruscan city walls, the superb Piazza Grande and a number of wonderful churches. It's the home town of Daniele Bennati, who was forced to retire from the race on the weekend.


The gaps is back to three minutes for our five leaders, who broke away this morning after 14km of the Giro's longest stage.


Who do you think will win today's stage? Will Cav survive those two climbs and win on the roads he knows only too well? Have your say below... The world champion has been unlucky in this year's race: he has two wins (and as such is the only multiple stage winner to date) but he could have had another two were it not for untimely crashes in hectic finales.


The leaders pass through the feeding zone at Rigutino with 2:40 over the bunch. They are down to five now after Simone Ponzi (Astana) was dropped and caught by the bunch.


The lead of the six escapees has dropped to 2:35 as the first of two feeding zones approaches.


Dutchman Tom Leezer (Rabobank) has withdrawn from the race. That's the second Rabobank rider to pack his bags following Dennis van Winden last week.


The break's final rider is Spaniard Adrian Saez. The 26-year-old joined Euskaltel this year after two years at pro continental outfit Orbea. Saez has no professional wins to his name. The lead is now 4:50 as the riders pass the towns of Ossaia - famed for its excellent pizzeria, La Tufa - Cortona and Camucia. Cortona is a wonderful hilltop town - it's a shame the route doesn't take the peloton up through its narrow paved streets.


Belgium's Olivier Kaisen has spent the vast majority of his pro career at Lotto through its various guises. The 29 year old wojn the GP Gerrie Knetemann in 2007 and is riding his fourth consecutive Giro d'Italia.


The riders have passed along the banks of Lake Trasimeno, the site of a famous battle during the Second Punic War in 217 BC. The lead is back up to 4:20 for the six leaders as they approach the town of Terontola.


Mickael Delage is riding his second Giro six years on from his debut back in 2006. The 26-year-old Frenchman started his career at FDJ and re-joined the team in 2011 after a couple of years at Lotto. Delage has yet to notch a career win as a professional.


Italy's Manuele Boaro is a former national youth time trial champion and showed his against-the-clock pedigree with an expert effort in the race's opening time trial in Denmark, in which he finished fourth, 15 seconds behind winner Taylor Phinney. 25-year-old Boaro joined Saxo Bank in 2011 and is still looking for his debut pro win.


Stefan Denifl is a 24-year-old Austrian who joined Vacansoleil from Leopard Trek in the winter. Denifl is a multiple youth national champion - both on the road and in time trialling. He has never completed a Grand Tour, his only appearance coming in the Vuelta in 2010, which he was forced to abandon after stage 14. In 2008 he was Austria's time trial national champion.


Let's take a closer look at the escapees, whose lead has dropped below the four-minute mark. Simone Ponzi is a 25-year-old Italian who joined Astana in the close season after a year with Liquigas. Prior to that, Ponzi was with Lampre, which he joined in 2009 after picking up silver in the youth world championships in 2008.


Mark Cavendish picked up one point for sixth place in yesterday's intermediate sprint, which edged him closer to Matt Goss in the points standings. The GreenEdge rider currently leads his old team-mate by three points in the red jersey standings, with Joaquim Rodriguez now in third.


Simone Ponzi is the best placed rider of the escapees: the Italian is currently 33:30 down on Joaquim Rodriguez in the overall standings. The six leaders now hold a gap of 4:23 over the peloton.


The race has just passed through the stunning Umbrian hillside town of Perugia. The former Etruscan stronghold is a big university town and is centred around the impressive Piazza IV Novembre. Renowned for its eerie underground city, old churches, annual jazz festival, Baci chocolates and strong artistic heritage, Perugia is a true Italian gem.


The six escapees are: Simone Ponzi (Astana), Stefan Denifl (Vacansoleil-DCM), Manuele Boaro (Saxo Bank), Mickaël Delage (FDJ-BigMat), Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol) and Adrian Saez (Euskaltel). They have quickly established a four-minute lead over the bunch after breaking clear after 14km of racing.


BREAK! Six riders have jumped clear from the peloton. Names coming right up.


Joaquim Rodriguez dons the maglia rosa for the first time in his career. After yesterday's win the Spaniard now joins the select crew of current riders who have notches victories in all three Grand Tours. The Katusha climber leads former pink jersey Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) by 17 seconds in the GC, with Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) in third at 32. The top five is completed by Roman Kreuziger and Benat Intxausti, who are both 52 seconds down.


Today's Tuscan stage is largely flat, but there are some hills, including two categorised climbs, the cat three Poggio alla Croce just over half way through the day and the cat four Vico climb, around 10km from the finish in the famous spa town of Montecatani. World champion Mark Cavendish's former Italian abode is nearby so expect the Team Sky sprinter to feel extra motivated.


The Giro's longest stage is under way! 190 riders took to the start, with no overnight withdrawals to report.


It's a sunny morning in Assisi at the start, with temperatures in the high teens and the sun peaking out through the clouds.


Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez rode into the Giro d'Italia's pink jersey with a trademark victory in the Umbrian hilltop town of Assisi. The Katusha climber attacked on the final steep ramp in a thrilling finale to the undulating 186km stage 10 from Civitavecchia to take his first ever career win in the Giro.


Welcome to live coverage of stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia. At 258km, this is the longest leg of this year's race and sees the riders cover some undulating roads through the Tuscan hills from Assisi to Montecatini.