Fraile wins 11th stage of Giro; Dumoulin protects lead
BAGNO DI ROMAGNA, Italy (AP) — Spanish rider Omar Fraile won the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia after being on the attack for most of the day Wednesday, and Tom Dumoulin kept the overall leader’s pink jersey he earned a day earlier.
Amid a group of four breakaway riders, Fraile outsprinted former world champion Rui Costa and Pierre Rolland to take his first victory in a major three-week race.
Dumoulin remained 2 minutes, 23 seconds ahead of 2014 winner Nairo Quintana and 2:38 ahead of Bauke Mollema in the overall standings.
Fraile, who rides for Team Dimension Data, first got into an attack with Sky rival Mikel Landa, then dropped back to a chase group, before attacking again on the last of four climbs across the Apennine Range.
“I had noted that this stage suited me very well,” Fraile said. “I went on the attack early and went with Landa because we knew we could gain some ground. When they came back up to us, I marked Rui Costa because he’s fast but I was even faster today.”
The 161-kilometer (100-mile) leg began in Ponte e Ema outside Florence, the hometown of Gino Bartali, the rider who won the Tour de France in 1938 and 1948 and the Giro in 1936, 1937 and 1946.
The stage started by the Gino Bartali Cycling Museum.
A series of attacks meant Dumoulin’s Team Sunweb had to work hard to stay with the other favorites.
“We expected a really hard fight today and it was,” Dumoulin said. “I can only thank my team. They did an amazing job.”
After taking part in a chase group, Andrey Amador of Quintana’s Movistar team and Tanel Kangert of Astana moved up to sixth and eighth overall, respectively.
“We were not scared of Amador or the Astana riders,” Dumoulin said. “We were doing our own pace. We knew other teams would also ride behind them so we never considered giving away the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey). It was an amazing teamwork and we are really happy.”
Thursday’s Stage 12 is a lengthy 229-kilometer (142-mile) leg from Forli to Reggio Emilia featuring two minor climbs and a flat finish that should set up well for sprinters.
The 100th Giro ends in Milan on May 28.