Giro d'Italia: Ramunas Navardauskas wins stage 11 as Bradley Wiggins remains fourth overall
The British rider finished amongst the peloton
Wednesday 15 May 2013
Ramunas Navardauskas broke free to win stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia and give some cheer to his struggling Garmin-Sharp team.
The 25-year-old Lithuanian took advantage when a large breakaway group splintered towards the end of the 182-kilometre run from Tarvisio to Vajont, giving Garmin-Sharp reason to smile after their leader - defending champion Ryder Hesjedal - saw his challenge here effectively ended over the past few days.
Navardauskas finished 68 seconds ahead of BMC's Daniel Oss with Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox's Stefano Pirazzi, the King of the Mountains leader, coming home third, two minutes 59 seconds back.
The peloton - featuring general classification leader Vincenzo Nibali and Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins - rolled over the line a little under six minutes behind Navardauskas. That meant no change at the top of the GC standings, where Nibali leads from Cadel Evans by 41 seconds with Wiggins fourth, two minutes five seconds behind.
This medium mountain stage was always going to favour a breakaway and though it took a little longer than expected to establish itself, 20 riders eventually broke clear after 90 kilometres.
Patrick Gretsch was the first to make a solo break for victory, but he went with more than 50 kilometres to go and although he pulled 90 seconds clear at one point, he did not have the legs to make it stick.
Navardauskas and Oss led the charge to catch him and then raced clear as the rest of the breakaway group began to splinter behind them.
After a talking-to from the team car, Navardauskas kicked for the line with five kilometres remaining and Oss could not keep up.
Team Sky's Salvatore Puccio came home in fourth, three minutes and seven seconds back, while the team's two GC contenders, Wiggins and yesterday's winner Rigoberto Uran, stayed safe in the peloton.
Earlier in the day, Ag2r-La Mondiale's Sylvain Georges was a non-starter and the International Cycling Union later confirmed he had failed a doping test for the stimulant Heptaminol.
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