Contador assesses his rivals on stage 11 of Giro d’Italia


Tinkoff-Saxo’s team captain Alberto Contador retained his pink jersey on the rainy stage 11 of the Giro, where breakaway rider Ilnur Zakarin took the win. Although the terrain didn’t favor the GC riders, Contador chose to launch an attack on the last hill.

Elaborating on the day, Alberto Contador says he saw some interesting details during his attack on the top of the short, final climb with 6km to go.

“I think every day at the Giro is important. You have to try and get over the bad days and that’s what I made an effort to do. Today it wasn’t the terrain to attack but there were some interesting little details to see, when I accelerated”, says Alberto Contador and adds:

“There wasn’t much terrain to make a move today but I knew that there were a few riders that weren’t having fun. We didn’t see too much but I could tell that there were a few riders who weren’t feeling so great so I decided to have a go”.

Stage 11 took the riders from Forlì and 153km along mostly wet roads in the rain to Imola finishing on the famous racetrack. According to Tinkoff-Saxo’s Manuele Boaro, who’s riding his third Giro, the squad remains motivated.

“We were in the front throughout the day, working hard for Alberto. It was even made harder with the rain but we are happy with the outcome. We did our job and Alberto retains the pink jersey”, comments Boaro and adds about riding the Giro d’Italia:

“For me this is a great opportunity to be in the Giro racing for such a great team and a great leader like Alberto. It will certainly be the best Giro I have ever done and I will give my best. The first week has been very tough and we had to take it one day at a time but I think we are a strong team and well-knit squad and that is what counts”.

In the stage finale, it was Katusha’s Ilnur Zakarin, who proved the fastest of the escapees, while Tinkoff-Saxo had focus on keeping a controlled pace safeguarding the team leader, tells Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh.

“Again it was a hard parcours and a good breakaway group went away, while we could control the events pretty well. Some of the other teams pulled as well during the stage such as Orica, who took up the chase in the last part of the stage. However, Zakarin was very strong”, states Steven de Jongh.

“Our ambition was to protect Alberto. The rain meant that the technical parts of the stage were trickier and we had to pay more attention during the stage. In the end, Alberto improvised a little attack to test his rivals just a bit. All in all, a wet but good day and we will start focusing on tomorrow. It looks as if it’s going to rain again and with the uphill finish in Vicenza it can become tricky”, finishes Steven de Jongh.