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Deignan digs deep at Sestriere as Kiryienka solos to win

Posted 28 May 2011

Philip Deignan put up a good fight but was out of contention on stage 20 of the Giro d’Italia won by Vasili Kiryienka (Moviestar) after an epic breakaway over the Colle delle Finestre and finishing climb at Sestriere.

The Belarusian was part of an early 12 man escape group but attacked on the first category Colle delle Finistre with more than 40 kilometres of the 242 kilometre stage to go.

The 18.5 kilometre long climb split the break as well as the peloton with the Liquigas-Cannondale team of Vincenzo Nibali setting such a pace that it reduced the chase group to eleven riders on the 9% average gradient.

Kiryienka crested the climb with a lead of 3’35” over Jose Rujano (Androni Giocattoli) while an attack from Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) shot Nibali out the back of the chase group containing race leader Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard).

Contador reached the summit in the company of Rodriguez, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale), Steven Kruijswijk (Rabobank), Denis Menchov (Geox TMC) 5’20” behind Kiryienka with Nibali a further 15 seconds adrift.

The big losers on the climb included top ten GC men Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad), Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Roman Kreuziger (Astana) as the riders in the Contador group started to think about leapfrogging each other in the GC.

Deignan (Radioshack) was having a better day on the mountain terrain and was within just over five minutes of the Contador group as the race headed towards a showdown on the second category finishing climb at Sestriere.

Nibali used his superb descending skills to regain contact with the chase group on the descent with Kreuziger also making contact with just 9.3 kilometre to go to neutralize Kruijswijk’s bid to overhaul his position as the leader of the Best Young Rider classification.

Rodriguez attacked twice before finally pulling clear with 6.7 kilometre to the finish as he turned his attention to capitalizing upon Kreuziger’s exertions and the absence of Nieve and Sivtsov to jump from eight to fifth in the overall general classification.

John Gadret had similar thoughts as Nibali started to wilt near the summit of the climb but his attack with two kilometres to go has less to do with eating into his two minutes GC deficit to the Italian and more to do with keeping Rodriguez from taking his fourth place overall.

Kiryienka meanwhile soloed to a well deserved win with Rujano coming home in second 4’43” back. Rodriguez was a further seven seconds back followed seconds later by Gadret, Scarponi, Kruijswijk and Menchov with Kreuziger another 18 seconds behind that group.

Deignan battled all the way to finish and dug deep to come home just over seven minutes behind the Contador group. He placed 47th on the stage 13’57” behind Kiryienka and moves up to 47th in the GC at 1:46:02 to Contador.

Contador’s overall victory is all but assured and he will start the closing 25.5 kilometre time trial stage in Milan with a lead of 5’18 over Scarponi with Nibali third overall at 6’14.

Results:

2011 Giro d’Italia

Stage 20: Verbania – Sestriere, 242 kilometres

1.  Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team 6:17:02  
2.  José Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli at 0:04:43  
3.  Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team at 0:04:50  
4.  Carlos Alberto Betancourt Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone at 0:05:31  
5.  John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale at 0:05:54  
6.  Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 0:05:58  
7.  Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
8.  Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard    
9.  Denis Menchov (Rus) Geox-TMC    
10. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana at 0:06:16  

47. Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Radioshack at 13 minutes, 57 seconds

1. Aberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank Sungard 83:34:25  
2 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:05:18  
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:06:14  
4 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:07:49  
5 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:09:27
6 Jose Rujano Guillen (Ven) Androni Giocattoli at 0:10:23
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Pro Team Astana at 0:10:38
8.  Denis Menchov 9Rus) Geox-TMC at 0:10:51
9.  Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) at 0:11:53
10. Mikel Nieve (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:12:03

47. Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Radioshack at 1 hours, 46 minutes, 02 seconds

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