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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 16:19 UK

Bradley Wiggins back in Giro d'Italia contention

Bradley Wiggins
Wiggins is well placed ahead of the mountain stages

Bradley Wiggins moved back into overall contention after coming fourth in the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia.

Russia's Evgeni Petrov of the Katusha team won the 163-mile stage, but Australian Richie Porte took over the lead from Alexandre Vinokourov.

Despite Petrov's victory, Wiggins and Carlos Sastre were the big winners following the longest stage of the tour with both claiming back vital time.

It set the pair up nicely for the mountain stages later in the week.

Petrov battled through rainy and windy conditions to win the stage from Lucera to L'Aquila, in six hours, 23 minutes and 29 seconds.


Dario Cataldo of Italy finished five seconds behind in second, while Spaniard Sastre broke from the chasing pack to finish third in the same time.

Vinokourov, who had held the pink jersey, was unable to break free of the second group and suffered a puncture 30 miles from the finish.

A group of 56 riders, that included Wiggins, made an early break just 20km into the stage, with the peleton happy to let them escape.

The breakaway group's lead eventually extended to a colossal 17 minutes, leaving the main pack, which included leader Vinokourov.

Porte was joined in the breakout by Team Sky's Wiggins and Cervelo's Sastre, with all three taking turns to keep the pace up.

Britain's David Millar was the first to make a break for stage glory, but he was quickly swallowed up by his rivals.

The team has got Bradley into a situation now where he's back in contention for the GC

Team Sky coach Shane Sutton

Germany's Linus Gerdemann held the lead entering the closing stages but Petrov eked out a large enough gap on the run to the uphill finish to prevail.

Britain's Wiggins's fourth place finish sees him move into the top 10 places, eight minutes, 14 seconds behind, with his favoured mountain stages still to come.

Team Sky coach Shane Sutton admitted the team were "over the moon" with the way the stage developed and "the way Bradley finished things off made it a great day all-round".

He added: "The team has got Bradley into a situation now where he's back in contention for the GC and our goal is to ensure he does not lose any time between now and the rest day at the start of next week.

"Once we get there we will reassess where Bradley's at and how the rest of the team are feeling. There's the time trial on Tuesday and that should help us sort out our battle plan then for the final week."

Thursday's 12th stage is a 206km ride from Citta Sant'Angelo to Porto Recanati on the Adriatic Coast.

Giro d'Italia overall standings:

1 Richie Porte (Australia / Saxo Bank) 45hrs 30mins 16secs
2. David Arroyo (Spain / Caisse d'Epargne) +1:42
3. Robert Kiserlovski (Croatia / Liquigas) +1:56
4. Xavier Tondo (Spain / Cervelo) +3:54
5. Valerio Agnoli (Italy / Liquigas) +4:41
6. Alexander Efimkine (Russia / AG2R) +5:16
7. Linus Gerdemann (Germany / Milram) +5:34
8. Carlos Sastre (Spain / Cervelo) +7:09"
9. Laurent Didier (Luxembourg / Team Saxo Bank) +7.24
10. Bradley Wiggins (Britain / Team Sky) +8:14"

Selected others:

12 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan / Astana) + 9.58
13. Cadel Evans (Australia / BMC Racing Team) +11.10
15. Ivan Basso (Italy / Liquigas-Doimo) +11.49
28: David Millar (Britain/Garmin) +18:48"

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see also
Vinokourov maintains lead in Giro
17 May 10 |  Cycling
Millar moves into third in Giro
15 May 10 |  Cycling
Millar drops back as Sky impress
12 May 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins loses time in Giro crash
10 May 10 |  Cycling
GB & Team Sky set-ups face review
10 May 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins loses Giro d'Italia lead
09 May 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins wins Giro opening stage
08 May 10 |  Cycling
Cycling rocked by new dope probe
03 May 10 |  Cycling
Astana's Vinokourov wins in Liege
25 Apr 10 |  Cycling
Wiggins targets Giro opening week
07 May 10 |  Cycling

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

EITB Petrov wins stage, Porte new leader - 25 hrs ago
SuperSport Porte takes charge in wet and wild Giro - 26 hrs ago
Daily Telegraph Australia Aussie takes lead, Cadel freefalls - 32 hrs ago
3 News Petrov wins 11th stage of Giro; Porte takes lead - 34 hrs ago
The Independent Cycling: Porte in the pink after catching Kazakh cold - 35 hrs ago


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