GIRO D'ITALIA: Porte seizes maglia rosa on day of drama
ALEXANDRE Vinokourov suffered a horror day as he lost control of the Giro d'Italia's maglia rosa on a day of high drama.
SHOCKING DAY: Alexandre Vinokourov suffers a torrid at the Giro d'Italia to lose his lead (Getty Images)
Under leaden skies and in relentless rain, Vinokourov saw his healthy one minute advantage obliterated as an initially 56-strong group broke away and stayed away.
At one point they opened up a massive 20 minute advantage over the Astana rider, who rarely will have had a more miserable day in the saddle.
Saxo Bank’s Richie Porte, who started the day over two minutes off the lead, seized control of the leader’s jersey, while Great Britain’s Bradley Wiggins - nearly 11 minutes off the pace at the start of the stage - moved towards the top ten with a solid performance in fourth.
Katusha’s Evgeni Platov took line honours after leaving his solo drive to the line until the final 500m, while Dario Cataldo and Carlos Sastre completed the podium.
The longest stage of the race, a 262km route from Lucera to L’Aquila, it’s profile always looked likely to favour a breakaway.
But no-one expected a host of the main contenders - Vinokourov, Ivan Basso and Cadel Evans - to miss out as the race was thrown wide open ahead of Thursday’s 206km 12th stage between Citta Sant Angelo and Porto Recanati.
They eventually trailed home nearly 13 minutes behind the lead group.