Le Mevel goes on attack for Giro's pink jersey
Christophe Le Mevel and Tiago Machado in escape, Giro d'Italia 2011, stage 11
Christophe Le Mevel was the only one of the top classification riders to try to gain time in today's Giro d'Italia leg to Castelfidardo. The Frenchman attacked leader Alberto Contador, gained enough time and held the virtual pink jersey.
"It was a great move, that's what bike racing is all about," Garmin-Cervélo team-mate, David Millar told Cycling Weekly. "Christophe's got panache, he showed that today."
Contador's group caught Le Mevel in the final 10 kilometres of the 144-kilometre run through Italy's Le Marche region.
"I really want this pink jersey but this pink jersey does not want me," Le Mevel told journalists. "I've come close. I've been trying every day."
Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) will take his turn in a sprint stage tomorrow to Ravenna and the overall favourites will fight for the lead in the next three mountain days.
"The days Contador and [Vincenzo] Nibali," added Le Mevel, "will be winning the jersey."
Le Mevel attacked from Contador's group at 64 kilometres to race and, in a group with 10 others, gained up to 2'00". He had started the day 1'19". Though he collected four seconds in an intermediate sprint, he lost 13 seconds on the final ramp into Castelfidardo - a net loss of nine seconds.
"Saxo Bank was happy to let me get the jersey," Le Mevel continued, "but the others behind are still fighting for the podium."
"That's our style of racing as a team at the moment," Millar added. "I want it to continue like that, I don't want us to just sit and follow, and race for places. He could have just as easily been in the pink jersey right now."
Millar rocketed out of the group yesterday in the final three kilometres and tried to join the escape today. However, he rode too fast into a corner while bridging and crashed on his right side.
"I was feeling great, flying, I was in every move at the beginning," Millar said. "Yesterday, too. Today, I covered everything, until the one that Christophe went in, but that was kind of how I wanted it."
He indicated his ribs hurt, did not believe they were fractured and may have them examined later. Team-mate Le Mevel will examine the overall standings tonight, which shows he slid to fourth, 1'28" behind Contador.
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Giro d'Italia 2011: Stage reports
Stage 11: Gadret grabs dramatic stage win
Stage 10: Cavendish opens his Giro account
Stage nine: Contador storms Etna to take Giro lead
Stage eight: Gatto springs late attack to take win
Stage seven: Neo-pro De Clercq wins by a whisker
Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win
Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa
Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line
Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash
Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead
Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro's opening team time trial
Giro d'Italia 2011: Photo galleries
Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Giro d'Italia 2011: Live text coverage
Giro d'Italia stage 11 live text updates
Giro d'Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates
Giro d'Italia 2011 stage five live text updates
Follow the 2011 Giro d'Italia live with Cycling Weekly
Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d'Italia 2011: Start list
Giro d'Italia 2011: TV schedule
Giro d'Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule
Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index