Giro d'Italia Stage 11 preview, Firenze > Bagno di Romagna - could it be the toughest of the race?
Stage 11 may prove to be very demanding (Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty)

Firenze > Bagno di Romagna, 161km

With four categorised climbs to contend with during a constantly up-and-down 161km route – two Category 2 and two Category 3 – Giro d’Italia Stage 11 looks ripe for a breakaway to succeed but there are always potential complications.

If the GC contenders’ teams are content with the riders in the break, there is potential for Stage 11 to be a relatively relaxed outing for the majority of the peloton, while a number of escapees scrap for a prestigious stage victory ahead of them.

But according to Adam Hansen of Lotto Soudal there is another possibility: that Stage 11 turns out to be the toughest of the entire three-week Giro, with plenty of teams and GC contenders attempting to animate the race and try to do some damage to their rivals on the constant ascents and descents.

Stage 8 last Saturday was another day that looked good for a breakaway on the profile and potentially a relaxed day of riding in the peloton – but it proved a hectic race for all concerned and an exciting one for the fans.

Speaking to Velon, Hansen said of Stage 11: “Some of the guys reckon it will be the hardest stage of this Giro. When the profile is really difficult, teams will sometimes sit up and ride their own pace.

“But when it’s not super difficult [like Stage 11] and everyone holds on, it becomes hard. You can do a lot of damage if a breakaway doesn’t go. It could actually be a nightmare.”

Whether it proves to be a significant day for the GC riders or a peloton procession with a fierce breakaway battle up the road, it promises to be another entertaining stage.

Scheduled stage start: 12.20 CET | Projected finish: 16.54 CET

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