Alberto Contador retains Giro lead

Updated: May 18, 2011, 1:40 PM ET
Associated Press

CASTELFIDARDO, Italy -- Frenchman John Gadret used a late attack to win the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia Wednesday, while Alberto Contador retained the overall lead.

Gadret attacked on the uphill finish with a few hundred meters to go and clocked 3 hours, 33 minutes, 11 seconds over the hilly 89-mile route from Tortoreto Lido to Castelfidardo. He dedicated his victory to Wouter Weylandt on the day of the Belgian rider's funeral.

Joaquin Rodriguez of Spain crossed second and Italian champion Giovanni Visconti was third, both with the same time as Gadret. Jose Serpa finished fourth ahead of Contador in fifth.

A minute of silence was observed at the start of the stage in memory of Weylandt, who died when he crashed after clipping a wall during a descent in the third stage. His funeral was held in Ghent, Belgium.

At the start of the stage, Britain's David Millar made a short speech in Weylandt's honor. Many riders then took their helmets off and hung them on their handlebars as they stood in tribute to their former colleague.

"I thought about it all day, because we're all a big family in cycling," Gadret said.

Several riders attempted early breakaways but were swallowed up by the main pack before another nine-man group got away with 50 miles to go. Two more riders then caught up to make it an 11-man group.

The breakaway gained a lead of more than two minutes at one point and Spanish rider Daniel Moreno Fernandez then charged into the lead on his own and was joined by Ignatas Konovalovas of Lithuania with less than six miles to go.

The chasing pack caught Konovalovas and Moreno in the final kilometer, and that's when Gadret launched his decisive attack.

Contador remained 59 seconds ahead of Kanstantsin Sivtsov of Belarus in the overall standings, with Vincenzo Nibali of Italy 1:21 back. Contador was fined $1,130 for skipping the overall leader's news conference Tuesday.

Stage 12 on Thursday is a mostly flat 114-mile leg from Castelfidardo to Ravenna that should be the final chance for sprinters to capture a stage victory.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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