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May 17 post: Stage 11 has what is known as a “comb style” or “sawtooth” profile and, apparently, the longest stretch of flat section on this 144 km day is just 3 km. After leaving the beach of the seaside resort town of Tortoreto Lido, the peloton will head inland for an up and down day through the foothills of the Central Apennines. There are four catergory 4 climbs on the way to the uphill finish in Castelfidardo.

The finish in Castelfidardo has a 5.5% grade for 1.5 km with 3.5 km to go and the last km averages 6%. At the 2008 Tirreno-Adriatico, sprinter Óscar Freire won stage 8 in Castelfidardo ahead of Franco Pellizoti and Danilo di Luca. Castelfidardo was also the host of the hilly Grand Prix Fred Mengoni that ran annually from 2002-2007 with Danilo di Luca winning the inaugural edition.

The hometown boy on this stage is Lampre's Michele Scarponi who was born just 25 km away in Jesi. Scarponi likes a good hilltop town finish, but this one may not be difficult enough and a break stands a good chance at succeeding since race leader Alberto Contador has stated he isn't interested in retaining the Pink Jersey at this early point in the race.

Instead, this may be Danilo di Luca's best chance for a stage win at this year's Giro. He's over 30 minutes down on general classification so he would be allowed to join the main break, but even if he misses a break, he'd stand a good chance to win the power climb finish if the break fails. The stage starts in his home region of Abruzzo so he'll have some extra motivation. — Steve

 Stage 11 Flyover (00:35) —
Contador is prepared to relinquish Maglia Rosavelonation