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Pascal Ackermann showed how to time a sprint perfectly in Stage 11 of the Giro

Timing is everything, especially at 60 km/h

Pascal Ackermann wins stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia

UAE Team Emirates rider Pascal Ackermann had a perfect sprint to take his third career Giro d’Italia stage on Wednesday. The German rider took the Stage 10 win in Tortona over sprint leader Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) in a photo finish.

Ackermann was glued to the wheel of his teammate Ryan Gibbons in the final kilometer, waiting for the moment to pounce. His UAE Team Emirates had been dragging him beside the Trek-Segafredo’s leadout in the finake. With 400m to go, Trek-Segafredo finished its leadout for Mads Pedersen, and he began the sprint with 250m remaining. British champion Mark Cavendish grabbed his wheel, and it looked like that might work, but there were still 200 very long meters to go, even if riders were going 60 km/h. According to Ackermann, the wind was a factor, but at the same time, so was the course itself. Having had some bad falls before, he made a smart move to stay at the front.

“There was a bit of a head-crosswind. So if you came from the back, you could move really fast, but I decided to do it from the front because of the final corner,” he explained. “Because you never know how slippery it is. I didn’t want to crash again.”

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After Cav launched, Ackermann grabbed his wheel. Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) began his sprint as Ackermann said he would have done had the course been straighter, from the back. But since he was nine or ten riders behind, it meant he had a huge amount of ground to cover. At 100m to go, Pedersen was caught by Cav. Then, Ackermann went in between the Manx Missile and the barriers. Milan was flying, but given his position when he started the sprint, he simply couldn’t overtake Ackermann–although it was close. The German rider timed his sprint to perfection.

2020 champion Tao Geoghegan Hart crashes out of Giro d’Italia

“It’s a really special victory for me, especially after my broken coccyx last year, I’m finally back. I felt super amazing the last few days but could never show off how strong I am,” he said. “Today I got a teammate to bring me into a good position, and we showed we can do it, and I’m super happy to win today for my first victory of the season.”

Geraint Thomas kept his pink jersey over Primož Roglič, but the rider in third place overall, Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers), had to abandon due to a bad crash.

Check out the finish below.