May 20, 2015

IMOLA, Italy (AP) Russian rider Ilnur Zakarin won the rainy 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday, and Alberto Contador retained the pink jersey.

Zakarin, who recently won the Tour de Romandie, got in an early breakaway then launched a solo attack with 25 kilometers (15 miles) to go.

''I started this morning with the right spirit and the breakaway worked well,'' the Katusha rider said. ''I tried to attack once then the second time worked. ... I still can't believe I won the Tour de Romandie and now I've won a stage in the Giro. I'm feeling a lot of emotions.''

Zakarin finished in less than four hours over the hilly 153-kilometer (95-mile) leg from Forli to Imola, which ended on the Enzo and Dino Ferrari racing car circuit that formerly hosted the San Marino Grand Prix.

Carlos Betancur of Colombia won a sprint for second, crossing 53 seconds behind, and Franco Pellizotti of Italy was third with the same time. Both were also part of the breakaway.

Contador surged in front on the final climb of the day, apparently to approach the ensuing slippery descent in the lead. He remained three seconds ahead of Italian rider Fabio Aru in the overall standings.

Contador dislocated his shoulder in a fall on the final sprint of Stage 6.

''I'm feeling better every day and the cuts on my legs are improving,'' said the Spaniard, who rides for Tinkoff-Saxo. ''It might seem simple but there's a ton of road left.''

Rigoberto Uran, the Colombian who finished second overall in the last two years, fell with about 15 kilometers (10 miles) to go, tearing his jersey on the left shoulder. He changed bikes and continued.

Meanwhile, overall contender Richie Porte was penalized two minutes in the general classification late Wednesday after it was revealed that a member of another team, Simon Clarke, helped him after a tire puncture by giving him a wheel during the 10th stage.

Porte dropped from fourth to 12th overall, 3:09 behind Contador.

Brazilian rider Murilo Fischer wore a helmet with the same yellow design as the one that Formula One great Ayrton Senna had on in his deadly crash in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.

The 12th stage on Thursday is a mostly flat 190-kilometer (118-mile) leg from Imola to Vicenza, featuring one Category 3 climb and two Category 4 ascents, one of them at the finish.

The 98th Giro ends on May 31 in Milan.

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