• Giro d'Italia, Stage 11

Returning Rogers wins in Savona

ESPN staff
May 21, 2014
Michael Rogers claimed a first victory in two years in his first race of the season © Getty Images

Michael Rogers marked his return to the peloton with a solo break victory at the Giro d'Italia as fellow Australian Cadel Evans consolidated his lead in the Pink Jersey.

Rogers, 34, broke clear on the descent from the final climb of the 249km stage from Collecchio to Savona and stayed in front of the chasing pack for 21km to finish 10 seconds clear of Simon Geschke (Team Giant-Shimano) and Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF).

The year's first Grand Tour is Rogers' first race of the season. The former Team Sky rider was handed a provisional suspension after joining Saxo Tinkoff, having tested positive for the steroid clenbuterol in October 2013.

The UCI cleared Rogers to race in April after accepting that he had ingested the substance after ingesting tainted meat prior to the Tour of Beijing, and he was immediately drafted in to support Nicolas Roche's bid for Giro victory.

"It was certainly a beautiful moment," said Rogers after claiming his first win since the Bayern-Rundfahrt in 2012.

"The team tried really hard - we had Nicolas Roche and Ivan [Rovny] out front. Unfortunately the break came back, but it gave me a chance and I made the most of it."

"It was a spur of the moment. I saw that the team leaders were looking at each other. I saw my opportunity and I took it."

Cadel Evans remains 57 seconds clear of Columbia's Rigoberto Uran in the general classification with the prospect of extending his lead in the first of two time trials on Thursday.

"The conditions in both of the long stages have been difficult and today was no different," Evans said. "The speed in the climbs made it a difficult stage.

Evans is confident of cementing his hold of the Pink Jersey in the individual time trial. "It's the first individual test, and it looks like a good time trial for me."

Speaking about compatriot Rogers, Evans added: "Cycling has been unfair on him for the last few months, and hopefully things are turning around for him."

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