This article originally appeared on VeloNews.com
Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) took his fourth win on stage 11 of the 2020 Giro d’Italia.
The big Frenchman pounced with 300m to go, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) right on his wheel, and roared to another victory.
On a flat and fast stage, the five escapees Fabio Mazzucco and Francesco Romano (Bardiani–CSF–Faizanè), Marco Frapporti (Vini Zabú-Brado – KTM), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal), Mattia Bais (Andronbi-Giocattoli-Sidermec) had gained an advantage of 2:30 with 75 of 182 kilometers remaining for the day.
Démare put his wheel ahead of Sagan’s at the intermediate sprint point, foreshadowing what was to come later in the day at the finish line.
With the peloton content to patiently wait, the five-man group blew up after the next intermediate sprint point at 38km to go, when Bais and Armee went off the front.
In the peloton, coming around a roundabout, a race moto touched the back wheel of Cofidis sprint specialist Elia Viviani.
The Italian quickly remounted and was escorted back into the peloton by his team over the following 10km.
Armee dropped Bais just inside of 25km to go, figuring he’d be better on his own racing against the entire peloton.
Over the ensuring 15km, the main bunch ate away at Armees lead, finally catching him 8km to go.
Preparing for a series of 90-degree turns in the final 4km, the sprint trains of Israel Start-Up Nation, UAE Team Emirates, Cofidis, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, and Groupama-FDJ lined up to offer shelter and position before the final 600m straightaway.
Through an argy-bargy final 1,500m UAE Team Emirate and Groupama-FDJ jostled for position, with a single Bora-Hansgrohe rider disrupting these teams trains.
Into the final straight, Groupama-FDJ put Démare in perfect position to launch with 300m to go.
Sagan, the stage 10 winner, was forced to navigate around a fading Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and was distanced by half a bike length.
Démare becomes the first Frenchman since Bernard Hinault, who won the Giro overall in 1982, to take four stage wins in a single edition of the Italian grand tour.