The Strade Bianche stage. After leaving Perugia, stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia seemed standard enough. However, a unique prospect awaited the riders on their way to the finish in Montalcino: 35 kilometres of gravel.
The ride to Montalcino was action-filled. Egan Bernal, his pink jersey shining through the mud and dust, changed the course of the Giro whilst Remco Evenepoel tumbled down the leaderboard. The breakaway were destined to win the stage and young Mauro Schmid claimed his first professional victory.
Here are the images from a spectacular day on the gravel at the Giro d'Italia 2021.
The early breakaway were gifted an early lead of almost 15 minutes, all but deciding that victory would come from one of the 11 riders (Image credit: Luca Bettini/Getty Images)
Image credit: CorVos/SWPix
Jumbo-Visma duo George Bennett and Tobias Foss emerge from the dust following an early attack. It would be a fine day for the Norwegian who moved into the top 10 overall (Image credit: Tim De Waele/Getty Images)
Mauro Schmid celebrates defeating Alessandro Covi in the uphill drag to the line in Montalcino (Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Filippo Ganna and the Ineos Grenadiers lighting up the race in the first gravel sector (Image credit: Tim De Waele/Getty Images)
Romain Bardet battles across the gravel for Team DSM (Image credit: Tim De Waele/Getty Images)
Image credit: LaPresse
Emanuel Buchmann and Egan Bernal enter the final 600 metres with a lead on the other GC contenders (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
The moment of realisation. Mauro Schmid becomes a Grand Tour stage winner (Image credit: Getty Images)