Sometimes, you don't need to look far to find your friends, writes Anthony Tan.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:38 PM

Was it a pre-planned attack or spur of the moment, asked Giro field reporter Daniel Lloyd in a post-race vox-pop.

"Oh, certainly, spur of the moment. I saw, on top of the climb, that all the contenders for the general classification were kind of all looking at each other. A possibility opened up and... I took it."

Like Pieter Weening's victory in Sestola three days ago, Michael Rogers' triumph on Stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia was borne not from instructions coming from the car of Tinkoff-Saxo sport director Lars Michaelsen, or a premeditated attack from a team meeting that morning or the night before.

It was borne out of 13 years' experience as a professional cyclist and perfecting a race craft sometimes amiss from the younger, wired generation of today.

In hindsight, we can all see it was the perfect moment.

But after 10 race days and 226 kilometres, how many had 1) the race nous to realise the opportunity, and 2) the legs to seize it?

Only one. Just one.

Michael Rogers was his name. 'Dodger' to his mates.

As race leader Cadel Evans said afterwards, this was no easy spin in the saddle, regardless of the impending time trial to follow the next day.

"The conditions in both the long stages has been particularly difficult, and today was no different," said the maglia rosa. "The speed at the start, the speed in the middle, and the last climb, added together, made it a really, really difficult stage."

Still, I wonder - and I'm not taking anything away from Rogers' victory here - was this a gift of sorts from the peloton behind him, and particularly Evans' BMC Racing team?

The fact that he and Evans are not just compatriots but were teammates at Mapei-Quick Step in 2002, not to mention part of numerous national team set-ups, should not be lost.

Nor should the sentiment among the majority of, if not all, his peers who feel Rogers, almost universally liked and respected in the peloton, was hard done by, after the UCI announced on 23 April that his positive test for clenbuterol at last year's Japan Cup was inadvertent, and that he was free to race.

"I'm actually really happy for Michael; luck's turned around for him. Because cycling's been a bit unfair on him the last few months, and hopefully this is a 'turning around' for him," Evans said.

From what I saw, only two teams, Giant-Shimano and Trek Factory Racing, were willing - or perhaps given Evans' comments about the difficulty of the stage, able - to chase down the triple world time trial champion. And rather belatedly at that. Not to mention most of the chasing was done by Giant-Shimano's Georg Preidler; a guy who had been the break and whose legs were way past al dente.

During this time, Evans had motioned his remaining troops to the front. But they seemed intent not on chasing Rogers down, but preserving his advantage, which appeared to stymie the chase by the two teams who showed any real interest or wherewithal in vying for stage honours.

After what he's been through the past six months, one could argue Mick needed this victory more than anyone - so was this a helping hand from a friend in need?

How did you see it? Was it a case of 'he who hesitates is lost'; or was it indeed a gift from the peloton?

SBS will broadcast every stage of the 2014 Giro d'Italia LIVE! There will be nightly highlights at 5:30pm on SBS ONE, and each stage will also be streamed live here at Cycling Central.