The Tour Take | GIRO D'ITALIA Stage 10
1st – Matej Mohoric
2nd – Nico Denz @ s.t
3rd – Sam Bennett @ 0:34
The longest stage of the Giro... became longer as 5km was added to the route, making for a 244km day on the way to Gualdo Tadino. Despite a hard route, it looked like it could end in a sprint with most of the climbing coming in the first half of a the stage. There also was the potential for drama if anyone suffered from post rest day-itis. Aside from the big climb at the start, there was only a cat 3 and cat 4 climb coming later on - it was a rolling day with 4000m of climbing over the route, more than Liege Bastogne Liege.
Simon Yates extended his lead over second place, with Esteban Chaves being dropped and losing around 25 minutes. Yates now leads from Tom Dumoulin by 41 seconds. Chaves made a consolation trip to the podium to collect another blue Jersey, while Elia Viviani’s lead in the points jersey competition was closed by Sam Bennett, but Viviani still wears the leader’s jersey. Richard Carapaz holds the young riders jersey despite needing two bike changes in the final 20km.
A 17 man break went away early but the pace was on behind with one biiiiiig name caught out. Despite strongmen like Tony Martin, Luis Leon Sanchez, Ben Hermans and Matej Mohoric being present, the last remains of the break (Martin) were caught 140km from the line, as a GC battle played out and the break taken as collateral.
With 90km to go, Marco Frapporti broke away and got around 3 minutes lead, as few sprinting teams had riders left to chase. He was brought back as a Davide Vilella went away with around 40km to go in a wet final hour. Matej Mohoric joined Villela, while Nico Denz also bridged up to that duo with 17km to go.
A name not normally seen at the rear – Esteban Chaves. The Colombian was caught out on the opening climb and quickly lost 3 minutes to the main group. Mitchelton Scott’s rivals realised what happened and Lotto Jumbo, Sky, Sunweb and Astana all joined forces to push the gap.
QuickStep tried to help chase as Viviani was in the group and the gap came down to a minute, but went past 3 minutes and they sat up. MItchelton Scott also had to sit up, realising the chase was pointless and they had to save the legs of Bewley, Juul Jensen,and Kreuziger to help Yates protect the Maglia Rosa in the coming days.
The Winning move
With 11km to go, Mohoric, Vilella, and Denz had a minutes lead over the peloton, with some stragglers in between, and it became clear that those three would be fighting for the stage victory. Mohoric made the first move, attacking on a slight hill, dropping Villela and putting Denz under immense pressure, but the German wasn’t easily dropped. Those two came to the finish together where Mohoric led out from the front and was strong enough to hold out Denz.
The GC Movers and Shakers
Chaves is done in terms of the GC - that amount of time is huge. He apparently had breathing problems due to the pollen, and its likely that the Rest Day just interrupted his rhythm too. One bad day and she’s all over.
For the overall, it means Mitchelton-Scott have one less card to play, and their rivals will have a significantly easier time managing them. From Yates’ perspective, at least there won’t be a leadership problem, while Chaves would be one of the best domestiques available in the high mountains. That’s not to say he’d be happy about Chaves losing that time though, as all eyes are on him now.
A few GC contenders suffered mechanicals with 20km to on a wet descent just as the pace was being ratcheted up. Tom Dumoulin lost control on a corner, while Richard Carapaz needed a bike change. Both made it back to the peloton though. Chris Froome also didn’t lose any time today.
32nd – Rohan Dennis @ 0:34 (7th on GC @ 2:08)
33rd – Ben O’Connor " (13th on GC @ 2:39, 3rd on Young Riders)
40th – Adam Hansen "
60th – Jack Haig "
102nd Chris Hamilton @ 25:25
123rd – Mitch Docker @ 25:25
115th – Zak Dempster @ 30:14
A punchy finish to a 159km day, with ramps of 16% coming in a kilometre long climb up to a flat final 400m. Hills litter the entire route, but there are only two categorised climbs, both category 3 climbs coming in the middle of the stage.
Puncheur’s delight – Tim Wellens and Enrico Battaglin have both won stages already and will be in the mix again here. Michael Woods might enjoy the finish, so might Jose Goncalves. But Simon Yates is attempting to take time wherever he can, and there’s a time bonus at the finish, we’ll back the plucky Brit to win again.