We saw a big fight to get into the morning breakaway as several moves were brought back in the first 20km of the day. Eventually Sanchez and De Marchi managed to forge clear, with Masnada, Maestri and Turrin slowly joining them one by one. After all the effort that teams put into make the move, it was a somewhat disappointing group that went clear so those behind turned their attention to setting it up for their riders late on.
A brave effort from Sanchez and De Marchi saw them caught within the final 5km where Stybar and Wellens launched an attack from the peloton. They were never given too much leeway though and once onto the final rise the pink jersey flew from the front of the bunch, on a mission to take as much time as possible. A coming together of wheels behind had seen a few of the other GC candidates lose some crucial time but in the end Yates’ margin of victory wasn’t anything crazy over his nearest rival as he only gained two seconds (before bonuses) on Dumoulin who himself finished second..
Formolo showed that he’s in good form after his one bad day last week, taking home third place.
Let’s have a look at what is in store for the riders tomorrow.
Pretty dull day in the saddle until the final 20km. Definitely not one to watch from the start!
So I’m going to cut right to the chase here and skip those opening 194km along the coast as the wind isn’t playing ball for echelons. Boo.
With a 4.35km climb that averages 4.2% cresting with only 7.6km to go, it offers a perfect chance for opportunists to launch a late attack. This is especially paramount when the last 600m of the climb comes in at over 7.5%. With a descent almost all the way to the line, albeit it is shallow with a gradient of -3% until it flattens out under the Flamme Rouge. A chase will have to organised quickly if they don’t want anyone disappearing on them!
The finish itself is pretty simple and on wide roads too as they use the Imola motor racing circuit.
How will the stage pan out?
It looks set to be a battle between the late attackers and the sprinters tomorrow. Last time we were here a break managed to stay away but the route was a lot harder that day. Although given how weird this Giro has been so far, we’ll probably see the morning move of 4 stick…
The Tre Monti climb is hard enough to put the sprinters into difficulty if it is ridden at an aggressive pace, especially with the few kilometres where the gradient is above 7%. A team can drill the first steep part of the climb, putting the sprinters into the red before continuing the hurt on the flat mid-section, after which their rider of the day will launch a stinging attack in the closing kilometre of the climb that none of the sprinter’s teams can cope with.
It will then be a frantic descent for both anyone out front and those behind who want to set it up for the sprint.
Looking at the teams I’m going to highlight some guys who might be given freedom to chase a result tomorrow:
AG2R – Montaguti
Astana – LLS / Lutsenko / Villella / Kangert, pretty much their whole team aside from Lopez and Bilbao!
Bahrain – Mohoric / Boaro / Visconti
BMC – Roche / De Marchi
Israel – Hermans / Plaza
Lotto FixAll – Hansen / Van der Sande
Katusha – Martin / Goncalves
Trek – Pantano / Pedersen
UAE – Ulissi / Conti
There are a few teams I’ve left off there but for the likes of Androni and Bardiani we could see any of their riders go on the attack. Likewise, I’ve left off the majority of the “bigger” sprinter’s teams as I think they’ll be all in for their fast man.
I’ve highlighted the rider from each team who I think would do best.
It will be an interesting battle to see which of the sprinters hangs on best over the climb and what team-mates they have organised and ready to chase down any attack.
Viviani – Shown he can be beaten but if he is on form he should make it over this climb. Into the second week of a GT who knows.
Bennett – One of the only sprinters to make the front group on stage 10, he was actually one of the lower finishes today. Saving energy or cooked?
Modolo – The opposite of Bennett today, he finished only a minute down on Yates and alongside team-mate Woods. Is he getting better?
Van Poppel – Probably not good enough to make it over the climb.
Bonifazio – Not seen his climbing legs as of late but he in theory should be one of the better climbing sprinters. We’ll know how he’s going as to when/if Mohoric attacks.
The other sprinters will be fighting for positions 4-10.
I think a late attack might actually stick tomorrow, especially if we get a small group of 4 or 5 guys away on the final climb who co-operate well together until the final kilometre.
I’ll go with the local Matteo Montaguti to take the honours.
He hails from the town of Forli, where the second intermediate sprint of the day is. Back in 2015 when the stage finished here he was in the break of the day then, but his competition was just too hard. Tomorrow with only one ascent of the climb he certainly has a good chance of launching a strong attack. If not, he might fancy his chances in a reduced bunch sprint.
Vai vai Matteo!
Someone like Mohoric would also be ideal for this stage but I’m not taking him at that price. I can’t really back a pure sprinter with confidence either so the late attackers who can pack a punch it is…
0.5pt EW Van der Sande @ 80/1 (would take 66/1)
0.5pt EW Montaguti @ 250/1 (Would take 150/1)
Thanks as always for reading! Who do you think will win tomorrow and how? Anyway,
Those were My Two Spokes Worth.