Today’s Giro script was for a breakaway to stay away – that happened – and for the GC guys to save themselves for the next two high mountain stages. That kind of didn’t. Philippe Gilbert took an impressive solo win – the second consecutive Thursday on which he has claimed stage honours – while Alberto Contador decided to show Mikel Landa (Astana) that there’s no forgiveness.
After the magnificent efforts of yesterday, the peloton must have been delighted to wake up to face the Giro’s shortest stage today. In the end the sprint teams worked hard to keep the breaks under control, especially on the climbs and descents at the end. As they tore through the Swiss border control with 7km to go and into the mazy streets of Lugano, Lampre-Merida positioned Sacha Modolo perfectly to take his second win and his team’s fourth. The GC remains unchanged.
The next two stages set up the peloton for the final two climbing stages on Friday and Saturday.