At 244km, Stage 10 was the longest stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia, a rather brutal reintroduction to racing after the second rest day, made more complicated by early climbs and a rolling terrain. These transition stages are typically boring, but not this one. Within the first hour or so of racing, second-placed Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) was back in the gruppetto – losing 25min in all. Victory came from a late break, crafted by some hair-raising descending, and a two-man drag race for the line where Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) proved stronger than Nico Denz (Ag2r-La Mondiale). Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe), best of the rest, rounded out the podium. Maglia rosa Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) stays in pink; Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) moves up to second overall, at 41 seconds, with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) third at 46 seconds.
Rider of the Race
There can only be one winner today, 23-year-old Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) who slipped out of the main peloton (again), this time in the company of Astana’s Davide Villella with around 30km remaining – Mohoric had been part of the stage’s initial mass break-out. The pair, former teammates, worked together to overhaul the sole leader, Marco Frapporti (Androni-Sidermec) who was busy collecting Fuga Pinarello kilometres. On the wet descents, Mohoric treated us to a descending masterclass, at the end of which Villella was distanced. But Mohoric had gained another companion, Nico Denz (Ag2r La Mondiale), part of a further three-man break, who’d worked hard on the descent – nearly taking out Villella – to bridge.
The duo co-operated to build an unbeatable gap but ultimately Denz didn’t have the legs. He allowed Mohoric to lead through the final kilometre and was able to stay in the latter’s slipstream as he started to sprint. It was neck and neck as Denz tried to surge past Mohoric, whose second wind took him over the line for his maiden Giro victory.
Post-race the jubilant winner said:
I’m super happy – not just for me but for the team. They gave me this opportunity even though Domenico [Pozzovivo] is feeling very good for the GC. He gave me a free pass today to play for the stage win, and I’m super happy for it.
My fellow VeloVoice should’ve had more faith!
Today’s big storylineEmbed from Getty Images
Second-placed overall at the start of today’s stage, Esteban Chaves dropped out of contention when he was distanced, with the peloton pouring out the power, on the early second-category climb to Fonte della Creta and, after a prolonged chase, aided by Quick-Step, said goodbye to his hopes at this Giro.
Commentators (endlessly) speculated why this had happened. According to Mitchelton-Scott team management, he was suffering from pollen allergies. But the little Colombian was more sanguine:
That’s the Giro. I’ve got a difficult relationship with Italy – it’s love and hate. Just a few days ago I enjoyed one of the best days of my career and now it’s hard for my morale. But that’s life, we can only do our best. The important thing is that we’ve still got the leader’s jersey. Our plans won’t change.
We’ve still got to understand my problems. I just didn’t have the strength and couldn’t stay with the best on the first climb. We tried to chase with the team and got to within one minute but it didn’t work out.
Consequently, everyone else moves up a place on GC. Amazingly, Chaves managed a smile as he crossed the line. He’d probably read this tweet!
1 Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) 6:04:52
2 Nico Denz (Ag2r-La Mondiale) same time
3 Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) +0:34
4 Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) s/t
5 Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec) s/t
GC Top 10
1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 43:42:38
2 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:41
3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +0:46
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +1:00
5 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) +1:23
6 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +1:36
7 Rohan Dennis (BMC) +2:08
8 Pello Bilbao (Astana) +2:08
9 Michael Woods +2:28
10 Chris Froome (Sky) +2:30
All the jerseys
Leader’s jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Points jersey: Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
KOM jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
Best young rider: Richard Carapaz (Movistar)
For full review of the stage, go to Cycling News
Header image: ©GETTY/Velo/Tim de Waele