This year’s edition of the Giro d’Italia has been anything but predictable. The only thing you can be sure of is that the unexpected would happen.
And that’s how it turned out today. What was, on paper, supposed to be a pan flat stage for the sprinters erupted into an Astana and Sky rampage. The ensuing action turned the general classification upside down.
For once this week the stage played out almost exactly as one would expect. The day’s breakaway was caught with minimum effort, a bunch sprint followed and Quick-Step’s Elia Viviani emerged to take his hat trick. Sam Bennett and Danny van Poppel rounded out the podium. There was no change on GC with Simon Yates still clad in pink.
Rider of the race
It was slim pickings for the rider of the race today so I’m going to give it to the stage winner. At least he did a couple of things of note.
After yesterday’s poor showing questions were being asked about Viviani’s form. Would he have enough left to keep competing for the maglia ciclamino points jersey? He quashed any doubt about his desire by jumping out of the main group to take last remaining points at today’s intermediate sprint.
The final dash to the line was complicated. Zdenek Stybar seemed to be protecting Viviani’s back wheel to discourage Sam Bennett from following it. That forced Bennett to find another path to the finish and left Viviani free to fly. The Quick-Step leader timed his surge perfectly. With a series of tightly controlled moves, he wound his way around those ahead of him and crossed the line ahead well ahead of his rivals and in some style.
His post-race interview showed yesterday’s washout had obviously been playing on the Italian’s mind.
After a difficult day that is what I need and what the team need because they work so hard and they deserve it. We want to win (the points jersey) in Rome after a beautiful start. You live a dream … it’s one week to go … the important thing is to win
What else happened?
Certainties when watching the Giro – You’ll see at least one house you wished you lived in, you’ll see a village you’d like to visit and you’ll see Androni in the break. Today’s star was Andrea Vendrame. I’d love to share some images with you but Androni has only tweeted twice during this edition of the Giro!
Hometown glory – One lovely sight during the stage was Bardiani’s Paolo Simion being allowed to go solo as the race passed through his hometown of Martellago. The locals seemed and sounded very pleased to see him. Simion enjoyed it too.
Stick your feet up – Most teams, especially those with GC contenders, took it very easy today because they know what’s coming next. The mighty Monte Zoncolan is awaiting. So if the action wasn’t spellbinding on this stage it gave us time to ponder just what might happen tomorrow.
Motivational? – Maybe Sam Bennett didn’t try too hard today after this fearsome celebration of his victory last night? I mean who’d want to see this two days running?
Chad Haga speaks
He makes it sound so simple.
1 Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 3:56:25
2 Sam Bennett (BORA-hansgrohe) same time
3 Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) s/t
4 Sacha Modalo (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) s/t
5 Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data) s/t
GC Top 10
1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 55:54:20
2 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0:47
3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +1:04
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +1:18
5 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) +1:56
6 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +2:09
7 Rohan Dennis (BMC) +2:36
8 Pello Bilbao (Astana) +2:54
9 Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe) +2:55
10 Fabio Aru (UAE-Emirates) +3:10
All the jerseysEmbed from Getty Images
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)
Full stage report from Cycling News
Header Image: Elia Viviani – Tim de Waele/Getty Images