Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) defied the pundits to finally take his maiden Giro victory – the first time has put his hands in the air this year. The French speedster jumped early and powered away to the line leaving second place Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quickstep) in his wake. BORA-hansgrohe’s Rudiger Selig took third after a nasty, high-speed crash at the flamme rouge left teammate Pascal Ackermann on the deck – his maglia ciclamino in shreds. The GC remains unchanged with Valerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates) still in pink.
Stage 10 was short (145km), distinctly flat in profile, and featured a relatively uncomplicated finale compared to some we have seen at this year’s Giro. With these characteristics, I fully expected this stage to be contested by the lightning quick – a head to head between Ackermann, Viviani and Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan. I discounted Demare. He’s a man for a harder finish, doesn’t possess quite in the same in-line speed as the others I thought. I’m delighted to be proved wrong.
Rider(s) of the Race
I’m calling for the extended VeloVoices podium, or possibly a large 8 seater sofa and the drinks trolley, as we welcome the entire Groupama-FDJ Giro squad to receive the award. It’s fair to say the man they nickname NoNo has not had the winning start to the season he would have wished for. With a second place on stage three and third on stage five it looked like three weeks in Italy was heading the same way. But what has really impressed me is they have never stopped trying for that elusive first Giro victoire for their team leader, they never stopped believing he could claim the top step. That distinctive bleu-blanc-rouge kit has been visible on the front chasing down breaks and on the sharp end of sprints working to deliver Demare with the best possible chance. Today they got it right, all that work paid off. Bravo les gars!
It’s been a tough time for Arnaud [Demare], he’s our leader and there’s a lot of pressure on him. After the last sprint stages we had, the mood was pretty low on the bus and we were all pretty tired from the effort and we did a lot of work and it wasn’t coming off. Today we thought do we even ride from the beginning – and finally he delivered. Miles Scotson
This victory has left Demare sitting just point away from the maglia ciclamino. He claimed maximum points at the bonus sprint today and there is no doubt the team will target them again. Of all the fast men in the running for this competition, I’d say Demare is the one most likely to reach Verona.
It all happened at the Flamme Rouge
Whether you’re watching on the sofa, or part of the peloton, those last 1000 metres in a sprint finale are not for the faint-hearted. While some the Giro sprint finishes have been technical to say the least, this one looked benign by comparison. However, a swift touch of wheels at the 1km to go banner and unfortunately we were witness to a high speed crash that left several riders battered and bruised. Point’s leader Pascal Ackermann was able to cross the line with his teammates, but I can’t imagine how he’s going to get any sleep tonight.Embed from Getty Images
Trek Segafredo’s young Italian sprinter Matteo Moschetti crashed heavily into the barrier and was immediately surrounded by worried teammates and medical staff. The report is bad enough, but thank goodness it was no worse.
We wish all the riders involved a speedy recovery.
It truly was one of those days for the TV watching fans. 144.8km of Zzzz followed by a blitzing 200m. At least we had twitter.
The question many were asking…
Even Thomas was querying his Giro life this morning…
You have to feel for the commentators…
It’ll be different tomorrow though right? NOOOOOOOOOO
Join me tomorrow for another brilliant day on twitter and the final sprint stage.
Pic of the day
Love that jersey
The last word to…
…Monsieur Madiot. What Groupama-FDJ victory is complete without him
Stage Results – Top 5
1 Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 3:36:07
2 Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quickstep) same time
3 Rudiger Selig (BORA-hansgrohe) s/t
4 Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) s/t
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data) s/t
General Classification – Top 10Embed from Getty Images
1 Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) 39:44:39
2 Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) at 1:50
3 Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) at 2:21
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) 2:33
5 Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) at 2:36
6 Andrey Amador (Movistar Team) at 2:39
7 Amaro Antunes (CCC Team) at 3:05
8 Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) at 3:27
9 Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani CSF) at 3:30
10 Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team) at 3:32
All the jerseys
Maglia rosa – Valerio Conti (UAE-Team Emirates)
Maglia blanca – Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale)
Maglia azzurra – Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)
Maglia ciclamino – Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe)
For full stage review and race results, go to cyclingnews.