Giro d’Italia 2021 : Stage 10 – Sagan sprints for stage; GC rivals sprint for seconds

Peter Sagan takes victory on Stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia after his team BORA-hansgrohe rode full gas in the final kilometres. The Slovakian made it around a series of high-speed sweeping corners on the tail of Sebastian Molano (UAE-Team Emirates) before surging past him to take his first Giro full-on sprint win. Molano’s teammate, Fernando Gaviria, had to settle for second with Israel Start-Up Nation’s Davide Cimolai rounding out the podium. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) remains in pink but Deceuninck-Quick Step rival Remco Evenepoel snatched a second back when the two teams battled for intermediate sprint seconds.

If at first you don’t succeed…

A hilly parcours ending in a sprint. How many times have we watched BORA-hansgrohe set out with the plan of dropping the out-and-out fast men on the climbs to give Sagz a better chance at the sprint? They try it every chance they get and it usually ends up with them burning through riders, not being able to keep the pace high enough up when the hills run out, and the fast men coming back to nick the glory. More of a damp fizzle than the explosion of the pink confetti canon.

Well NOT TODAY!!! Today they gambled on the shortest stage of the Giro, played it perfectly and Peter finished it off with some style.

Plan Part 1 : Drop those sprinters, baby!

The whole team came to front and rode hard on the two climbs in the last 40km.

It worked. Tim Merlier (Alpecin Fenix) and Jumbo-Vismas’s Dylan Groenewegen never saw the front of the race again and many others were put into the red.


Plan Part 2 : Make sure they don’t come back to ruin the party!

This is the trickier part to deliver, especially when the climbs are behind you.

However, unlike previous attempts the BORA gang got some help from an Israel Start-Up Nation willing to ride for their man Davide Cimolai. With both teams piling on the pace at the front, it was nigh-on impossible for anyone to make it back. It didn’t stop Qhubeka-Assos from trying and for several kilometres we watched Victor Campenaerts and Giacomo Nizzolo trying to TT back into contention.

You have to applaud the effort, even as you question the sense in it

I’m also questioning the route for these high speed finishes. Every roundabout and corner left me feeling nauseous. Look at the final 2 kilometres!

Max Kantor (Team DSM) took a tumble on the run to the line causing a split and holding up some GC riders. All were awarded the same as the winner and no one lost time.

Plan Part 3: Over to you, Peter

Bora still had plenty of riders to deliver Peter under the flamme rouge and he took care of it with typical Sagan style. Using Gaviria’s own lead-out man to get the jump and keeping the power on to keep his rivals behind him. The victory also moved him to the top of the points category and into the maglia ciclamino. Let the battle commence for intermediate bonus points.

His post race interview gives all the credit to an incredible team effort.

Sagz is not an out-and-out sprinter and I love to see the way he and his team get to work to give him the best chance they can. It doesn’t always work, but hot damn he brings the excitement.

When the finish is not the only exciting sprint

Only 15 seconds separated the race leader Egan Bernal from Remco Evenepoel at the start of the stage. That gap is now reduced to 14 as both young guns came out to fight for bonus seconds. No one is using the word boring now!

I watched in shock as Filippo Ganna set off with Bernal in tow. I can also get behind Bernanna as name for this duo – could they be the bromance of the Giro??

The Quicksteppers brought Evenepoel into play, who had the beating of Bernal. The young Belgian was only denied the full three seconds by the quick thinking and even faster pedalling of Jhonatan Navarez (INEOS Grenadiers).

Cycling fans LOVED IT

Especially when we see the rivalry and respect

Here’s what Bernal had to say post race

I didn’t plan to go for the intermediate sprint. I just saw the opportunity to go behind Remco. I took only one second but it didn’t take me any effort. We’re here also to enjoy the race and this was a nice way to do so. It was actually a harder stage than we thought it would be this morning. Bora did a great job. Tomorrow I’ll train during the rest day and I’ll prepare for the very important stage coming up on Wednesday.

The final words


Stage 9 Top 5 

1 Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) 3:10:56

2 Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) same time

3 Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) s/t

4 Stefano Oldani (Lotto-Soudal) s/t

5 Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin Fenix) s/t

GC Top 10 

1 Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 38:30:17

2 Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +0:14

3 Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana) +0:22

4 Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +0:37

5 Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) +0:44

6 Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo) +0:45

7 Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +0:46

8 Dan Martin (Israel Start-up Nation) +0:52

9 Simon Yates (Team Bike Exchange) +0:56

10 Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) +1:02

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

Points jersey Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe)

King of the Mountains Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r Citroen)

Best Young Rider Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.

Official race website: Giro d’Italia

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