Yesterday Monte Zoncolan assaulted the riders’ legs and bruised a few egos. Today’s stage required maximum concentration and sheer power. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) delivered an aggressive masterclass taking the stage win and solidifying his place at the top of the GC. Every other rider was an also-ran.
It was hyped as one of the showcase stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia and it actually lived up to our expectations. With some aggressive pacemaking from Astana, by the time the maglia rosa group hit the slopes of the mighty Zoncolan, the field was well and truly thinned out. With 4km to go, Chris Froome found his form and attacked with no one catching his wheel. Simon Yates waited until under the 3km banner to give chase, hoping to distance a slowly-but-surely Tom Dumoulin. Froome won the stage but didn’t do anything to prise Yates’s grip off the maglia rosa. It did juggle the top 10 around, though.
Here’s a vid (brought to my attention by our own Sheree – thanks!) of a couple of guys who were on the Zoncolan last week. Worth the whole five minutes.