Stage 10 Race Report: Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) had to wait fifteen months for a win, but the Slovakian won an impressive stage 10 in the Giro d’Italia. Sagan was part of an early break, rode away from his last escape companion in the finalé and managed to stay out of the grasp of the group of GC men. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) was second and the pink jersey of João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) was third.
And not before time!
The riders who were left in this Giro gathered in Lanciano for the start were presented with a tough stage to the coastal town of Tortoreto Lido, but this did not stop the riders from making it a spectacular day. The attackers smelt their chance in this hilly stage and so there was an intense fight for the ‘Break of the Day’.
Sunweb stay, but Jumbo-Visma and Mitchelton-Scott leave the Giro
Stage 10 – Lanciano-Tortoreto – 177km
The stage course is varied, with a rough “wall climbing” finale. In the first part, up to Francavilla al Mare, the route follows the Adriatic coast. More intricate sectors are found when crossing urban areas. The course then heads inland, towards Chieti, and takes in a succession of climbs culminating in the Muro del Tricalle (with gradients topping out at 18%). The route goes back onto the coast until Giulianova, and after a few kilometres it enters the “closing circuit” – a succession of punchy climbs of nearly 40km. The route takes a first pass through Tortoreto (upper town), descends onto the ss. 16, reaches Martinsicuro and then tackles two consecutive harsh climbs: Colonnella (10% avg. and 18% max gradient) and Controguerra (24%). The course climbs back up to Tortoreto along a different side (with maximum gradient of 20%), and then repeats the first ascent (max gradient: 18%), clearing the summit approximately 10km from the finish.
Stage 10 profile
The final 10km descend at first, then the route levels out and straightens over the last 7km. There is one sharp bend 5km before the finish, after a railway underpass, and one last right-hander with 3,500m to go, leading into the long home straight. The roadway narrows owing to a roundabout with 1,700m to go. The finish line sits on 8m wide tarmac.
The peloton is a bit smaller today
The peloton is now only 145 rider, today the riders who did not start were: Lawson Craddock (EF Pro Cycling), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott), Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott), Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott), Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma), Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma), Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma), Christoph Pfingsten (Jumbo-Visma), Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma), Jos Van Emden (Jumbo-Visma), Michael Matthews (Sunweb). Matthews and Kruijswijk were both covid-19 positive, four members of Mitchelton-Scott staff also tested positive and so the Jumbo-Visma and Mitchelton-Scott teams decided to pulled out.
A day to upset the GC
A first attack from Ben Swift was defused as BORA-hansgrohe had hatched a plan with Peter Sagan and it was the Slovak who managed to cross over to the front runners. At the front there were strong riders like Sagan and two-time stage winner Filippo Ganna and his teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart, but this escape was short-lived. Sagan was keen to sneak into the early break, so he and Ganna attacked again. The two front runners together started the steep climb in Chieti, where Sagan crossed the line in 2012 as the winner in Tirreno-Adriatico. It was the three-time World champion who was first, followed by Ganna and several riders who had jumped from the fragmented peloton. On the descent there was a regrouping at the front.
The break of the day – Not yet
Sagan and Ganna were joined by Simon Clarke, Ignatas Konovalovas, Ben Swift, Giulio Ciccone, Dario Cataldo, Jhonatan Restrepo, Nicolas Edet, Stéphane Rossetto and Davide Villella. In the peloton; Groupama-FDJ were on the front. Arnaud Démare did not want his biggest competitor for the purple points jersey, Sagan out of his sight. The difference continued to fluctuate around 30 seconds for some time. At one point, the French team managed to get within 20 seconds of the leading group, but closing the last gap was just not possible. With 90 kilometres to go, the Démare team suddenly gave up, knowing that it had become impossible to get the leading group back, and the difference increased to 4 minutes.
A hard stage after the rest day
By that point the lead group was down to only seven riders: Sagan, Ganna, Swift, Cataldo, Restrepo, Clarke and Villella. They worked well together, but they could not count on victory yet. In the peloton UAE Team Emirates were working for Diego Ulissi. The difference to the break got smaller and smaller, but the leading group started the next climb of the Colonnella (3.1 km at 9.2%, maximum 18%) with a decent lead. Cataldo decided to attack. Swift was immediately on the wheel, Sagan, Restrepo and Villella were also able to catch them not much later. Ganna and Clarke couldn’t, although the Italian World time trial champion managed to return on the descent.
The big man Filippo Ganna in the action again
In the peloton, UAE Team Emirates were helped by NTT Pro Cycling. The South African team were working hard for Domenico Pozzovivo, reducing the gap to 1 minute. The front riders knew the chase was hard behind them and with 30 kilometres to go the sky opened and there was heavy rain storm causing a treacherous final to Tortoreto. With just over 20 kilometres to go, we saw an attack from the peloton by Pello Bilbao, who is 3rd overall and just 39 seconds behind leader João Almeida. The Bahrain-McLaren Spaniard was not scared of the risks on the descent and this caused quite a bit of nervousness among the other classification riders. Bilbao was on the attack, but to make matters worse, Pozzovivo suffered a puncture and had to chase.
Sunweb lost Matthews, but they still have Wilco Kelderman
The break only had 30 seconds lead and this was the signal for Sagan to shake things up a bit. The Slovak jumped on one of the steep sections and only Swift was able to follow him. Bilbao had meanwhile joined the dropped riders: Restrepo, Cataldo, Ganna and Villella and tried to close the last gap on the two leaders.
João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick Step) fought hard to keep his pink jersey and took 3rd on the stage
In the group of favourites we saw an attentive Wilco Kelderman and Almeida, along with Jakob Fuglsang and Vincenzo Nibali. Harm Vanhoucke was on a bad day and had to let go of the other GC men and was overtaken by Pozzovivo. After a frantic chase, the little Italian managed to rejoin the other overall contenders, who were still 30 seconds behind Swift and Sagan.
Not many flat roads in these parts
Sagan and Swift were not waiting in the drizzly conditions, and were nearly joined by Bilbao just before the last climb, the Tortoreto Alto (1.9 kilometres at an average of 7.2%). Sagan decided he had to go solo and left Swift and also rode further away from Bilbao.
Sagan and Swift off the front
In the chasing group it was now ‘all hands on deck’. Pink jersey wearer, Almeida, decided to test the others on the steep climb, but it was Pozzovivo who countered and after his chase, he still had enough in the tank to test his competitors. Sagan was the first to reach the top of Tortoreto Alto, Bilbao was 15 seconds later, the other classification riders followed at 20 seconds with more than 10 kilometres to go.
On the fast descent of the Tortoreto Alto, Fuglsang had to deal with a flat tyre at the wrong moment and had to limit the damage after a wheel change. Sagan started the last seven relatively flat kilometres to the finish with a 30 second lead.
A great win for Peter Sagan
The lonely Slovak had to suffer for another seven kilometres, but no one was able to catch him. Sagan had plenty of time at the finish to make his first victory salute in more than a year. Brandon McNulty finished second at 19 seconds behind the stage winner.
Nice move by Almeida to finish 3rd
Almeida did excellent work with third place, with the bonus seconds. Kelderman crossed the line in eighth place, Fuglsang lost more than a minute at the finish to the other GC riders.
Not a good day for Fuglsang who lost time due to a puncture
Stage winner, Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe): “I won with my style, putting on a show! We were in the breakaway all day, I had good legs, and went solo on the uphill before descending with attention in the downhill and then full gas in the final kilometres.”
Maglia Rosa, João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “Also today the team did a perfect job. In the final I tried to attack, then I managed to gain a few seconds with the time bonus on the finish line. Overall, it was a good day.”
# Keep it PEZ for the full Giro experience. #
Giro d’Italia Stage 10 result:
1. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe at 4:01:56
2. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:19
3. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:23
4. Ben Swift (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
5. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb
6. Rafał Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe
7. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
10. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
11. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
12. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
13. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-McLaren
14. Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC
15. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling at 0:50
16. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC
17. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar
18. Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) INEOS Grenadiers
19. Nico Denz (Ger) Sunweb at 1:38
20. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
21. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
22. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
23. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
24. Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
25. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb.
Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 10:
1. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step in 39:38:05
2. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 0:34
3. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:43
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling at 0:57
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:01
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:15
7. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb at 1:19
8. Rafał Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe at 1:21
9. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:36
10. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-McLaren at 1:52
11. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 2:20
12. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) CCC at 2:27
13. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 2:39
14. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:45
15. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar at 2:58
16. Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 4:42
17. Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar at 5:25
18. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 5:32
19. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 6:13
20. Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 6:21
21. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 10:49
22. Attila Valter (Hun) CCC at 11:26
23. Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R-La Mondiale at 15:28
24. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) BORA-hansgrohe at 19:46
25. Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana at 23:35.