NOT a banal stage this is. First of all because it comes after the rest day, and a stressful one. Then because its profile isn't banal: a small uncategorised climb at the start, two serious KOMs and a waved finale. The last little climb is close to the line and it should suit a strong finisseur. But also a good break-away.
It's going to interesting!
A break in fact tries to go away immediately: Boem, Mohoric and Rosskopf got a gap. Brändle is chasing and the peloton is at 3' after just 15 km.
In Catanzaro the crowd was colourful and large. The weather is great and it should remain so. Fortunately... You remember may be from a previous Giro what rain means on the south Italy roads...20 km to go and Brändle made it to the break: four riders in front. I'm happy to see Matej Mohoric up there after his bad crash in Qatar. Top guy!
The break is settled and it seems that the main teams agree. Only Team Nippo is chasing: they missed the move.
After about 40 km Brandle, Mohoric, Rosskopf and Boem have 1'10" but now their advantage started decreasing as in the peloton some more teams decided to help the chase. The pace is VERY fast, 50 km/h! Omar Fraile crashed but he's back on bike.
The chase suceeded and with the break only few seconds away Nippo's Grosu tries to bridge... but he can't! Mohoric, Rosskopf and Boem speed up and open the gap again. Nippo apparently gives up as they are no more at the front.
90 km to go four riders has got 2'38". Team Etixx-QS is leading the bunch and keeps the break on control.
Bonifati: first climb of the day:(3rd cat, 6.6km, avg 6%, max 9%). It's hot - 38 degrees - and riders are asking more bottles. Nikel Landa had a mechanical problem and his team mate Nieve is escorting him back to the peloton.
Berlato is by the race doctor car: he fell in the rest day and need treatment.
At the KOM Boem is first on Rosskopf and Mohoric. Behind the sprinters start suffering...
Today the cycling community remember Wouter Weylandt: there is no more a number 108 in the Giro's . His dead was a shock for all us. It happened today.
San Pietro: second climb of the day. Team Giant-Alpecin is setting a very high pace and riders are dropped at the back. The gap is under 1' and the jury stops the first team cars.
The peloton splits and Elia Viviani is in the 2nd group. Marcel Kittel is also dropped.
51 km to go the break is caught. Pirazzi and Cunego attack from the back of the peloton and Cunego conquers the KOM. They don't insist and now in front there is Nibali's Astana.
Marcel Kittel is more than 1' behind. Modolo and Greipel were also dropped but came back in the descent. Kittel is fighting too and 40 km to go his delay is just 28''.
As the race reaches the flat Bonnafond and Domont attack. The Pink Jersey Marcel Kittel is back in the front group, and once again he must thank his teammate Matteo Trentin.
The two riders have a gap and several riders try to bridge. A crash at the back, no names yet. Geniez abandoned. In front a 15 riders group formed and is chasing. It includes Bob Jungels, Pieter Serry, Moser, Preidler, Bongiorno, Wellens and De Marchi amongh the others. They caught the two but it's a fluid situation.
25 km to go six riders have a slight advantage, they are: Domont, Pirazzi, De Marchi, Wellens, Serry, Conti and Lopez. Cunego is trying to bridge but the peloton is chasing very hard, pulled by Team Sky. In the front group there is no collaboration.
At least Pieter Serry wins the intermediate sprint...
Riders are bridging. De Marchi and Conti attack. 20 km to go gap is just 13". Alejandro Valverde's Movistar takes the lead in the peloton.
The last climb is coming: Via del Fortino but Marcel Kittel is in troubles already.
In front a new break formed, including Conti, Ulissi, Serry, Wellens, Cunego, Lopez, Domont, Pirazzi and Preidler. The gap is just 26''. They are in the descent. Now in the flat. Finally the last climb.
Moreno Moser attacks from the peloton. Caught. Many attack. Break over, only Ulissi still away.
Brambilla dashes off the peloton and tries to bridge. It's a flat large road. Brambilla is caught.
Ulissi goes. He's on the lungomare of Praia a Mare. Behind Bob Jungels is furiously pulling the front group, all stretched in a long line.
Last km: Ulissi goes. Tom Dumoulin gets off the peloton to take back the Pink Jersey. With him there is Steven Kruijswijk.
Diego Ulissi wins solo. Then Dumoulin, back to the top of the race. And 2nd in the new GC is Bob Jungels! He's also the new White Jersey.
"I’m extremely happy. My victory comes after enormous team work. Valerio Conti managed to create the group and I rode away"
"It’s great to get the Maglia Rosa back. That’s what we were working for today. Very nice to have the #MagliaRosa on my shoulders again after some great teamwork!!! Special thanks to @PREIDI today. He was flying!"
"I know every second counts but today's loss is small in the big picture. @TrekSegafredo rode well and this race is long. Thanks guys!"
“When you get in a breakaway you always hope for a situation where teams are either fighting not to work or let you get a big gap and that definitely didn’t happen today. They really made us work for it. So that’s not really what you want to see because we came to back to around 15 seconds of the group after only 60 kilometers, and then had to work to get it back up.
But that was my goal today, it’s not like I just found myself in the breakaway by accident. So it’s nice to be able to set out a goal and make it happen like that. I felt good all day. It was also a chance to go for the KOM jersey but that didn’t happen because we were caught so early, but I was feeling good enough to go for that. So now we’ll see what happens, maybe try another day to get in the breakaway.”
"It's nice to be back wearing a Giro jersey. I'm thrilled NIPPO Fantini"
“You’re able to save a lot of energy on the first climb of the day, but you have to be in front to accomplish that. Last year, I lost a lot of time in a moment like this. If my team-mates support me as they did today, I’m able to start the final part of the race fresh to compete for a stage victory. I’m happy to reward the team a little bit today so they will keep faith in me.
I saw a chance to go along with Tom. I was able to do one effort and finished third. That is a good result, but I wasn’t thinking about that actually. The most important thing is that today’s stage gave me a positive feeling.”
"It was fast all day, and definitely in the last 80k or so it was full-on with shorter, complicated climbs. Even on the last climb I was right there and I could see the front and just in the last couple of switchbacks before getting onto the highway a bunch of guys let the wheels go and then all of a sudden no one wanted to help [close it]. I was a bit isolated and a few seconds at the top turned into 35 in seven kilometers. That's the frustrating part, but what can you do?
It was a complicated stage near the end. But I feel that we rode well and did everything right and then still at the end to still lose time eats at you a little bit more. But, the race is long so you can't get too worried about it."
“We knew beforehand that it wouldn’t be a sprint stage so we had to come up with another tactic. We decided that I would position myself in the front of the peloton during the final 50 kilometres. If a few good riders would try to get away, I would join them. At a bit more than 30 kilometres from the finish several strong riders accelerated and I followed. The original front group of about twenty riders was reduced to seven at the beginning of the final climb. I felt really good during the stage, but at 500 metres from the summit I was unable to follow the rest of the front group. That was a pity, especially because the winner of the stage was part of that group. This stage was an opportunity to obtain a nice result, unfortunately it didn’t turn out well. There will be other stages in this Giro where I’ll be able to show myself, but now I’m a bit disappointed with this missed chance.”
“The teams with fast riders but no sprinters tried to blow out the sprinters by going all out on the last climbs, and it was extremely fast on that final [unclassified] ascent, particularly the last part. I didn’t have my best day today, but I was up there with the best. The descent was tricky but Astana kept up a good pace there and I ended up coming through fine. I’ve got through this day and I’m ready for another.”
"It was a memorable day. The people who came to watch the race were unbelievable, cheering for us and shouting our name from start to finish. This shows just how much they love cycling and seeing them today made me even prouder to be here and have the jersey on my shoulders.
We honoured the pink jersey, but the final was very hard and so it turned out to be really difficult for me, also because we experienced high temperatures. I am a little bit sad, but losing the jersey wasn't a surprise, because the whole day was an up-and-down affair on a difficult parcours, totally different than the one in the Netherlands."
"It's my first Grand Tour with Etixx – Quick-Step and I can already call it a success. It was a special day, but also a difficult one, made even harder by the other teams on the last climb, which was a nasty one. I am happy not only for taking the jersey and seeing that I have a good shape, but also for doing such a good job on a very difficult stage. It's great to be on the podium of the Giro d'Italia."
"I tried on the downhill because I wanted to see if someone will join me in order to go after Ulissi. I did my best and could also count on the help of Bob, who worked hard and stretched the peloton in the final, but Diego was really strong and deserves our congratulations. As for me, I'm happy with my performance and the feeling I had on the climb. Let's see now what the future will bring."
“I didn't realise Landa had been dropped into the Via Fortino ascent before the Astana riders, who were pushing at the front, told me after the climb. In such a steep, short climb, only 1.5km, you're focused on giving your all, and many times you're unable to keep your attention on such things. It was a difficult finish for everyone and in those situations, it's less hard for a break to succeed. Ulissi really did a great job, he deserved that win. I was on the right place: this has just begun, and even though we would have liked to take some seconds' bonus, I took a fine fourth spot, fine considering we're still very early in this Giro. I'm feeling quite well and I hope I can continue to do so in the next few days."
"I tried to attack early to get in the break but the climb was longer than expected! I have good legs anyway, more chances will come".
"Spent my day in the breakaway today. After we got caught, all Team Lampre Merida did a great team effort. It was finished of by Diego Ulissi, who WON THE STAGE!!! Grande Diego!!
Now bring on the next stages!"
"I’m happy that I got across to the move but also a bit disappointed that I couldn’t follow Ulissi when he went and to go for the stage – but overall I’m pleased that I was there for the team and that I had my chance to go for the stage victory. It was probably one of the warmest days since I’ve been in Europe – it’s the type of weather I like racing in but it was a bit of a shock to the system too!"
1 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida 4:46:51
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:05
3 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06
5 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
8 Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
9 Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-GreenEdge
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
11 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
12 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team
13 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin
14 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
15 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data
16 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling
17 Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha
18 Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha
19 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
20 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky
21 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step
22 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
23 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
24 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF
25 David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky
26 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF
27 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:42
28 Jay Mccarthy (Aus) Tinkoff Team
29 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Merida
30 Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 0:00:43
31 David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step
32 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
33 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step
34 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
35 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
36 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Cannondale Pro Cycling
37 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
38 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff Team
39 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team
40 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
41 Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data
42 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo
43 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky
44 Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky
45 Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF
46 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
47 Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha
48 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Team
49 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-GreenEdge 0:01:08
50 Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Team Katusha
51 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
1 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 14:00:09
2 Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:20
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida
4 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:00:24
5 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Alpecin
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:26
7 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:31
8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:35
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:00:37
10 Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-GreenEdge
11 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:39
12 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:40
13 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:00:45
14 Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha
15 Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:46
16 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:47
17 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data
18 Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team 0:00:50
19 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:52
20 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:54
21 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:56
22 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:57
23 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
24 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
25 Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:01:05
26 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
27 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:01:16
28 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:17
29 David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:18
30 Matteo Busato (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
31 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:34
32 Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky
33 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:01:35
34 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
35 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:37
36 Stefan Kueng (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:42
37 Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:43
38 Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Team Katusha 0:01:46
39 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:01:48
40 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:49
41 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:50
42 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data 0:01:52
43 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff Team 0:01:55
44 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:01:58
45 Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:01:59
46 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre - Merida 0:02:04
47 Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:02:10
48 Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:02:19
49 Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data 0:02:33
50 Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:02:34
Pink: Tom Dumoulin
Blue: Damiano Cunego
Red: Marcel Kittel
White: Bob Jungels