Giro stage 10 – Sagan Victory

With total support from his team, Peter Sagan sprinted to his 18th stage win in a Grand Tour as he won stage 10; Egan Bernal continues to lead with little change on the overall classification

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Giro stage 10 – Sagan Victory

While it started with a climb, stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia was predicted to end with a bunch sprint. The 139km parcours – the shortest road stage of the race – had only one categorised climb to contend with, a fourth category ascent cresting a little less than 40km from the finish in Foligno, which would be no trouble for a sprinter with their eye on the prize.

With less road on which to make an impact, the break went out as soon as they could, a group of five (Samuele Rivi, Umberto Marengo, Simon Pellaud, Kobe Goossens and stage winner Taco Van Der Hoorn) heading away from the start, and soon building up a lead of two minutes which had a big dent put in it when they were stopped at a level crossing whilst the peloton were not stopped to maintain the gap.

Worse for the break was to come because as soon as BORA-hansgrohe took to the front, however, this lead fell dramatically, as the German team set an incredibly hard pace on the day’s categorised climb to make it hard for Peter Sagan’s sprint rivals, before setting about catching the break.

Just as the escape was swept up with 43km left, it was clear the peloton was suffering, with riders like Dylan Groenewegen, Nizzolo and Tim Merlier being shelled out the back and with a long and straight route to the finish line, it was a matter of maintaining this pace to the line so none of the sprinters returned to contest the finish. Even GC contender Emanuel Buchmann helped his teammates Giovanni Aleotti and Daniel Oss continue to push the pace on at front.

While other teams and their riders made attempts to latch back on, the speeds were just too high, and as the race entered its final 5km, BORA-hansgrohe were still on the front, Maciej Bodnar maintaining that blistering pace with his time trial skills. The city streets in Foligno made the finish tense for the 80 up sprint finish and a crash in the last kilometre saw a split in the bunch, but Peter Sagan, followed by the other sprint contenders such as Gaveria and Viviani was safe at the front and was preparing for the finish line.

Into the final corner and Peter kicked hard, his rivals such as second placed Fernando Gaviria and third placed Davide Cimolai unable to match his speed and the former triple world champion won the stage. Sagan has won at least one stage win in every Grand Tour he has ridden for the last seven years. “Today, I think it was a very good stage for us and we try our best. I have to say thanks to all my teammates at Bora Hansgrohe, they did impressive job and they did a full gas job on the climbs to drop some sprinters. It was not enough to drop everyone, but in the end I won and I’m very happy for them.”

“I think another day when Caleb won 2nd stage I was very good. It was uphill, I had very good legs, I started from a little bit back, I had very good speed, but after I was pushed onto the barriers, I was lucky not to crash. Today I’m very happy to win stage like this, and, well, it was great job from all the team. When the pace is strong all day, it is easier. In the first stages of this Giro, I had the legs every day, but if the first 150km are easy, it is more difficult for me to beat the pure sprinters if the action is limited to the last 30km. I now have the Ciclamino jersey as well but the Giro is still long, we are only halfway through. We’ll see day by day what we can achieve.”

With the victory on stage 10, Sagan takes his haul of Grand Tour stages to 18, equal with Alejandro Valverde. Ahead of him, among active riders, only Mark Cavendish (48) and André Greipel (22) have more. Another little factoid, in 2019, Sagan stayed with Gaviria during his Colombian holidays… … today they finished first and second. Gaviria finished on the podium after a Giro stage for the 8th time: 5 wins, 3 second places.

Stage (Selected GC finishers)
1. Peter Sagan

20. Romain Bardet
26. Emanuel Buchmann
27. Attila Valter
30. Giulio Ciccone
38. Egan Bernal
55. Simon Yates
58. Dan Martin
60. Hugh carthy
72. Mark Christian
107. James Knox
115. Simon Carr

Giro Race Leader – Egan Bernal, former winner of the Tour de France, continues to lead with little change. In the sprint, Bernal explains “I was just following Pippo [Filippo Ganna]. I just saw the opportunity and I just went behind him. If you are going behind him, it’s easier. Finally I just take 1 second but it did not take any effort, so why not? The stage was actually really hard. Bora, I think they did a really great job on the climb, they set a really hard pace. I think everyone was full gas. Yeah, I think it was harder than we expected in the morning, but finally we saved the say and we are happy because of that.” Rest day tomorrow … “I will train on the bike because we have to stay super concentrated. The day after tomorrow (Strade Bianche type stage) it is one of the most important stages, so tomorrow we will have a good training session to be ready for it.”

Fernando Gaviria : “Sagan was very strong in the end and he deserved the win today. My condition is good but as a sprinter it’s tough to say you are really happy with a performance unless you win. I’m content that I’m getting closer, my condition is good and I’m hungry to go for that win in the second week.”

Davide Cimolai (3rd): “After finishing second twice and now third today, I would really have liked to win this one. However, I’m happy to take third after my team did an amazing job after the last climb. Today, I only missed the victory to make it a perfect day. I think there are still two sprint opportunities left and I really hope I can win one of them, especially the one finishing in my region! Now, I’m just looking forward to the rest day and not having to set an alarm in the morning. Maybe I can even have a pizza tonight.”

Nikias Arndt 11th (DSM)- “Today ended up as another sprint day,” explained Arndt at the finish. “We managed it well over the climbs and we stayed together as at team and brought Romain safely into the finish. We had a really nice lead out together today but unfortunately, Max was caught up in a crash so we lost him in the final kilometre. The team was riding well together today though and we’re in good shape. We’re looking forward to the first rest day now but also ahead to the second and third week of the Giro.”

Stefano Oldani: “We are in the #Giro so it’s not easy to be in the top five. I am really happy with my result. I have to say a big thanks to my teammate Harm Vanhoucke. He really impressed me today with a good lead out.”

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