Fabio Aru crossed the finish line in Lugano alongside Alberto Contador, safely in the peloton but with the pain and suffering of Tuesday's stage to Aprica still in his legs and still fresh in his mind.
Aru slipped to third overall after being dropped on the Mortirolo and is now 4:52 down on Contador and 50 seconds behind teammate and supposed domestique Mikel Landa. Worryingly for Aru and the Astana team, Andrey Amador (Movistar) is only 56 seconds back and could knock the Sardinian off the podium during the final mountain stages.
Aru has never looked for excuses during his difficult moments at the Giro d'Italia but has toned down his hopes and objectives for the final stages of the Giro, giving the impression he would be happy to hang onto his place on the final podium in Milan.
To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here