Rigoberto Uran of Team Sky won the first mountaintop finish of the Giro d'Italia, crowning an eight kilometer solo effort. The Colombian jumped from the group of favourites to put pressure on maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and just kept going – but unfortunately, Uran's captain Bradley Wiggins was forced to drop back on the final climb.
Carlos Betancur (AG2R) finished alone in second place at 20 seconds, with Nibali sprinting in for third at 31 seconds from a five-rider group.
The chaotic climbs again jumbled up the GC, although Nibali kept his overall lead. Evans remained in second at 41 seconds. Uran jumped to third at 2:04 down, one second ahead of Wiggins, who remained in fourth, although losing time. Robert Gesink (Blanco) rounded out the top five at 2:12.
It was an impressive showing by Sky, which came out of the rest day up for the challenge, but it didn't turn out as the British team had planned. Wiggins was unable to stay up with the other favourites on the brutal final climb, and lost 40 seconds on Nibali.
Defending Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal was the main victim of the day, being dropped on the first climb of the day. The Canadian riding for Garmin-Sharp continue to show the weaknesses first exposed on Sunday's stage, and faded quietly out of the ranks of favourites.
Danilo Di Luca had hoped to shine in this race, but he too, cracked on the final climb. He tried desperately to stay up with the Wiggins group, but was unable to hold the pace.
Rest day over
The riders were happy to start out under sunshine again after the first rest day. Two riders, however, were missing from the peloton: stage 5 winner John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) due to exhaustion, and Katusha's Angel Vicioso because of multiple fractures suffered in the ninth stage.
On a day full of climbing a 13-man lead group formed after just 20km of racing: Daniele Bennati (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Kenny Dehaes (Lotto Belisol), Elia Viviani (Cannondale Pro Cycling), Tiago Machado and Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack Leopard), David Millar and Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Sharp), Maarten Tjallingii (Blanco Pro Cycling Team), Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli), Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) and Pavel Brutt (Katusha). By the time they hit the feed zone at kilometre 81 they had built up a 6:50 lead.
The gap had grown to just over nine minutes, and was down to just over eight when Viviani jumped to take the intermediate sprint at kilometre 102.6. Astana doggedly led the chase, ably supported by Sky.
Roughly the first half of the course was slowly inclining, but the first “real” climb came shortly thereafter, the category one Passo Cason di Lanza. Sky jumped to the front as the serious climbing started, while the lead group started shedding its non-climbers. The gap dropped as well, second by second.
Nor was the lead group the only one to become smaller. Team Sky set such a blistering pace that the p