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Giro d'Italia 2014: Stage 10

Good morning and welcome to live coverage from stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia from Modela to Salsomaggiore.

The peloton's duvet day is over and they're back on their bikes for another stage at the Giro d'Italia. And it's a stage for the sprinters and day for the GC contenders to sit back, stay out of trouble and keep their powder dry for the moutains that lay ahead.

We're in Modela for the stage start this morning. The riders are currently signing on, there's Cadel Evans in pink, and the sun in shining. Belfast and the rain that came back with us to Bari seem like an eternity ago.

The stage will start in around 20 minutes with a short neutralized zone, as always. Not a single climb on the route though, so again, if this doesn't come down to a bunch sprint we'll be very surprised... however you can read the full stage preview, right here.

There is a final climb, uncategorized before the finish mind, just to put doubt into our minds as well as yours but with Cannondale, Giant, Lampre, FDJ, and Orica all pushing for a sprint....

After nine days of racing, here's how things stand on GC with Cadel Evans in the maglia rosa but a number of riders within striking distance:

 

1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 38:49:34
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:57
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:10
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:20
5 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:31
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:39
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:43
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:44
9 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:45
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:49

Evans's closest rival is Rigoberto Uran and the word coming out of the Omega camp, as you would expect, is that he's getting better and better. Tom Steels has had his say on the Colombian climber, and you can read the story right here.

Around ten minutes until the start of stage 10 now, more and more riders are gathering on the startline and enjoying the sun. Cadel Evans is near the front, on his BMC bike, of course. And you can read James Huang's excellent right up on the bike, here.

Let's keep the Antipodean theme going - we know it's late for our readers out there - but we've also this blog from former maglia rosa Michael Matthews about his opening week which saw him lead the race and win a stage.

Nairo Quintana, who has been in the wars in the Giro and is suffering after a crash, joins the riders at the front of the peloton. The Colombian climber is well positioned in the top ten and has perhaps the strongest team in the race. He'll be looking to recover as much as possible before Thursday's crucial time trial.

Photographer Pete Goding, who has shot for us at many races before, and who is one half of the Mountain High book project, has just launched the Mountain High app. It's well worth downloading and you can do so, right here.

 

In the unique new app Mountain High, the sacred sites of cycling are showcased and scrutinized by breathtaking images and detailed interactive mapping features. Over 50 legendary routes are covered, including all the classics from the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia.

The peloton have meanwhile rolled out and are riding through the neutralized zone for today's 173km stage to Salsomaggiore.

4km remaining from 173km

The peloton have made it through the neutralized zone and are now officially racing. They're stil together though with no major attacks or splits. Who wants to take on the sprinters' teams. Surely Androni and Colombia will kick things off for us.

169km remaining from 173km

Lets put the correct KM stamp up this time, shall we. Still no splits on the field.

Away from the Giro briefly and the biggest news today has been around the Team Alonso situation. We've heard from agents that the project has just a matter of days to get off the ground but now we understand that Alonso is unhappy with the UCI's system of granting WorldTour licences and has asked for guarantees. Everyone knows that the UCI has never shown an ounce of favouritism in the past so there’s little chance of a multimillionaire and his rich backers getting what they want. Meanwhile the same names – Sagan, Boasson Hagen, Tony Martin – are still mentioned as possible targets for the possible team. You can read the Alonso team story, here.

Just two men in the break at the moment Marco Bandiera (Androni) and Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli - Yellow Fluo). They have a gap over the field but time gaps are slow to reach us at the moment.

160km remaining from 173km

And it's a huge gap, up to 8'35 after 13km of racing. So that's our break of the day sorted. Evans and his BMC team won't need to chase for a while. Fed leads the Most aggressive rider classification with Bandiera in third so they're going toe-to-toe today. Both riders are over an hour down on GC so they're no threat at all to Evans.

The peloton have put a temporary cap on the break's advantage and are holding the leading pair at 8'30 at the moment. Easy street for Evans and BMC this morning. They can just tap out a gentle pace for the first 50km or so and then allow the sprinters' teams to come through and organise a more intense chase.

The situation in the red points jersey is pretty tight at the moment but Bouhanni has the advantage due to his two stage wins. We should see the top six in that competition fight it out for the win today.

 

1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr 166 pts
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing 150
3 Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale 139
4 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida 121
5 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 92
6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica Greenedge 90
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 66
8 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 60
9 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin Sharp 53
10 Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 5

Bouhanni's situation is quite interesting. If Kittel hadn't of pulled out of the race it's fair to say that the German could have marched on and won the two stages Bouhanni has claimed. However the German dropped out through illness and Bouhanni is still here. His two stage wins put him in an excellent position with his contract at FDJ up at the end of the season.

The gap to the leaders has dropped, and it's at 7'50.

Today's route follows the flat roads of the Po Valley in the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia and Parma. No particular difficulties until the last kilometres. At Castelfranco Emilia (km 9), roundabouts and central reservation. At Mirandola (km 61), narrow roadway due to road-works. Kms 69-76, narrow roadway. Feed zone at Villarotta (km 90.8). At Guastalla (km 98), city-centre pavé. At Parma (km 132), series of roundabouts and traffic dividers.

Remember you can catch all our Giro d'Italia race videos, right here with interviews, analysis and pro rider bikes. You can subscribe to the channel for free.

123km remaining from 173km

50km into the race and the peloton have the break at an even six minutes. If only Fedi and Bandiera had a bit more support up there with them.

Viviani is looking to bounce back. He's not quite had the legs in the sprint and he suffered with a fever over the rest day. Nizzolo is another Italian looking for a win. The sprint finish suits him but he's going to need Trek and perhaps Hondo to lead him out perfectly.

Bouhanni comes in with total confidence though. The Frenchman leads the points jersey and has the measure of his rivals in the race.

114km remaining from 173km

114km to go and the break is at 5'38. The sprinters' teams are controlling the peloton at the moment and we can expect that to remain constant all the way until the finish.

BMC are near the front too, Cadel Evans nicely tucked in behind a train of his teammates.

Viviani picks up third in the intermediate sprint so chips away at Bouhanni's lead in the competition. The two leaders have lost more time due to the peloton raising the pace and the gap is now at 5'01.

Cannondale arguably have the strongest lead out in the race and Bouhanni was a little bit isolated there.

The most popular video in the last few days on CN has been this one of Jens Voigt's reaction after a post-race interview at the Tour of California. A must-watch for all Voigt fans.

As the peloton here in the Giro part and wrap around another round about, the lead holding at 5 minutes with 101km go to.

FDJ move to the front now and begin to set the pace on the front of the peloton. There's the odd Giant Shimano rider in the mix too but it's all blue on the front. Viviani and his teammates are just behind them.

90km remaining from 173km

90km remaining and the gap has gone back out to 5'40.

The peloton have lined out, Quintana is back at the team car having his lunch, as they race alongside the Secchia river.

Near the back of the bunch former Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal is talking with his teammates. The Canadian has looked in decent form this week but lost a chunk of time in the TTT after Dan Martin crashed out. He's capable of a top ten in this year's race though.

Foot off the gas in the bunch with the two leaders now enjoying a buffer of 6'24.

It shouldn't change today but here's a reminder of where things stand in the overall:

 

1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 38:49:34
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:57
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:10
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:20
5 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:31
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:39
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:43
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:44
9 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:45
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:49

79km remaining from 173km

The gap hold at 6'37, Hesjedal still right at the back of the peloton for now. The pace is increasing though.

Fedi's team car pulls up to him and he takes a fresh bottle as behind and back in the bunch FDJ hunch their shoulders, lean over their bars and push on the pedals as they look to reduce the gap.

Bandiera leans back on the bars and takes the pressure off his lower back as Fedi sets the pace for the two leaders. Long, flat roads and little wind at the moment, with the gap at 5'57.

The peloton head through the feedzone and there are a number of riders tucking into their lunch. Sky, Giant and Trek have all joined FDJ on the front with 71km to go.

We've raced over 100km now and the two leaders out in front, Bandiera and Fedi, have 5'30 over the peloton.

Interestingly QuickStep have also moved to the front of the peloton. Uran is there, of course, but so is Petacchi.

64km remaining from 173km

64km to go and the gap is down to 4'48.

It's coming down with every pedal stroke, the leaders now 4'11 clear with 57km to go.

The gap is coming down rapidly now, as it's at 3'20 with 53km to go. Giant are doing the work with FDJ and Trek all mixed in.

Three minutes with 50km to go it's likely that the peloton will knock the pace off with around 40km to go and let the break stay out there for a little bit longer.

Infact the pace has eased already and Giant and FDJ ease the pace and keep the break at three minutes.

The sprinters' teams remain at the front of the race but the pace has eased. Damiano Cunego, a winner of the race ten years ago, jokes with his Lampre teammates as Giant and FDJ set the pace.

Bouhanni, in red, looks focused and ready though as he moves up alongside his teammates too.

There's been a fall and it's Moser. A bike change and the Cannondale rider is up and running again.

The two leaders race through Parma where Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram and the great Tomas Brolin all played in the same Serie A team. Great days... great days.

The bunch meanwhile are at 3'04 with 33km to go.

At the back of the pack Amador needs a new wheel but he's on his way faily quickly. All eyes on Bouhanni at the front of the race but the lead is back out to 3'54 with 29km to go.

Four minutes with 25km to go and the bunch are giving the two leaders a bit of a window here.

The two riders up the road are certainly slowing, having been out on the attack for most of the stage and FDJ come to the front and increase the pace.

And here come Orica GreenEdge, the Australian team moving up alonside Cannondale, Giant and FDJ. Matthews has recovered from his crash on stage 9.

The break have lost a minute in 5km and with 19.7km to go the gap is down to 2'40.

Evans and Uran, and now Quintana have been brought to the front by their teams so for the first time today the pressure is really on in the peloton.

Jussi Veikkanen is drilling it on the front for Bouhanni and the FDJ train.

And there's been a fall at the back of the peloton.

It's Yannick Eijssen, and it was actually near the front, but it scattered riders all over the road. The BMC rider is sitting up but it doesn't look good at the moment.

Omega have now hit the front and  Boasson Hagen and Swift are both up there for Team Sky. The two leaders have just 1'30 with 14km to go.

Sky have pushed almost their entire team towards the front with Eisel leading the British team.

Lotto join the mix as well as Lampre, and Giant move up. Cannondale are quite far back though.

It's bad new for Yannick Eijssen who is being taken away in an ambulance. It looked like a shoulder or wrist injury from what we could see. That's a big blow for the Belgian, the team and Evans.

The gap is down to just 44 seconds now as the peloton and the two leaders race to the foot of the small climb before the finish.

Fedi and Bandiera are both climbing but the gap is at 20 seconds.

10km remaining from 173km

Oss leads Evans on the right hand side with Sky on the left.

The break sit up and shake hands, their job done for the day. Now BMC hit the front.

Evans is in second wheel but here come Sky and riders are dropping off the back.

It's Cataldo for Sky doing all the work so Swift is their man for today.

The British team are using the climb to make the peloton really suffer.

Cataldo is almost dropping his teammates. Eisel is barking orders.

Cataldo is really making the peloton suffer and there's a small gap that BMC are quick to shut down.

Now it's Boasson Hagen on the front.

Evans is in fifth wheel.

There's an attack from Roche off the front of the peloton.

The bunch head over the climb and Roche didn't really go clear. It looks like he just wants to line the bunch out.

Just over 5km to and Sky control the race once again.

Evans is fourth, Uran is there too but Sky continue to lead the peloton with 4km to go.

Boasson Hagen is doing a huge turn

I think that's Swift is second wheel but the peloton is all over the place and Bouhanni isnt near the front and neither is Viviani.

Nizzolo is there.

Bouhanni isn't in the front group, that's for sure though.

Ferrari is in the lead group.

This sprint finish could be wide open.

More riders are coming back and Farrar and Bouhanni have just made it back.

Viviani is also in the lead group too now.

This could be a really messy sprint, there's no one strong team to dominant proceedings.

1km remaining from 173km

Just 1km go to.

Matthews is there too as FDJ hit the front.

One riht hand corner and there's a huge crash.

Only a dozen rider make it through.

Bouhanni is there.

Nizzolo leads out with Bouhanni on his wheel.

The Frenchman is coming around and here comes Matthews' too.

But Bouhanni takes it.

Nizzolo takes second and Matthews is third.

Bouhanni just had too much for his rivals once again and he takes his third stage win in this year's race.

Still no news on the fallers in the last corner. It looked like around 10 riders fell with the rest held up behind them.

Another great ride from Bouhanni though who was distanced on the climb and put on the back foot. He used his teammates to pace him back and then Sébastien Chavanel put Bouhanni on Nizzolo's wheel with around 300 to go.

1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr 4:01:13
2 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica Greenedge
4 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
6 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha
7 Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
8 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
9 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team

Here's how things stand on GC after 10 stages:


1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 42:50:47
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:57
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:10
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:20
5 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:31
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:39
7 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:43
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:44
9 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:45
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:49

Quintana came over the line after the crash but we've no idea if he was held up or fell. As soon as we know more we'll bring you the information.

We know that Viviani and Farrar were both in the crash but that's all for now.

Thanks for joining us today for our live Giro coverage. You can find our report, news and race photos, right here.

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