Giro d'Italia: Mohoric wins stage 10

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) beat Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale) in a two-rider sprint to win in Gualdo Tadino after the longest stage of the Giro d'Italia saw Esteban Chaves tumble out of the overall classification.

Chaves, apparently suffering from allergies, lacked the power to stay with the peloton and was distanced on the first climb of the day as Team Sky set a fast pace. Despite a long chase lead by several teammates, Chaves never made it back to the peloton. His teammates were eventually ordered to sit up and the Chaves group finished 25 minutes down. He slipped from second to 39th in the overall standings.

In contrast, Simon Yates was again strong on the rolling country roads of Abruzzo, Le Marche and Umbria, even taking an intermediate sprint to gain some seconds on his rivals. Yates finished safely in the peloton, 34 seconds behind Mohoric but is now Mitchelton-Scott's sole leader for the second half of the Corsa Rosa. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) survived a late crash and bike change to move up to second overall, 41 down on Yates. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) moved up to third place at 46 seconds.

"He [Chaves] just had a bad moment and like that, it's over. It was a really hard chase. I know he's worked extremely hard for this. Maybe he can bounce back and get a few stage wins," Yates said immediately after finishing the stage, denying that it perhaps makes it easier for him as sole leader at Mitchelton-Scott.

"It would have been better for me if he was still there in the classification. We could have played more cards in the finale and different tactics. Now I'm alone. I think it'll be more difficult now but we'll have to adjust."

Yates explained that he went for the intermediate sprint because every second could count in the fight for the maglia rosa.

"I'm going to need every second I can get... maybe I'm going to have to start sprinting for more than bonus seconds. I don't need seconds on Dumoulin before the time trial, I need minutes. For sure two minutes will be the minimum, closer to three minutes would make me more comfortable."

Mohoric takes the sprint from the front

Mohoric celebrated his second Grand Tour stage win after taking a stage at the 2017 Vuelta a Espana. He took risks on the wet descent and in the sprint against Denz, only beating the German after a long, shoulder-to-shoulder sprint.

"I was not super confident, that's why I tried to attack him several times in the last 10km, but then he collaborated, even though I attacked him. So, I decided to risk it all for the final sprint. I was not super confident but when I saw he was not pacing me, I had even more power and tried to go all the way to the line," Mohoric said.

"I'm super happy not just for me but for the team. They gave me this opportunity even though Domenico is feeling very good for the GC. He gave me a free pass today to play for the stage win, and I'm super happy for it."

The longest day in the saddle

The longest stage of the Giro d'Italia began with the 15.7km Fonte della Creta climb and meant that most teams warmed up on the rollers before the start in Penne. There was a sense of fear in the air for what would happen during the long day in the saddle, and especially on the early climb.

The attacks came thick and fast when the flag dropped. The first break included 17 riders, with Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF) last to get a ticket as others dropped back. In the move were Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo), Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin), Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale), Ben King (Dimension Data), Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF), Ben Hermans and Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) and Davide Ballerini (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec).

They managed to gain a minute at the top of the Fonte della Creta. It was less than expected because the race had exploded behind. Chaves was struggling and so Team Sky set an infernal pace to distance the Colombian.

After the fast descent towards Teramo, the gap was up to 3:00 and a pursuit match was on, with the maglia rosa group eventually catching the break of the day. Tony Martin and Neilands tried to go clear but soon realised the drive to distance Chaves was stronger than they were.

Upfront, Groupama-FDJ did more than their share to keep the pace high, with Yates tucked on their wheel with several teammates. Behind, Chaves was isolated. Mitchelton-Scott senior directeur sportif Matt White took the risky decision to call Chris Juul-Jensen back to help with the chase. Later Sam Bewley and Roman Kreuziger also dropped back, leaving just Jack Haig and Mikel Nieve with Yates. The reduction in team sizes for Grand Tours, from nine to eight, made a marked difference but Mitchelton-Scott clearly hoped that other teams would help them close the gap and so keep Chaves as an overall contender.

Mitchelton-Scott were fortunate that some sprinters and other team leaders had missed the split, and so Quick-Step Floors took up the chase in the hope that Elia Viviani could be up there for the finish.

The Belgian team worked for a long spell mid-stage and brought the gap down to 1:30. However, the peloton never eased up and never stopped believing they could distance Chaves. Koen Bouwman worked for LottoNL-Jumbo teammate and fast finisher Enrico Battaglin and team leader George Bennett, while Laurens ten Dam rode for Dumoulin. Groupama-FDJ continued to ride for Pinot, while Bora-Hansgrohe had Sam Bennett in the front group and so also helped drive the pace in the peloton. The Giro d'Italia can be as unpredictable as it can be cruel.

Yates showed some pride for Mitchelton-Scott by jumping away with Pinot and taking a three-second time bonus but it was a bitterly disappointing day for the Australian team.

Chaves' destiny was decided when Quick-Step Floors decided to stop working with 100km to race. That put Mitchelton-Scott on the spot. They started to lead the chase but then the order came to stop working, with Bewley waving to enforce the order to his teammates. The gap to the peloton quickly rose to four minutes, then six, nine 12 and then 25. Chaves was out of the general classification.

A new stage strategy emerges

With 75km to go a new stage strategy emerged as Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli) made a solo attack. He leads the Premio Fuga for the most kilometres spent on the attack and was keen to add a few more to his total.

The sun was out and the roads were still dry but the clouds were gathering up the road to Umbria and Gualdo Tadino. Rafa Valls (Movistar) crashed hard on a country road and abandoned with 55km to go, as Frapporti pushed on alone with a lead of 2:30.

The gradual climb to Annifo and the Umbria border began and inspired Davide Vilella (Astana) to attack from the peloton in pursuit of Frapporti. Mohoric joined him and they quickly caught Frapporti, and then dropped him in the final steep part of the climb.

The rain began to fall hard and soaked the twisting descent on country roads, adding another level of difficulty to the long day in the saddle. However, Mohoric turned the difficulty into an advantage, using his bike skills to test Vilella. Denz used his own superb skills to close the gap on the two after a solo chase and managed to stay with Mohoric when Vilella cracked.

The descent into Umbria saw Richard Carapaz (Movistar) flat and Dumoulin crash but both quickly received service and chased back to the peloton that had been shaken out to just 50 riders.

Sergio Henao (Team Sky) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing) tried to go across to Denz and Mohoric but failed to make the catch in the final rolling kilometres.

Mohiric looked the strongest but Denz refused to fold, working all the way to the finish and then fighting hard in the sprint. Bennett won the sprint for third but rued a missed-chance of another stage win.

By the time Chaves and the gruppetto finished, 25:25 behind, Mohoric and Yates had already been on the podium to celebrate their successful day. Chaves, despite his big loss, could still raise a slight smile but the tears in his eyes revealed his inner disappointment.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida6:04:52
2Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La MondialeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:34
4Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-JumboRow 3 - Cell 2
5Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 4 - Cell 2
6Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 5 - Cell 2
7Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 6 - Cell 2
8Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 7 - Cell 2
9Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 8 - Cell 2
10José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 9 - Cell 2
11Benjamin King (USA) Dimension DataRow 10 - Cell 2
12Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 11 - Cell 2
13Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 12 - Cell 2
14Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 13 - Cell 2
15Chris Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 14 - Cell 2
16Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-ScottRow 16 - Cell 2
18Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team SunwebRow 17 - Cell 2
19Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 18 - Cell 2
20George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-JumboRow 19 - Cell 2
21Wout Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 20 - Cell 2
22Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 21 - Cell 2
23Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 22 - Cell 2
24Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 23 - Cell 2
25Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 24 - Cell 2
26Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 27 - Cell 2
29Georg Preidler (Aut) Groupama-FDJRow 28 - Cell 2
30Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 29 - Cell 2
31Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 30 - Cell 2
32Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 32 - Cell 2
34Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 33 - Cell 2
35Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 35 - Cell 2
37Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Fix AllRow 39 - Cell 2
41Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step FloorsRow 40 - Cell 2
42Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 41 - Cell 2
43Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 42 - Cell 2
44Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 43 - Cell 2
45Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 44 - Cell 2
46Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 46 - Cell 2
48François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 47 - Cell 2
49Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 48 - Cell 2
50Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 49 - Cell 2
51Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 50 - Cell 2
52Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension DataRow 51 - Cell 2
53Mikel Nieve (Spa) Mitchelton-ScottRow 52 - Cell 2
54Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 53 - Cell 2
55Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Manuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 55 - Cell 2
57Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 56 - Cell 2
58Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 57 - Cell 2
59Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 58 - Cell 2
60Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 59 - Cell 2
61Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 60 - Cell 2
62Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Fix All0:00:59
63Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:01:04
64Joe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 63 - Cell 2
65Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:01:16
66Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 65 - Cell 2
67Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:01:30
68Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:01:32
69Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 68 - Cell 2
70Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:25
72Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:29
73Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:04:55
74Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team0:05:21
75Rodolfo Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:05:45
76Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ0:06:55
77Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy0:08:10
79Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 78 - Cell 2
80Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 79 - Cell 2
81Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:08:18
82Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:08:30
83Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:12:03
84Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 83 - Cell 2
85Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 84 - Cell 2
86Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-SegafredoRow 85 - Cell 2
87Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb0:14:59
88Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:15:26
89Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky0:16:42
90Jérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 89 - Cell 2
91David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:18:23
92Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
94Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:25:25
96Loïc Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 96 - Cell 2
98Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 97 - Cell 2
99Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 98 - Cell 2
100Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 100 - Cell 2
102Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 101 - Cell 2
103Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 102 - Cell 2
104Alex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 103 - Cell 2
105Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 104 - Cell 2
106Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Movistar TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 106 - Cell 2
108Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 107 - Cell 2
109William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 108 - Cell 2
110Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 109 - Cell 2
111Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 110 - Cell 2
112Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 111 - Cell 2
113Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 112 - Cell 2
114Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 113 - Cell 2
115Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Team SunwebRow 114 - Cell 2
116Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton-ScottRow 115 - Cell 2
117Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 116 - Cell 2
118Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 117 - Cell 2
119Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 118 - Cell 2
120Giuseppe Fonzi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 119 - Cell 2
121Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Fix AllRow 120 - Cell 2
122Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 121 - Cell 2
123Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 122 - Cell 2
124Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 123 - Cell 2
125Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 124 - Cell 2
126Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 125 - Cell 2
127Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 126 - Cell 2
128Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 127 - Cell 2
129Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 128 - Cell 2
130Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 129 - Cell 2
131Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-AlpecinRow 130 - Cell 2
132Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 131 - Cell 2
133Sam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-ScottRow 132 - Cell 2
134Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension DataRow 133 - Cell 2
135Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-ScottRow 134 - Cell 2
136Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 135 - Cell 2
137Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 136 - Cell 2
138Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 137 - Cell 2
139Liam Bertazzo (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia