Read our preview and race basics here.
The Giro d’Italia has completed ten stages. It’s been a busy week in cycling.
Enough time for some dramatic highlights, withdrawals, crashes, and about 38 and a half hours of racing.
After ten stages of the Giro d’Italia, the race is starting to take shape. The riders had a rest day on Tuesday May 18, and it’s the perfect opportunity to take a breath and catch up on the race so far.
Stage 9 saw the second summit finish. It was also unique in that it was a gravel finish, making for a spectacular and dramatic finish. Colombian Egan Bernal stepped into the lead with a devastating attack on Stage 9.
Stage 10 was less dramatic, with little change to the overall leaderboard. Peter Sagan flashed the form that made him such a dominant force in world cycling to take the bunch sprint before the rest day.
Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) took Stage 9’s uphill finish, and with it, took the pink jersey (maglia rosa) that denotes the leader. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was fourth on Stage 9, and sits second overall, just 15 seconds behind Bernal on cumulative time.
Alexander Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) is the current third place riders, with nine riders within a minute of Bernal overall. Among the favourites, Bernal, Evenepoel and Vlasov are obviously top contenders, but Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) still looms as a potential dark horse, as the best time trial rider of the top 10.
Jai Hindley (Team DSM) has fallen off the pace, losing 4:27 to Bernal early. While not a catastrophic loss, it doesn’t bode well.
Nicholas Schultz (Team BikeExchange) is the highest ranked Australian overall in 20th place, 2:30 back.
Aussies on Tour
It was an eventful week for Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal).
After a disappointing first couple of days, he found his sprinting forms with a dramatic win on Stage 5, powering to a sprint victory.
He repeated the feat on Stage 7.
And on Stage 8, he crashed, and withdrew from the race.
Ewan will consider it job done, as he never intended to finish the race, and winning two stages showed his formidable form.
The other Aussies have had fairly quiet weeks, but we can expect to see more of them over the next two weeks before the race ends in Milan.
Egan Bernal wears the Maglia Rosa (pink jersey – overall leader). He will hope to hold onto the jersey all the way to Milan.
Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) holds the Maglia Ciclamino (purple jersey – best sprinter). After winning Stage 10, he has taken on the jersey, in similar fashion to the way he has dominated the Tour de France sprint classification, with seven of those titles. He will be a hard man to dislodge if he stays in the race.
Geoffery Bouchard (AG2R Citroen) wears the Maglia Azzura (blue jersey – best climber). He will have only dreams of holding it, as it is almost guaranteed to change hands (probably twice or more) over the next week.
Egan Bernal also holds the Maglia Bianca (white jersey – best young rider). While Bernal holds the jersey, Evenepoel, who sits second in this classification, will wear it in his place. Based on the statistics, the winner of the Maglia Rosa is likely to be the winner of the Maglia Bianca as well, as the top four are all eligible for the jersey.
Thrills and Spills
There have been some close misses and some chances to share a joke as well.
Two of the stages that are expected to be most decisive lie ahead this week.
Stage 14 (Citadella to Monte Zoncolan) and Stage 16 (Sacile to Cortina d’Ampezzo) have been diarised as must-see TV. These stages will go a long way to shaping the race, and working out who will step onto the top of the podium in Milan.
Stage 11 (Perugia to Montalcino) is the Wine Stage of this year’s Giro, so a night to watch for the foodies.
There is little pleasure for the sprinters over the next week, with just one flat stage before the next rest day. Don’t be shocked if a number of sprinters drop out of the race over the rest day and the early part of the week to save their legs for the Tour de France.
There is plenty of action ahead this week, so stay tuned.
The Giro d’Italia is available nightly on SBS On Demand and SBS Viceland.
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