The opening half stage of the Coppi e Bartali would end in a mass sprint with Manuel Belleti (Southeast) sprinting to victory. Grega Bole (CCC Polsat) was a close 2nd with Patrick Clausen (Trefor-Blue Water) in 3rd place.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung started the stage off on the front foot with Adrien Niyonshuti making it into the 5 rider break of the day. The escapees quickly opened up a 4 minute lead but as quickly as the gap went out, it also came back. As the stage was only 99km in distance, Team Sky and CCC Polsat were intent on bringing the race back together for a bunch kick.
The capture would not happen at least until the breakaway riders had made it over the 2 GPM’s of the day. A number of riders lost contact with the peloton over these climbs but the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung GC riders all made it over safely to finish with the leading bunch. The focus now turns to the 2nd half stage of the day, a 13km TTT starting at 16:30 (CAT).
Adrien Niyonshuti – Rider
We tried to get a rider in the break in the morning stage and I was the one who made the selection. I felt okay today and it was nice to be out front. The race was hard because in a short stage the pace is always high. I look forward to the TTT with my MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team this afternoon.