Giro d’Italia #10: King takes 11th, O’Connor moves up in the GC

Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) beat Nico Denz (AG2r La Mondiale) on stage 10 of the Giro d’Itlaia, as the two contested the win after a dramatic day of racing. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) out-sprinted a reduced peloton to take third place.

Stage 10 at the Giro d’Italia was the longest of the race so far, stretching 244km from Penne to Gualdo Tadino. The stage started with a category two climb over Fonte Della Creta, before heading to the only category three climb of the day, Bruzzolana.

An initial break of 17 riders were the first escapees of the day, with Ben King representing us in the group. The climb & descent of Fonte Della Creta was done at full speed, and caused a rift in the peloton. Ben O’Connor an Jaco Venter stayed with the main peloton, while Ryan Gibbons and Louis Meintjes ended up in the chasing group. The break was reeled back, and the peloton kept a rapid pace, led by Team Sky. Esteban Chaves was in the chasing group, and the GC teams worked hard to ensure that the Colombian was not able to rejoin the peloton.

With just over 50km of racing left, the attacks started from the peloton. Marco Frapporti (Androni) went clear, before he was caught by the chasing group. Nico Denz (AG2R), Matej Mohoric (Bahrain- Merida) and Davide Villella (Astana) then went clear. Denz and Mohoric went on to contest for the stage victory, with Mohoric out-sprinting Denz to the finish line. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) rounded off the podium, with Ben King finishing just outside the top 10, in 11th place for Team Dimension Data. Ben O’Connor moved up into 13th position in the GC, after Esteban Chaves finished 25 minutes behind the race winner, together with Louis Meintjes.

Ben King- Rider
It was a very unusual stage. The race has been tough so far with very long days. Today was the longest, but also a chance for the breakaway. I made it in a strong 12 man break over the first climb, but behind the race was flat out. Once we were caught I looked after Ben. I recovered a little for the finish, followed a few attacks, and then tried the sprint. I haven’t done many bunch sprints and positioned a bit too far back for the last corners but had good legs so 11th is disappointing but also a good sign for the days to come. Overall the stage was as long and harder than any of the one day classics. That hurts in the middle of a grand tour!