The 10th stage of the Giro d’Italia was a really tough test as riders took on over 4000m of climbing from Campi Besenzio to Sestola. Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF) would be the stage victor, taking the win ahead of Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff) and Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing).
An incredibly hard start saw the race split from early on as a number of riders tried to get into the breakaway. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had Johann van Zyl part of the early action and the South African made a good move but it was reeled in by a constantly attacking peloton. Eventually 3 riders jumped clear followed by another 10 who eventually joined them up front.
The break had to ride exceptionally hard all day to achieve a maximum lead of 5 minutes while there were also no free rides in the peloton either as Astana kept the pace high. The stage was constantly up and down and it certainly took its toll on the riders as many of them were dropped from the peloton a long way from the finish. Our African Team had Igor Anton and Kanstantsin Siutsou up with the main contenders throughout the day after being well supported by the rest of the guys.
The business end of the stage would be played out over a 13km cat 1 climb followed directly by a 7km cat 3 climb to the finish. The break would shatter on the upward slopes with Ciccone proving to be the strongest. The young Italian would survive to the finish and took a nice victory. Positions 1 thru 5 would be snapped up by the early break with the main favourites racing for 6th.
The favourites group though, was only 27 riders at the start of the last climb. Anton and Siutsou were both part of the selection and our two African Team riders were able to stay in the wheels of the big names up until 1km to go where they got distanced by just 9 seconds to both finish just outside of the top 20. In the general classification race, Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) took over the lead while Siutsou moved up a spot, to now place 16th overall.
Igor Anton – Rider
It was a very long stage with a lot of meters of climbing. In the last part of the stage Etixx-Quickstep and Astana were putting down the power. The penultimate climb had a very steep final 3km and this is where the group was broken. Kanstantsin and myself were dropped but on the downhill to the last climb we could come back to the riders of the general classification. The last 6km climb was not very steep but it was still hard after already 211km of racing. I am happy with how the day went in the end.