Bahrain-Merida’s Matej Mohoric, of Slovenia, won the 224km tenth stage of the Giro d’Italia in Gualdo Tadino today.
With 32 kilometres remaining, Astana’s Davide Villella and Mohoric rapidly started closing in on race leader Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec’s Marco Frapporti, who had been out in front by himself for nearly 60 kilometres.
The two caught him, with Frapporti then unable to keep up with Villella and Mohoric, who had a lead of 21 seconds to the peloton.
They were soon chased down by AG2R La Mondiale’s Nico Denz, with the three eventually enjoying an 80-second lead.
With 10 kilometres remaining it was Mohoric and Denz who led the race, with Villella a few seconds behind. The pair had a 76-second gap to the peloton.
The two were still together with one kilometre left and had a lead of 43 seconds. Mohoric then outsprinted Denz to cross the line in first place.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett claimed the final podium place.
“I’m super happy – not just for me but for the team,” said the 23-year old Mohoric, who also won a stage last year.
“They gave me this opportunity even though Domenico [Pozzovivo] 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.”
He added that he was not very confident and that was why he attacked Denz several times in the last 10 kilometres.
“Then he collaborated, even though I attacked him. So I decided to risk it all for the final sprint. When I saw he was not pacing me, I had even more power and tried to go all the way to the line.”
It was not a good day for Mitchelton-Scott’s Esteban Chaves or Dimension Data’s Louis Meintjes.
The Colombian, who lagged behind the peloton early on, lost a considerable amount of time, with South African Meintjes joining him in that third group.
Another rider who has not had a good tour is four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome whose two crashes have held him back.
Stage 11 features a 156km route, with the start in Assisi and finish in Osimo.