Giro d’Italia stage 10: Magnus Cort wins three-up breakaway kick as sprinters lose their chance
Cort completes grand tour stage sweep, Thomas comes through first stage in pink unscathed, Vlasov abandons, Vine loses time.
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Magnus Cort (EF Education-Easypost) completed the grand tour stage triple with a gutsy breakaway win Tuesday at the Giro d’Italia stage 10.
The Dane kicked into the day’s early break and beat back Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) and Alessandro de Marchi (Jayco-AlUla) in the final of a 10th stage soaked with rain and riddled with crashes.
Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) raced in pink after Remco Evenepoel’s exit and came through the stage unscathed in what was the first time in his career wearing the maglia rosa.
Cort, who started the Giro chasing the “grand tour grand slam” alongside countryman Mads Pedersen, made it two wins for his EF Education-EasyPost team in what would have been a morale-boosting victory after Rigoberto Urán left the race Monday with COVID.
“I’m incredibly happy about the win. It was amazing to do this today, it was one of the hardest stages I’ve done on the bike. I was so confused with the cold at times, I didn’t know what was going on,” Cort said at the finish.
Cort fought hard to make the day’s early break and he, Gee, and De Marchi put 100 percent commitment into the move.
The three rolled well together all day long and looked intent on taking their chances on a day made difficult for the peloton by foul conditions and filthy roads.
“It was crazy, what a day,” EF team director Matti Breschel said at the finish. “We knew if he got into that breakaway, and it was a huge effort for him, that with his sprinter capacity … We were crossing fingers and didn’t want to jinx anything. It’s super.
“Magnus has been aiming for the grand slam the last few years. He was disappointed after last year where he almost did it and didn’t quite have the legs. Now finally he got it, so it’s a big relief for him.”
The slick and sketchy conditions saw several riders crash hard.
Jay Vine (UAE Emirates), Warren Barguil (Arkéa Samsic), Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), and Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) were among the fallers.
Vine lost time on the GC and slides way out of contention after he lost the bunch in his crash and never made it back to the group.
GC contender Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hanshgrohe) was one high-profile victim of an attritional start to the second week of the race. The Russian was reported sick and eventually abandoned.
The stage started under a literal and metaphorical cloud after more riders joined Remco Evenepoel as COVID-forced exits from the race.
Heavy morning rain, blasting winds, and frozen conditions atop the day’s high point on the 1,500m cat.2 Passo delle Radici left organizers request that teams follow the bunch with their busses in case riders needed ferrying across the Apennines.
There was some back-and-forth between officials and the riders’ group the CPA over whether only the last 70km would be raced.
#giro To confirm, Stage 10 of the #Giro @giroditalia is under talks of making the stage shorter due to 3 degrees and rain at the top of the climb. 80km/h Gusty winds is predicted also at the top, plus landslides I head too. All stakeholders are there. The riders choice was to…
— Adam Hansen (@HansenAdam) May 16, 2023
After some initial consternation and confusion, the 196km stage eventually played out per the roadbook for the neoprene-clad, teeth-chattering peloton.
Soaked start, sprint finish
Gee, De Marchi, Cort and Davide Bais (Eolo-Kometa) emerged at the front of a wet early rumble for the day’s break before Bais dropped off the pace mid-stage.
Sprinter favorite Mads Pedersen and his Trek-Segafredo teammate Bauke Mollema were both seen straggling off the back of the bunch on the rain-soaked grind to the day’s early summit, and Vlasov was seen to be in trouble.
Vlasow, who started the day 6th on GC, later abandoned the race.
The show rolls on as stage 10 gets underway 🏳️
It’s a lengthy and lumpy stage today and the weather is grim yet again 😣🌧️ pic.twitter.com/rF6ObPv836
— Team Jayco AlUla (@GreenEDGEteam) May 16, 2023
The GC teams seemed happy to give the sprinter squads control on the sketchy wet roads and attritional conditions.
However, Bahrain-Victorious looked intent on shaking up the stage on the slick and perilous descent off the Radici climb when it sent three riders including sprinter Milan and GC threat Damiano Caruso into what eventually worked out as a fruitless move.
The long flat final of the fast-drying stage saw a bunch of sprinters including Pedersen, Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan), and Pascal Ackermann (UAE Emirates) make it back to the reduced bunch after they were dropped in the wet, wild, uphill-pointing start to the day.
Astana Qazaqstan and Trek Segafredo led the chase behind the ultra-committed escapees and dragged the gap from two minutes down to 40 seconds but it proved a day for the break for the fourth time in this Giro.
Cort opened up the sprint after he, Gee, and De Marchi played some initial cat-and-mouse.
De Marchi sat up early after looking ragged through the final kilometers, and Gee couldn’t counter, leaving Cort to complete a sweep of stages at the Giro, Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
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