VAL DI ZOLDO - If Roglic had paid on the Bondone, in Val di Zoldogoing up to Palafavera, is Almeida having a bad afternoon. A crisis, not a drama: 20" just the gap collected by the Slovenian and by Thomas, the only one of the three who hasn't had a bad moment yet. In a stage that is stupendous from every point of view, it is also Filippo Zana's big day: the Italian champion beats Thibaut Pinot in a two-man sprint on the climb that leads to Passo Staulanza and can celebrate, at the age of 24, his first success in his career to the Tour. The two had taken advantage thanks to a breakaway: the Frenchman, second as in Crans-Montana, can console himself with the blue leader's jersey of the mountain grands prix. And there is still a big mountain stage, the true Dolomites stage, the one on Friday with arrival at Three peaks of Lavaredo. The ranking now reads like this: Thomas in pink with 29" on Roglic and 39" on Almeida.
<< The classification of the Giro >>
The attack from afar
You're on the run, on Cibiana Fork, about 30 from the finish: Pinot, Frigo, Gee, Zana, Aurelien Paret-Peintre and Barguil detach the Kazakh Pronskiy with a 6-minute lead over the pink jersey group. After a bit of back and forth, it's there Ineos to take the initiative: the breakaway advantage drops by one minute in a few kilometers thanks to the pace of De Plus. At -25, on the gpm of the Forcella Cibiana, Pinot takes first place, the new leader of the classification of climbers, with 4'25" on the group of big names.
Almeida pays uphill
Downhill still struggles Fridgewho will have to grow a lot in this fundamental if he really wants to become a stage racer, but on the flat he rejoins the leading group right at the beginning of the very tough climb of Coi, 12 from the arrival. Uphill forcing again by Pinot, only Zana and Gee remain glued to him. Another pass of Pinot, and only the Italian champion resists him. In the pink jersey group, the pace in the hard section is set by Roglic's Jumbo with Kussthe first victim of yellows is Almeida. Thomas holds, as does Dunbar. Almeida prefers her own pace and Vine's help, but doesn't blow up, instead she struggles more Damian Caruso. At -6 Roglic's attack with only Thomas on the wheel. On the Coi gpm Almeida loses just 10" from Roglic, Thomas and Kuss and only the last climb towards Palafavera remains.
Zana beats Pinot
On the last climb towards Palafavera Roglic and Thomas widen their advantage over Almeida while Pinot and Zana go to battle for the stage in a two-up uphill sprint and it is the Italian champion who wins over the French. Roglic and Thomas arrive together at 1'56" from Zana, Almeida loses 21" from the pink jersey. All mixed up: Thomas remains in the pink jersey, Roglic is 2nd at 29", Almeida is 3rd at 39". Caruso loses less than a minute from Thomas. "I still can't believe it" says Zana, from the Veneto region of Piovene Rocchette, "I have to thank my Jayco-AlUla, who gave me the opportunity to reach 100%. I played my cards and it went well, also because a "An opportunity like this happens very few times in life. Everything is incredible in this Giro, for me. With the tricolor jersey it's even more beautiful, then. I never imagined a Giro so beautiful for me".