Though it took a while to form, a seven-man breakaway comprising Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Rodrigo Contreras (Astana), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal), Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Simone Ravanelli (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Lorenzo Rota (Vini Zabu-KTM) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane) eventually clipped off the front. With 110km of the stage remaining, that septet of riders lead by just under two minutes.
It will surprise few to discover that Bora-Hansgrohe are doing most of the heavy lifting on the front of the peloton. Although there is a flat finale to the stage that would suit a sprinter like Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) who has already won four stages at this year’s Giro, the small matter of two brutal looking climbs that top out around 20km from the line will make it a difficult for the pure sprinters. And therefore, Peter Sagan is one of the favourites today hence his Bora-Hansgrohe team-mates riding on the front as they monitor the breakaway.