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Giro d'Italia 2019: Arnaud Demare wins a furious sprint on Stage 10 to Modena

Joe Robinson
21 May 2019

A welcome easy day for the GC men as Demare takes win following late crash that ended Ackermann's chances. Photo: RCS/Giro d'Italia

Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) took a fast sprint finish into Modena to win Stage 10 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia on a quiet day that was eventually brought to life in the final kilometre.

The Frenchman outsprinted the likes of Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in a rapid finish while double stage winner Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was caught out in a late crash in the final kilometre.

Fran Ventoso (CCC Team) attempted to catch the peloton napping in the final 2km with a hearty attack from the Spaniard, although he was eventually caught by a careering peloton that wanted to guarantee a bunch gallop.

For the General Classification, it was effectively a second rest day as all the big race favourites rolled through safely in the bunch, managing to avoid the large pile-up close to the line.

Tomorrow should prove another day for the purists with another pan-flat day, this time 221km from Carpi to Novi Ligure.

Flat as a pancake

Returning after Monday's rest day, Stage 10 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia presented the perfect terrain to reintroduce the legs to racing. It would be just 145km, departing from Ravenna heading west to the historic city of Modena, one of Italy's finest cities.

Not because its the home of Ferrari or because its the birthplace of the great tenor, king of high Cs, voice of Italia 90' Luciano Pavarotti. No, because Modena, alongside neighbours Parma and Bologna, is one of Italy's great food cities.

Balsamic vinegar, tortellini, zampone, the peloton were going to eat well tonight.

Not that they would necessarily need to as the stage only contained a measly 140m of vertical elevation throughout the day. It was as dead certain to be a day for the sprinters as any day. Long, flat and straight roads with little to no wind, barring a big crash, the only racing of note was coming in the final 3km.

A second consecutive rest day for the General Classification men and a straight-forward stage for all but the fastest sprinters.

With the day's conclusion so set in stone, no riders seemed to keen to get in the day's break. Eventually, the duo of local lad Luca Covili (Bardiani-CSF) and Sho Hatsuyama (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane) were designated as the day's sacrificial lambs.

Dangled in front of the peloton like scraps of meat, their lead hardly ever got anywhere floating around the two-minute marker for most of the day.

After returning from important Cyclist Magazine duties (my afternoon nap), I noticed that the leading duo had been reeled in with 29km left to race.

Lotto-Soudal, Groupama-FDJ and the other big sprinters' teams all amassed to the front to control the race and prevent further attacks in order to guide their quick-men to the right position for the final few kilometres.

They were also joined by the likes of Bahrain-Merida who were keen to keep Vincenzo Nibali safe from a potential crash, something that almost came to fruition for Elia Viviani and pink jersey wearer Valerio Conti 13km from the finish.

Thankfully, it was simply a wobble and not a full-blown crash. With 8km, all the teams interested in stage victory had amassed to the front in colour order with their eyes set on the prize.