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Greipel Wins, but Contador's Crash Steals the Day

Luke Benes, Getty Images

It was a long, mostly flat day in Italy and the peloton finally saw a day of rest, save those unlucky souls who chose - or were chosen - to soldier on in the day-long breakaway. As the race sped towards Castiglione della Pescaia the five escapees of the day were duly brought to heel and the stage was set for only the second true bunch kick of this year's Giro.

Once the peloton hit three kilometers to go, Lotto Soudal took over on the front, only briefly allowing interlopers to ride between their red train and the finish line. After a strong leadout by Greg Henderson, Greipel burst clear with just over 200 meters to go and immediately got a bike length's lead. On a tailwind finish, nobody really stood a chance at gaining on the German national champion and he was able to sit up and celebrate before the finish line while still crossing a length ahead of runner up Matteo Pelucci.

But, the story of the day was about 25 places behind Greipel as a spectator's photo lens, protruding far over the barriers, took out Nippo - Vini Fantini's Danieli Colli. The ensuing domino effect in the peloton took out a number of riders, including race leader Alberto Contador even though the Saxo-Tinkoff rider was on the opposite side of the road. Contador landed heavily on his left shoulder, dislocating it. Afterwards, he was unable to don the pink jersey at the podium ceremony.

Contador plans to take the start tomorrow and seems optimistic of being able to finish the upcoming stages, but his injury is sure to cost him some recovery in the upcoming days and may make life - particularly attacking - hard in the mountains, especially considering the dancing out-of-the-saddle style he relies so heavily on. What was shaping up to be a three horse race between Contador, Richie Porte, and Fabio Aru could well turn into the opportunity for one of the younger riders to take their first grand tour win. All eyes will certainly be on the Spaniard in Sunday's stage culminating in a category one climb to Campitello Matese.


1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 4:19:42
2 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling
3 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) TrekRacing
6 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Southeast Pro Cycling
7 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
8 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Giant-Alpecin
9 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
10 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Androni Giocattoli