The break of Carlos Quintero (Colombia), Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), Ilya Koshevoy (Lampre-Merida), Bert Jan Lindeman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jerome Cousin (Europcar) got away twelve kilometres in, and immediately began to build up a huge lead, mostly thanks to the other times getting tired of Orica GreenEDGE getting all the stages and making them do the chasing. This led to the break getting thirteen minutes before Sky and Movistar finally decided to get to the front, pulling back six minutes to bring the gap to 7:30 with 30 kilometres to go and 6:00 at the start of the final climb.
Movistar set a punishing pace in the peloton on the early slopes of the climb, dropping several riders including KOM leader Omar Fraile and Pierre Rolland. When a few of their guys fell off the front, Astana took over for their leader Fabio Aru as the break's lead fell again, to three minutes.
The road became much steeper with 7 kilometres to go, and Cousin rode on the front of the break as Koshevoy and Lindeman seemed to struggle. Cousin attacked with 6.5 left, immediately pursued by Txurruka and Lindeman, as Quintero was dropped. It was Koshevoy who was next to attack, bringing Txurruka to chase, but the Belorussian maintained a small gap. Cousin and Lindeman finally bridged and Cousin attacked on the steepest section with 2 kilometres left, followed by Lindeman.
Dan Martin rode on the front of the peloton as Koshevoy and Lindeman pulled clear, with Jerome Cousin crashing in front of a motorbike. But who was that getting dropped from the peloton? It was Tour de France winner Chris Froome, and Tejay van Garderen beside him. Once word of this reached the peloton Fabio Aru was not laggardly in attacking, and he would come in seven seconds ahead of the peloton.
Up front, Lindeman saw his chance, and attacked Koshevoy with 200 metres to the line, easily outsprinting him for a well-deserved stage victory.
Behind, Aru came in ahead of the GC contenders, who finished 36" behind, Chaves keeping his red jersey with Dumoulin staying in second, and Froome arrived in 27 seconds later. It doesn't look too good for the Sky rider - will Nicolas Roche lead the British outfit?
"It's the biggest win of my career," the stage winner said. "We still fight, every race is important, and now we have the victory. It's really nice."