Giulio Ciccone of Bardiani-CSF got free of the various breakaway efforts to win stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia in Sestola, while Bob Jungels continued Etixx-Quick Step's run of excellence, helping claw back a dangerous Andrey Amador of Movistar to claim the maglia rosa from his teammate Gianluca Brambilla. The results gave the region of Abruzzo, host of the Giro last week, its first stage win since the heyday of Danilo Di Luca, and Luxembourg its first maglia rosa since the days of Charly Gaul.
The big news was the disappearance from the peloton of Mikel Landa, Sky's big GC hope, who came down with an undisclosed illness overnight and lost several minutes on the first climb before abandoning the race. Landa was Sky's offseason hire for racing the Giro and Vuelta a España, and so far his season has been wracked with misfortune. He is also the first of the big favorites to come to grief in this race, which itself is probably good news compared to a typical grand tour. Still, the race will be poorer without the Basque climber. And Marcel Kittel and Fabian Cancellara, among those who went home as planned on the rest day.
Giant-Alpecin's Georg Preidler made a bid for glory from the day's break on the Pian del Falco, setting out alone, but never getting far from a group of his former compatriots, including Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Fantini), Ciccone and his Bardiani teammate Stefano Pirazzi, Movistar's Giovanni Visconti, Nathan Brown of Cannondale and BMC's Darwin Atapuma, as the peloton ground away at their former five-minute advantage. Things changed, however, as the race brushed past Sestola, the finishing town, and tackled the upper slopes of the Pian del Falco. Preidler was reeled in in short time, a smaller group went on without him (namely Cunego, Pirazzi and Ciccone), and Astana started warming up the engines behind them. That effort send the maglia rosa, Brambilla, out the back and put the overall leadership into play.
Cunego got himself into the climber's maglia azzurra with a final acceleration over the top, but he and Pirazzi almost came to grief on the descent, allowing Ciccone to get free. The Bigs group stalemated on the Pian del Falco, enough so Brambilla was able to rejoin them. Once in the valley, Cunego and Pirazzi were passed by Ivan Rovny, while Amador, who had escaped from the GC group on the descent, took 40 seconds' advantage, trying to race up to his teammate Visconti who remained ahead out of the early break.
By now Amador's move was downright dangerous, and Brambilla gave way for good to his teammate Jungels, in search of the next maglia rosa. Amador and Visconti seemed poised to give Costa Rica its first grand tour leadership, but Jungels did a big turn on the final climb to Sestola to pace the leaders' group all the way back to Amador, finishing a mere second behind and giving Jungels the lead overnight by 26 seconds.
For the young Abruzzese, this was a stunning win (even if slightly marred by the way he got free, with his teammate hip-checking former Giro champ Cunego off the pace). Ciccone, just 21, is only half a season removed from battling it out at the U23 Giro di Lombardia and Tour de l'Avenir, where he held his own in 2015, but he hung with the favorites at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali this spring, and has now announced himself as a person of interest in future Giri d'Italia.
- Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF 5:44:32
- Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Team 0:00:42
- Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:01:20
- Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:53
- Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini 0:02:04
- Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:02:10
- Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:02:11
- Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team, s.t.
- Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, s.t.
- Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team, s.t.
- Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx – Quick-Step 40:19:52
- Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 00:00:26
- Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:50
- Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
- Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:52
- Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx – Quick-Step 00:01:11
- Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team 00:01:44
- Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 00:01:46
- Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha 00:02:08
- Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge 00:02:26
- Cunego, ## points