UAE Team Emirates rider Valerio Conti keeps Giro d'Italia pink jersey for fifth straight stage
Arnaud Demare wins Stage 10 after crash in the final kilometre takes out a number of sprint rivals
UAE Team Emirates rider Valerio Conti will stay in the Giro d'Italia's pink jersey for a fifth success stage after Arnaud Demare clinched a long-range, high-speed bunch sprint to win Stage 10 on the cobbled streets of Modena on Tuesday.
Conti took the general classification lead after Stage 6 and was never in danger of relinquishing top spot after a flat 145km route from Ravenna to Modena.
Conti maintained his one minute, 50-second lead over Team Jumbo Visma's Primoz Roglic. AG2R La Mondiale rider Nans Peters is third, a further 41 seconds back.
“Today's stage was quite straightforward," Conti said. "The sprinters teams led the bunch so my teammates and I didn't have to waste too much energy."
UAE Team Emirates saw their hopes of a stage win disappear after Simone Consonni was caught up in a crash in the closing kilometre.
"We were aiming to get Consonni up for the sprint but he got caught up in a crash at the end, but luckily he's OK and it is nothing too serious," Conti added.
Instead, the stage win belonged to 27-year-old FDJ sprinter Demare, who timed his move to perfection as Italy's Elia Viviani came second and early pace setter Caleb Ewan finished fourth after a 60kph crash on the home straight took out German sprinter Pascal Ackermann.
Winner of two stages so far on the Giro and wearer of the sprint points jersey, Ackermann got back in the saddle and trundled across the line with the left side of his outfit in tatters, showing painful looking grazes.
Ackermann retains a slight advantage over Demare in the sprint points ranking and both riders intend, unlike many others, to finish the Giro in the hope of winning the Cyclamen Jersey.
For Demarre this was a first ever Giro win, but the 27-year-old has been consistently in the mix on bunch sprints so far here and in 2019 won the Milan San Remo classic.
"We got it right today," FDJ sports director Frederic Guesdon said after the race. "We had a good chat with him on the rest day and got him in the right mood."
The rider himself said he had never let himself become downhearted watching others win.
"I have been very good but missed out for one reason or another," said Demare. "The team who never lost confidence in me either.
"I had a good look at the final kilometre ahead of the start at Bologna (which is 20km away) and decided to take the wide side."
Wednesday's 221km of racing is the final flat stage for the sprinters before the Giro heads in to mountainous terrain, and it is likely to finish in a high-speed bunch sprint in the Piedmont city of Novi Ligure.
Updated: May 21, 2019 09:02 PM