Red jersey Nacer Bouhanni easily secured his third stage victory at the Giro d’Italia today with Cadel Evans finishing safely inside the top 10 to maintain his overall lead.
Bouhanni (FDJ.FR) won a reduced bunch sprint from Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) and stage six winner Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) staying clear of a crash that held up the peloton inside the final kilometre.
Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) appeared the first to unexplainably fall on a gentle bend where several other riders hit the tarmac. Cannondale reports stage hopeful Elia Viviani was affected in the spill and crossed the finish line in pain.
Ben Swift spent yesterday’s second scheduled race day licking wounds from a crash-marred opening week but was in a prime position at the base of the only uphill kick of the otherwise pancake flat stage. Sky assumed control and Dario Cataldo led the main group, with Swift second wheel and Edvald Boasson Hagen third, on the climb, almost gapping those behind. However, Swift faded to eighth in the final.
Evans stayed vigilant at the front having previously lost BMC teammate Yannick Eijssen, who, sitting toward the back of the peloton with 17km remaining, crashed hard and was taken away in an ambulance.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step also stayed toward the fore of affairs keeping second overall Rigoberto Uran out of trouble.
Giant-Shimano were present working at the front of the bunch for most of the day looking to set-up Luka Mezgec for a victory in the absence of Marcel Kittel, who abandoned through illness before stage four.
Bouhanni only had one teammate to call on, Sebastien Chavanel, in the finale but credited his team for its work throughout the 173km race where the Frenchman again demonstrated fearless tactical nous.
Italians Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli) and Marco Badiera (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) comprised the main break of the day though were inevitably caught toward the business end.
Giro d’Italia 2014, stage 10: Modena – Salsomaggiore 173km
1. Nacer Bouhanni (Fre) FDJ.FR 4-01-13
2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek
3. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
6. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha
7. Albert Timmer (Ned) Giant-Shimano
8. Ben Swift (GBr) Sky
9. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
Overall classification after stage 10
1. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC 42-50-47
2. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 57 secs
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1-10
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale at 1-20
5. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC at 1-31
6. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 1-39
7. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 1-43
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 1-44
9. Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar at 1-45
10. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek at 1-49