Five talking points from stage ten of the Giro d'Italia 2022

What we learned from a punchy day on the Adriatic coast on Tuesday

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Biniam Girmay makes history, again

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You might get bored of being asked what it means to make history, but that's going to keep on happening if Biniam Girmary (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) keeps winning on such impressive stages.

His victory at Gent-Wevelgem earlier this year was one thing, but to win such a tough stage of the Giro d'Italia in front of Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) is a whole different level. If he keeps it up, it could be sport-changing.

It was the manner of Girmay's win in Jesi that was so impressive, not only what it means. He started his sprint early and yet still managed to hold of Van der Poel, who more or less gave up in the end, his rival was that much more powerful.

To be an ambassador for a nation, a continent even, in the world of cycling might weight heavily on another rider's shoulders, but Girmay looks comfortable at the top, and there is no reason he won't continue there.

Mathieu van der Poel runs out of speed just at the crucial point

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Van der Poel was the out-and-out favourite for Tuesday's stage, which perfectly suited his Classics capabilities. His team knew this too, powering on the front for much of the day to set up their flying Dutchman up for victory.

The punchy climbs towards the finish ensured that he was one of the few fast men left, and he kept repeating his trademark seated attacking style in an attempt to break things up.

This might have been his downfall, as he cannot help but lead from the front rather than wait in the wheels like a more conventional sprinter would. While Girmay sat back, Van der Poel attacked off the front, to no avail. Then come the final sprint, where he ran out of energy chasing Girmay, and he could not make it across the line first.

We have seen this before, at the Tour of Flanders in 2021, when he was the overwhelming favourite in the final sprint against Kasper Asgreen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), but yet again ran out of juice in the last few hundred metres. It would be difficult to tell Van der Poel to attack less, especially as it so often works, but perhaps this is what was needed on Tuesday.

GC riders are trying to split things up at any point

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Tuesday's stage was one of those which could have been won by almost any kind of rider, with some tipping Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) in a bunch sprint situation, while others were suggesting it was more a Van der Poel kind of day.

What no-one was really saying was that it would be a stage that the GC riders would need to be particularly switched on for. Yet that is what it proved to be, with the technical final 20km causing a whole host of riders difficulty, and giving some a green light to try something.

With the top 12 on general classification so close together, it is no surprise that riders are attempting things at any point to try and get a few seconds. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) tried to get away, and was quickly followed by his main rivals Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), but it came to nothing.

Then Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) attacked, on terrain that would not be thought to suit the rangy Lancastrian, and that too was neutralised. It was fascinating, however, to see these GC riders attacking each other on what was thought of as a day off for them. There is no time to relax at the Giro.

Pure sprinters miss out again on hard day

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Lotto-Soudal clearly thought Caleb Ewan was in with a chance of winning on Tuesday, controlling the early parts of the race and being strict on how many people could go up the road, and who was part of the break.

And yet it was not an easy day for the Australian sprinter in the end. Just like on stage five to Messina, Ewan was shelled out the back as the race got tough, and teams like Alpecin-Fenix and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert put the pressure on.

He was not alone, with Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) also losing contact with the front of the race and missing out on a sprinting opportunity, as did Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ).

The pure sprinters are running out of stages to make their mark, and Ewan is the only one of the above not to win yet. Tomorrow should end with a bunch finish, but stages 12 and 13 and a bit more of a mystery. This Giro is not kind on the fast men.

Iesi comes out for Michele Scarponi

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2022 marks five years since the death of Michele Scarponi, and his hometown of Iesi came out to mark the former Giro winner.

The Italian was killed in a collision with a truck while out on a training ride, shortly after the 2017 Tour of the Alps. The rider's memory was marked by his former Astana-Qazaqstan team on Tuesday, who used special bottles with an image of his pet parrot Frankie on during the stage.

As the bunch passed through Iesi, banners marking Scarponi were displayed, and pink balloons launched into the air to honour him. The crowds were some of the biggest seen all race as the Giro passed through his home town specially.

He never won an edition of the corsa rosa outright, but is on the list of winners after inheriting the 2011 title after Alberto Contador was stripped of the result. During his lengthy career he also won races like Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya.

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