Stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia looked like another chance for the sprinters, with no classified climbs on the road from Reggio Emilia to Tortona.
This was also likely to be the sprinters’ last chance to pick up a stage win, with the mountains looming on Saturday.
Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors), holder of the points jersey and winner of three stage already, was the favourite but would face strong opposition from the likes of André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott), and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Meanwhile the GC contenders will be looking forward to what should be a relaxing day in the saddle ahead of a tough final week in the Alps.
Catch-up with the highlights here, or read the full report from the stage.
The Giro d’Italia continues on Saturyday with a 131km stage starting in Castellania and culminating with a summit finish in Oropa.