With the GC delicately poised there was due to be no shortage of action the final mountain stage of the 2017 Giro d'Italia.
Neither race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) or Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) wanted to go into the final time trial on Sunday with anything less than a minute buffer on former race leader Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), who is a much superior rider over the clock.
They'd also need to look over their shoulder at Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), with both in touching distance of the podium and potentially eyeing a last ditch attempt to throw themselves into the fight for the overall win.
With two huge climbs en route to the finish, including an ascent of the Monte Grappa, one thing in Dumoulin's favour will be the flat 14km run-in to the finish from the top of the final climb of Fazo, where he could potentially cut any deficit he accrued on the climb.
It was also set up nicely for a final fight out in the mountains, but would we see it come down to a final day showdown in the time trial?
Richard began working with Cycling Weekly in 2013 alongside the then web editor, Nigel Wynn. Taking over as digital editor or Cycling Weekly and mbr in 2014, Richard coordinates site content and strategy with the team.
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