Elia Viviani is relishing life without Mark Cavendish.
The Italian sprinter, still only 24, saw his best efforts in the Giro d’Italia thwarted by the Manx Missile on every occasion that brought the two quick men together.
Today, Viviani was spared the handlebar-thumping frustration of finishing second when the Cannondale green machine switched to overdrive in the closing kilometres.
Pre-race favourite, Chris Froome, and race leader, David Veilleux , enjoyed the kind of low key stage they would have hoped for, turning on the speed only to ensure their safe passage across the finish line.
Tomorrow’s 167km stage from Amberieu-en-Bugey will offer brief respite from the relentless climbing that has characterised the opening two stages.
But with the third category Col des Sauvages close enough to the denouement to spark some frenzied descending to the finish in Tarare, excitement in the closing kilometres is all but guaranteed.
Check back tomorrow for our full report. In the meantime, enjoy this gallery of today’s action from the road to Oyonnax, courtesy of official UCI WorldTour photographer, Stefano Sirotti.