Cycling is a sport which cares little for reputations – just ask pre-stage favourite Marcel Kittel after he was crashed just two kilometres from the finishing line.
After Giant-Shimano had committed numbers to the front of the bunch, the German’s crash denied them a chance of victory.
But where Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) may have been expected to take full advantage, instead it was Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) who burst through to take the stage win.
For IAM Cycling, who enjoyed a productive day at Paris-Nice too, it was the perfect justification of their wildcard selection for the Tour de France and perhaps an embarrassing reminder for RCS Sport as to why many felt they should also have been invited to contest the Giro d’Italia.
Relive the stage in the gallery of Stefano Sirotti’s photos below.