If anybody had written off Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) after his tribulations in 2013, they have been made to think again at Tirreno-Adriatico.
The new season has seen El Pistolero bounce back stronger than ever, obliterating his rivals on two gruelling climbs over the weekend.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) arrived as favourite for Tirreno-Adriatico, but it is the experienced Spaniard rather than the rising Colombian star who sits in pole position with two stages to go.
Contador’s stunning burst up the Muro di Guardiagrele highlighted exactly why he is still seen as a major Grand Tour contender, and his early-season form certainly appears ominous for his rivals.
Relive the stage, with some great images on the slopes of the Guardiagrele, in the gallery of Stefano Sirotti’s images below.