With the climbing starting early in the stage, Diego Rosa (Team Sky), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data), Manuele Boaro (Bahrain-Merida) and Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing) led the way onto the Passo Pordoi.
The category one ascent saw no shortage of other riders trying to bridge across, in similar fashion to the previous day’s stage, and the fact pace – and the peloton’s response – meant riders were caught out very early on in the day.
Maglia rosa Dumoulin was left with just Laurens ten Dam for company after the first climb, and Sunweb had nobody in the large group forming off the front either.
Movistar, by contrast, had Andrey Amador and Winner Anacona once again, while King of the Mountains Landa and one of his closest challengers for the blue jersey, Omar Fraile (Dimension Data), were also up the road.
The pace eased up once the front group had got away – enough for Chad Haga to rejoin his team-mate Dumoulin on the front – but Nibali was alive to their tactics and his Bahrain-Merida team-mates immediately started pushing the pace themselves on the Valparola.
Orica-Scott then kicked hard on the front, bringing the gap down with Yates’ white jersey challenge in mind, and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) – who moved into the top ten the previous day – was the biggest casualty of their pace-setting.
In the front group, it was Team Sky driving the pace – Rosa and Philip Deignan trying to tee up Landa for the climb, but the blue jersey settled for second at the summit behind Fraile.
On the next climb, the Passo Gardena, the GC group was thinned again – Jungels dropping out the back as Orica-Scott’s earlier efforts paid off for Yates.