Having passed the midway point in today’s stage, there’s a 19-man group — Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Héctor Carretero (Movistar), Dario Cataldo (Movistar), Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers), Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ), Thomas De Gendt (Lottop-Soudal), Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (NTT), Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling), Jesper Hansen (Cofidis), Louis Meintjes (NTT), Ben O’Connor (NTT), Victor de la Parte (CCC), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-McLaren), Óscar Rodríguez (Astana), Eduardo Sepúlveda (Movistar), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal), Davide Villella (Movistar) and Ilnur Zakarin (CCC) — leading by a shade over six minutes.
The first big climb of the day, the Forcella Valbona, has already been crested with Guerreiro being the first rider over the top, adding 40 points to his tally in the mountains classification. As a result, the Portuguese is the new virtual leader in the mountains competition and after Giovanni Visconti (Vini Zabu-KT) failed to get into this break he will more than likely take the maglia azzurra off the shoulders of the Italian later on this afternoon.
Both the breakaway and the peloton are onto the second climb of the day, the 20.5km long Monte Bondone that has an average gradient of 6.6 per cent. Deceuninck-Quick Step, by the way, are riding on the front of the bunch.