Bassano del GrappaIt was nice to wake up in the shadow of the Matterhorn this morning; imposing, snow capped and stunning against a picture post card blue sky.

Yesterday?

There’s a clue in what Contador, Aru and Landa call themselves; “professional” cyclists.

It’s a job, a commercial enterprise, a way to make money for riders, sponsors and organisers.

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Fabio Aru took off after we saw him to win the stage. Photo©Martin Williamson

The way we read yesterday is that Alberto is due a big favour from Astana whilst Landa is due one from management and Aru.

Alberto is happy, he’s still going to win the Giro and absloutely nothing has changed in his world, the organisation is happy with Aru in second and Aru is happy – especially since he’s been wasted for days.

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Alberto has the race well under control. Photo©Martin Williamson

And Landa, well, he’s a professional…

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We’re still in the high mountains. Photo©Martin Williamson

And did we really need more mountains yesterday?

There was a score of guys racing yesterday, the rest were simply groveling to the finish.

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Last chance to pick up something to eat before the finish. Photo©Martin Williamson

Big Roger Kluge and Luka Mezgec finished @ 57:14 yesterday and only 17 riders were within five minutes of Aru at the end.

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Rinaldo Nocentini fight his way up solo. Photo©Martin Williamson
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Silvan Dillier. Photo©Martin Williamson
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Alessandro Bisolti. Photo©Martin Williamson
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Nicola Boem rides past in a tiny gear, clearly empty. Photo©Martin Williamson
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Vasil Kiryienka just wants to get to the bus. Photo©Martin Williamson

Visconti’s ride was a good one, snatching the climbers’ jersey from Kruijswijk but whether he can hang on to it today is another matter – he left an awful lot on the road, yesterday.

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Giovanni Visconti out front on his own – but not for long. Photo©Martin Williamson

Aru now leads the ‘Giovani‘ (young rider) by 91 minutes from Stage Four winner, Formolo who was patently wasted, yesterday.

Astana lead the team race by 30 minutes from BMC and in the team points classification have 556 points to BMC’s 316 and Lampre Merida’s 306.

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Astana have been so strong as a team in this race. Photo©Martin Williamson
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Salvatore Puccio. Photo©Martin Williamson

We had set up shop at around 10 K to go and had tucked in nicely on the convoy – all was going well for an early arrivo at the hotel and our dinner before 10:00 pm but the race organisation and police had different ideas and with around 1200 metres to go we got stuck in total traffic chaos.

To add insult to injury, then we couldn’t get to the hotel because it was through the finish area where the barrier crews were tearing the grandstand down.

Net result – arrival at restaurant at 10:00 after 10 rounds with a recalcitrant wi-fi system, the joys.

We started off driving the percorso today, to get to Finistre, the dirt roads and the action – but the routing crews aren’t out as early at the Giro as they are at the Tour and we gave it up as a bad job and are now on the autostrada hurtling towards Susa and the foot of the Colle delle Finestre – wish us luck!

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Verbania saluta il Giro! Photo©Martin Williamson
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The moving war memorial in Cervinia. Photo©Martin Williamson

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