Arnaud Demare (centre) raises his arms in triumph after winning the 10th stage on Tuesday. Photo: Alessandro di Meo/EPA

MODENA – Frenchman Arnaud Demare clinched a long-range, high-speed bunch sprint to win stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia on the cobbled streets of Modena on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old FDJ sprinter timed his move to perfection as Italy’s Elia Viviani came second, and early pace-setter Caleb Ewan finished fourth after a 60km/h crash on the home straight took out German sprinter Pascal Ackermann.

Winner of two stages so far on the Giro and wearer of the sprint points jersey, Ackermann got back in the saddle and trundled across the line with the left side of his outfit in tatters, showing painful looking grazes.

Ackermann retains a slight advantage over Demare in the sprint points ranking and both riders intend, unlike many others, to finish the Giro in the hope of winning the Cyclamen Jersey.

For Demare, this was a first ever Giro win, but the 27-year-old has been consistently in the mix on bunch sprints so far here and in 2019 won the Milan San Remo classic. 

“We got it right today,” FDJ sports director Frederic Guesdon said after the race. “We had a good chat with him on the rest day, and got him in the right mood.”

The rider himself said he had never let himself become downhearted watching others win.

“I have been very good, but missed out for one reason or another,” said Demare. “The team never lost confidence in me either.

“I had a good look at the final kilometre ahead of the start at Bologna (which is 20km away), and decided to take the wide side,” explained the winner.

Italy’s Valerio Conti of the UAE Emirates team once again maintained his overall lead atop the GC standings.

Wednesday’s 221km of racing is the final flat stage for the sprinters before the Giro heads into mountainous terrain, and it is likely to finish in a high-speed bunch sprint in the Piedmont city of Novi Ligure.

AFP