Another 74 km – Romano wins the only intermediate sprint of the day. The Italian is slightly faster than his fellow countryman F Rapporti. Behind it, Démare sprints in the peloton to sixth place and thus to two points and one point goes to Sagan.
Another 76 km – The lead of the leading group is finally decreasing rapidly. The hole is now 2.03.
Another 83 km – We repeat ourselves, but we have no other choice: the leading group of five still has about three minutes ahead. We wait until the sprinter teams accelerate in the peloton and the lead diminishes.
Another 104 km – The lead of the five refugees (Armée, Bais, Mazzucco, Romano and F Rapporti) is now 2.51 and therefore reasonably stable. The peloton clearly does not intend to take the leading group into account too early.
Still 135 km – Little happens in the race. The lead of the leading group fluctuates around three minutes, while the sprinter teams dominate in the peloton. Men like Démare, Gaviria and Viviani seem to be able to work towards a bunch sprint and can therefore hope for a day’s success.
Another 143 km – It is clear that the sprinter teams are in control of the peloton. They keep the pace high, so that the lead of the leading group has already shrunk to less than three minutes (2.45).
Another 153 km – The five refugees (Armée, Bais, Mazzucco, Romano and F Rapporti) are all behind the top riders in the rankings. The highest ranked rider is Armée at more than 45 minutes (45.44) from rosette jersey bearer Almeida.
Another 157 km – The lead of the front runners is already 3.46, but the chance that they will hold their own seems small on the flat course. The sprinter teams smell opportunities today.
Another 160 km – We immediately have a leading group of five riders who take a considerable lead. These are the Belgian Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal) and the Italians Mattia Bais (Androni), Fabio Mazzucco (Bardiani), Francesco Romano (Bardiani) and Marco F Rapporti (Vini Zabu).
START! Another 182 km – The starting shot has sounded! The peloton is on its way to Rimini.