Stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia should have been a formulaic transition stage from Penne to Gualdo Tadino with a large breakaway riding to victory with the General Classification riders keeping it relaxed as they eased back into the race after the rest day.
However, the day turned out to be the exact opposite. As the peloton hit the first climb of the day, second on General Classification and key teammate of race leader Simon Yates, Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) was instantly in trouble.
The Colombian found himself distanced from the peloton, and part of the forming gruppetto. Despite the best efforts of his team, he never regained contact because of the work of rivals, eventually conceding 25 minutes to the group of favourites.
Thanks to Velon, we can look into the numbers that were needed to drop Chaves and how hard this mammoth 244km stage turned out to be.
As Chaves began to drop, Fabio Aru sent his UAE-Team Emirates team to the head of affairs to twist the knife into the Colombian.
One of those riders was Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen who was dispatched to the front.
For 12 minutes, Laengen tapped out 410w at a speed of 22.4km/h to ensure the gap stuck. Christian Knees (Team Sky) also joined the efforts as the road flattened pushing 400w (normalised power) for 12 minutes keeping the peloton ticking over at 49km/h.
This brutal pace was played out throughout the whole stage. Eventual winner Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) covered the 244km course in a tad over six hours averaging 40km/h.
The Slovenian had to produce 320w (normalised power) for the entire day with a one minute peak power of 554w. This included six minutes at 380w on as he raced to the line with Nico Denz (AG2R La Monidale).
While Chaves was dropped, his team leader Yates was busy snapping up more bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint. As he outsprinted Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Yates produced a 580w effort for a minute maxing out at 910w.
On the run in to the line, defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) took a spill in the greasy conditions, leading him to be distanced to the bunch.
The Dutchman remained extremely calm yet had to burn some matches to regain contact. In his 1 minute 43 second chase, Dumoulin sat at 390w as he surfed the team cars back to the peloton.
That may seem fairly routine for the time trial World Champion but these small efforts do add up.
Stage winner Mohoric may be a slight unknown to most but he is in fact the rider who first used the pedalling while descending on the toptube, now used frequently by Chris Froome (Team Sky).
He is known as one of the peloton’s best descenders and this is shown from yesterday’s stats.
In the first substantial downhill of the day, Mohoric averaged 69.5km/h for 8km topping out at 89.4km/h. His ability to descend allowed minimal power with him averaging 60w.