Nicolas Roche showed the signs that he was getting over his crash earlier in the Giro d'Italia when he rode aggressively in the finale of yesterday's 10th stage to Salsomaggiore.
Roche launched an attack on the day’s final climb, making his move after the Sky team put the hammer down on the ascent. While he was unable to open a lasting gap, the foray showed he is ready to adopt a more aggressive approach in the race as the next big mountains approach.
Roche had hoped to fight for the overall but lost time when he crashed out of seventh place on the sixth stage of the event.
Yesterday's stage was won by the French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr), who was dropped on that last climb but was able to return to the bunch just before the final sprint.
He played things perfectly in the final gallop, avoiding the crash which brought down Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and several others. He then took Giacomo Nizzolo’s wheel when the Trek Factory Racing rider launched his sprint.
Bouhanni then kicked past inside the final 100 metres, showing confidence and strength to nab the victory.
“The end of the stage was really, really quick,” he said afterwards. “My team did it absolutely perfectly. They all helped me, they were all read to help me, and they gave me a very, very good approach to the sprint.
“I just did my bit after that.”
Overnight leader Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) finished in the main bunch, as did Roche – who placed 23rd – plus fellow Irishman Philip Deignan (Sky).
Evans maintained a 57 second advantage over Rigoberto Uran Uran (Omega Pharma- Quick-Step Cycling Team), while Roche’s Tinkoff-Saxo team-mate Rafal Majka is a further 13 seconds back in third place.
Roche is 47th overall, with Deignan 76th. Both have said they will target stage wins in the event.