On the steep road up Kolovrat, things were getting ready to happen. Jai Hindley’s Bora-Hansgrohe team massed at the head of the pink jersey group. Richard Carapaz, suddenly short of Ineos teammates, parked himself vigilantly on Hindley’s rear wheel. A deadlocked Giro d’Italia was about to be prised open. But not yet.

The Bora-Hansgrohe forcing continued dutifully until the race climbed towards the Italo-Slovenian border, and they still led on the snaking descent that followed, but the pace relented abruptly once the road flattened out on the approach to the day’s final climb to Santuario di Castelmonte.

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