The big mountain stage was much anticipated, and did not disappoint. It was a Tadej Pogačar masterclass, not just in attacking but in keeping your nerve and managing the smallest of gaps.
There were still 7.5 km to go on the 14.5 km climb to Prati di Tivo when Egan Bernal attacked. Tadej Pogačar responded immediately. Pushing a much bigger gear that the Colombian (note: so early in the season?), the Slovenian bridged across in an instant, with Fuglsang and Landa just behind. The move brought back Mattia Bais, who had been in the five-man breakaway that started at kilometre zero, although it was the next attacker, Geraint Thomas, who actually rode past him. Fello escapees Marco Canola and Emil Vinjebo had already been dropped, and Benjmain Thomas would be next, leaving only Mads Würtz Schmidt out front.
Bais, of course, was in the breakaway on stage one, before his younger brother Davide went marauding yesterday. The rest of the Bais family, if there is anyone not in the Tirreno peloton, must be glued to the TV this week.