The most spectacular stage in the 2016 Giro d'Italia (132km between Bressanone and Andalo) was won by a legend in cycling and the leader of the Movistar Team. Alejandro Valverde has turned the dynamics of the 'Corsa Rosa' upside down with the gift that turned him into the most consistent rider of the peloton for decades: tenacity. The plan was clear for the Blues, and 'Bala' unveiled it after the finish: "Tear the race apart". Nothing else. Forgetting about power data for a day, without counting the seconds behind his nearest rivals, including Vincenzo Nibali (AST). The only premise today was going on the attack.

75 kilometers from the finish of Andalo, after good work from the whole telephone squad during the Passo della Mendola climb (Cat-2), Ilnur Zakarin (KAT), Steven Kruijswijk (TLJ) and Valverde himself ultimately broke the peloton after several accelerations. The attacks left Colombia's Esteban Chaves (OGE) behind, 39" after the ten-man group led by Valverde into the 'Traguardo Volante' of Cles, where 'Bala' took a two-second bonus he would multiply at the finish.

Cards were on the table as Valverde recovered his nonconformist spirit from the Mur de Huy, the Vuelta a AndalucĂ­a and already so many races this year, leaving Nibali behind into the Fai della Paganella (Cat-2) ascent and beating Kruijswijk on the last kick up Andalo. The win, Alejandro's 97th as pro, takes him directly into the selected club of stage victors in all three Grand Tours vueltas (Tour, Giro, Vuelta). Things will calm for a while on Wednesday -196km from Molveno to Cassano d'Adda, with just one Cat-4 climb- before the big finale of this 'Corsa Rosa' starts in Piedmont on Thursday.