The standings do not reflect it, but Israel – Premier Tech came out of the Giro d’Italia’s first rest day with renewed vigor and determination, and duly lit up the action throughout Tuesday’s 10th stage.

Simon Clarke’s kilometer zero attack set the tone: this was going to be a day for the breakaway. Marco Frigo eventually bridged across with 25 other riders, and on the finishing climb of Bocca Della Selva, found himself in the same four-man group as the eventual stage winner.

All of this came on the same day that British rider Ethan Vernon had to abandon the race through sickness, leaving the team with four riders.

“We planned to be in the breakaway, and that worked out with Marco being in a good one on the final climb,” says Sports Director Rene Mandri.

Unfortunately, Clarke’s heroic efforts to help establish the breakaway – he essentially had an 80-kilometer two-up time trial with Alessandro De Marchi, conjuring memories of last year’s emotional finish into Naples – proved too much for the Australian. He dropped out of the move around 60 kilometers from the finish.

Frigo’s hopes of taking a popular stage win ended when the pace on the 17.9-kilometer finishing climb proved too much for the 24-year-old. He crossed the line in 37th.

“It was a hard day from the start, the pace was full gas to get into the breakaway,” says Frigo.

“I think I did a good move to go with the other three guys. It was a good situation to be in.

“But on the last climb I just had to ride at my own pace. I hope to have better legs on other days. We will keep fighting to the end.”

Mandri praised the team’s committed performance, the best of this year’s Giro, adding: “We hope for some better days before Rome, but we can’t really regret anything we did today.”

“It would have been better if the breakaway had formed much earlier so Simon didn’t have to do as much. He was super motivated today but had to use up so much energy. Marco found himself in a really good move in the final but his legs fell short today.”