Peter Sagan rolled into Guardia Sanframondi in 157th place yesterday, in the same group as Elia Viviani, Filippo Ganna and Cameron Meyer; a sprinter, a time trial specialist and Road Captain / super domestique.
Tradition tells us that these mid-mountain stages are where the battle for the points jersey are won and lost. Tradition tells us that consistency, sprinkled with panache and laced with luck is the recipe to success. To win the Maglia Ciclamino, stage 8 was a stage to contribute to the points balance. Sure, there's still stages 9, 17 and 19, with roughly the same distance:climb ratios, but the consistency recipe demands you add to the balance every day you can. Sagan is currently in 5th place, with the competition being led by Tim Merlier on 83 points.
Fernando Gaviria got himself in the break in stage 8 last night. No doubt he was disappointed with the outcome of his early charge in the finale of stage 7, where he was reeled in and overpowered by Caleb Ewen. Gaviria is now one point shy of Peter Sagan in 6th place in the Points competition, sitting on 56 and 57 respectively.
Is Gaviria looking to change his stars?
Is Sagan's star fading?
Stage 9 will be interesting.