Giulio Ciccone – Trek-Segafredo, 10th +2min 32sec
The gutsy young Italian extended his contract with his team while in yellow late last week. While Ciccone, like team leader Richie Porte, lost time on Monday there’s a reason to think he’ll put in a good showing for the rest of the Tour. Ciccone, at age 24 is not an unknown quantity, has two Giro stage wins to his name, and he won the mountains classification at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year. How much his ride at the Giro took out of Ciccone, especially given his youth, remains the big question. Having surrendered both the yellow and white jerseys, Ciccone says he’ll now chase a stage win frustrated by the sting of his runner-up finish to Dylan Teuns on La Planche des Belles Filles. He certainly won’t be given the freedom to go off the front in a break just yet, which makes him a handy back-up for Porte.
Enric Mas – Deceuninck – QuickStep, 6th +1min 46sec
The Spaniard is hovering, and with Julian Alaphilippe stealing the show in yellow, he’s had no reason to show his hand just yet. Always earmarked as the Belgian team’s GC guy, Mas, who finished runner-up at the Vuelta last year is on debut at the Tour and is at the race to learn and get familiar with its intensity. No doubt Movistar will appreciate down the track given the 24-year-old is supposedly headed there next year. Charged with the task of remaining attentive on the flatter stages, Mas delivered on Monday, staying out of trouble and moving into the top ten and 6th overall. It’s hoped that he can stay there for the remainder of the Tour.
Emanuel Buchmann – BORA – hansgrohe, 5th +1min 45sec
Another rider who stayed out of trouble in the winds of Stage 10, Buchmann’s positioning, sticking close to teammate Peter Sagan ensured he jumped from 10th overall to 5th on GC. If Stage 6 to La Planche des Belles Filles was the Tour’s first real litmus test, then the stealthy Buchmann passed with flying colours leaving several GC favourites and much more prominent names in his wake. German cycling has not been a happy place in recent years, but the local press is more than a little bit excited about Buchmann, so that’s saying something. Time trials are not where Buchmann shines. Instead, he’ll probably be set to double down on Saturday, hoping to repeat his performance during his Tour debut in 2015 where his finished 3rd on the stage which too featured the Tourmalet.
Steven Kruijswijk – Jumbo-Visma, 4th +1min 27sec
The Dutch team has been the standout team in the opening ten days of the Tour with three individual stage wins and blasting to the top of the table in an impressive Team Time Trial performance. They mean business. Kruijswijk is another rider who fared well in the crosswinds on Monday, up three positions on GC to 4th no doubt aided by the human shelter that is Tony Martin. It’s this dominant team performance that holds Kruijswijk in good stead for the mountains to come. Kruijswijk is a bit of enigma and is yet to fulfil the destiny that his talent has long-promised. We know that top ten is absolutely doable for the Dutchman, but breaking onto the podium has always just been out of reach. This year might be different.