With the points classification jersey secured, it appeared Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) finally got the sprint win he was after, crossing the line in Torino ahead of Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) and Matteo Trentin (Ettix-Quickstep). The emotion for Nizzolo was clear as he enthusiastically hugged friends and family.
But it was clear not all was well as an angry Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) uttered some choice words and hand gesturing across the line. On replays, Nizzolo seemed to swing right and into Modolo's line. The race jury agreed and Nizzolo was relegated, the new top three Arndt, Trentin and Modolo.
"This is not the way I would have wanted to win a stage at the Giro. I wish I had won one before today: I've been hunting a win for three weeks. But the jury has made its decision and there's nothing we, as riders, can do about it," Arndt said.
"I'm happy that I have a Giro stage win under my belt. I did a good sprint today anyway."
Bardiani - CSF sprinter Sonny Colbrelli was unable to contest the sprint after he rode a little too close to a spectator sitting in the gutter with 6.7kms to go.
— CyclingCentral (@CyclingCentral) May 29, 2016
While the peloton just tried to stay upright in the largely processional stage, risk was ever near with heavy rain at the start in Cuneo. An early crash involving several Orica-GreenEdge riders including Esteban Chaves saw Lotto Soudal's Lars Bak devastatingly abandon with 84 hours in the legs. It was a double blow for his team after Stig Broeckx was involved in a moto accident in the Belgium Tour on Saturday and is now in a coma.
LottoNL-Jumbo riders Maarten Tjallingii and Jos van Emden attacked once the peloton hit the first of eight laps around the final circuit in Torino and held a 40 second gap into the second last lap. Van Emden alone survived with a 14 second advantage at the bell, but he was scooped up on the hill just after the finish line.
Earlier, Chaves was again caught up in a crash on the slippery roads of Torino this time with close friend Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale) at 28kms to go. Fortunately organisers had stopped the clock for the overall classification by this time, but this meant nothing for Johan van Zyl (Dimension Data) who also abandoned so close to the finish.
Nibali was emotional after the stage.
"Today I win my second Giro d'Italia. I'm speechless. The crowd on the final circuit was enormous and showed me great affection. My family is here so I've been able to hug everyone. At the beginning of the race we've had a bit of rain but with the nice weather at the end, my joy is complete. I've loved that moment."