After a few (frankly) boring flat stages, where the peloton refused to let a break go, and Kittel was untouchable in the sprints, the return to the mountains brought much more excitement.
An early break by the rivals for the Green saw Mathews finally pip Kittel in a sprint, and then we had the final climb.
Both Aru and Bardet saw off a Froome challenge and rode away from him. Interestingly, so did Landa, who is probably more focused on next season than serving Froome. Froome losing the yellow will embolden these two to go on with it, and they will need to. Neither are as strong in the time trail as Froome, but they both have a real chance of wining if they can keep chipping time off him on each mountain stage.
As for the pre-race favourites, Contador continues to have terrible luck, with more crashes, although he’s still a solid chance of a top ten finish.
Quintana will be regretting the lost opportunity. With Froome looking weaker this year, what could have been had he not ridden the Giro. His bid to complete the grand tour set will have to wait till next year.