Campenaerts had joined breakaways in previous stages in this Giro, but never made it to the end. On a rainy Sunday, he was yet again the first attacker of the day. A larger breakaway group was formed, from which Campenaerts and Riesebeek escaped.
In a nail-biting last 5 kilometres, the duo had a small bonus on a group of other breakaway riders. When the nerves took the upper hand and both refused to cooperate, it seemed as if the others would join them again, but Campenaerts, a time trialist, tried it on his own. Riesebeek caught the Fleming back and started the final sprint. Campenaerts had to dig deep, but eventually moved past Riesebeek again to take his first stage win in one of the three big stage races (Giro, Vuelta and Tour).
Campenaerts (29) holds the world hour record on track. Two years ago, he managed to cover a distance of 55.089 kilometres in one hour in Mexico. This is his biggest win so far in a stage race. In 2017 and 2018, he won the gold medal in the European time trial championships on the road.