The Tour Take | GIRO D'ITALIA Stage 20
1st – Mikel Nieve
2nd – Robert Gesink
3rd – Felix Grosschartner
Stage 20 was 214km from Susa to Cervina, and the first 120 were completely flat. It was a climber’s paradise from there though, as the race crested three category 1 climbs. The Col Tsecore, Col Saint Pantaleon and Cervina, all were around 15km long, if not leg breakingly steep. The Cervina was the final GC test of this Giro and rose at a fairly irregular gradient. 18km with an average of 5.2%, it went up in steps, with a maximum of 12%.
Chris Froome did enough to hold onto the jersey, finishing with Dumoulin at Cervina. He’ll become the first British winner of the Giro, and is now the winner of all three Grand Tours at the same time. He also takes the KOM Jersey.
Elia Viviani won two intermediate sprints, wrapping up the Points classification over Sam Bennett. Miguel Angel Lopez stayed in the White Jersey, finishing with Richard Carapaz.
The main break of the day took around 30km to get established, and it was a huge break. Guilio Ciccone, Matej Mohoric, Mikel Nieve, Roman Kreuziger, Elia Viviani, Valerio Conti, Michael Woods, Tony Martin and Giovanni Visconti were just some of the names that made it into the 30-strong break. They got a max lead of around 5 minutes before the Col Tsecore, but their lead was reeled in slightly on the lower slopes.
The Winning move
On the Tsecore, a select group formed with of Mohoric, Visconti Brambilla, Woods, Conti, Gesink, Bouwman Grosschartner, Ciccone, and Nieve. By the bottom of the second climb, the Saint Pantaleon, their advantage had stretched back out to 6:30. By the top, Nieve had dropped everyone, having been let off the leash after Simon Yates faltered.
Only Grosschartner and Gesink remained with a chance of catching Nieve – they were caught about 2 minutes back, minutes for the final climb, while the peloton was 6 minutes back. Nieve stayed away and took the win, taking Mitchelton-SCOTT’s fifth stage win of the Giro, and some sort of consolation prize after Yates’ capitulation.
The battle for pink
Dumoulin had to do something today, and he made his first move with 9km to go, accelerating but not dropping Froome. He took a few digs, reducing the group to himself, Oomen, Formolo, Froome, Carapaz, Lopez, Pozzovivo and Poels. Froome began to join in the fun too, putting Dumoulin in serious trouble with 5km to go, though he bridged back up again. The group rode in to the line together, with Dumoulin raising the white flag.
55th-Jack Haig @ 34:59
56th- Adam Hansen " "
58th- Chris Hamilton " "
84th- Rohan Dennis @ 45:32
117th- Zak Dempster " "
146th- Mitch Docker " "
Though the final stage of the Giro won’t reach TDF levels of a procession, it still going to be taken fairly easily until the sprint approaches. 10 laps of an 11.5km circuit around Rome, the circuit is pretty testing.
The sprint will be hectic, with several narrow sections, tight corners and even a paved section with 2km to go. Two consecutive left-handers come with 1200 and 900m to go, before a straight run to the line.
Elia Viviani’s won the majority of sprints at this Giro, so why not another? It doesn’t get much better than winning the final stage of a grand tour while in the Sprinters’ jersey.
See you back at the social club,