Giro d'Italia 2022 Stage 20 as it happened - Jai Hindley wrests pink from Richard Carapaz, Alessandro Covi wins
The GC battle will resume on Saturday’s Stage 20 which includes three tough peaks in the Dolomites including the Passo Pordoi – the highest of the race – and the double-digit gradient of the final ascent of the Passo Fedaia to Marmolada. Who will come out on top ahead of the Giro-deciding individual time trial that follows on Sunday?
Stage 20 profile and route map: Belluno - Marmolada
Jai Hindley: It was an epic stage and a brutal finish
“I knew this was going to be the crucial stage of the race,” the Australian said before stopping the interview to celebrate with a teammate. “It was a brutal finish. If you had the legs you could make the difference. We stayed patient and we saved our matches until today. It was perfect. We had Lenny in the breakaway and he couldn’t have timed it better to drop back and give me a boost up the road. When I heard that Carapaz was dropping the wheel, I went all out. It was an epic stage.”
Asked whether 1:25 was enough for him to hold on tomorrow, he said: "I don’t know. We’ll see how that goes. It’s always hard to say how a time trial will go on the last day of a three-week race but I’ll die for the pink jersey tomorrow."
New top five
It should be enough for Hindley to hold onto the maglia rosa in Verona - even if he has a shocker in the time trial. So we shouldn't see a repeat of his 2020 nightmare.
1. Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) 2. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) +1:25 3. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:51 4. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana-Qazaqstan) +7:57 5. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +8:55
Kamna: It's perfect - it couldn't be better for us
Germany's Lennard Kamna played a huge role there by dropping back from the break to help tee up Hindley for his decisive attack. Here's what Kamna has to say after the stage:
"It was absolutely amazing – everything worked out perfectly, it couldn’t be better. I wanted to join the break and then I was waiting until about three-and-a-half to go then I did one really hard pull – like all out, what I had – and then Carapaz was dropped and Jai could take a lot of time. I was a bit surprised but on the other hand I was super-happy about it. For us it was the dream scenario. It’s perfect – it couldn’t be better."
Carapaz comes home to surrender the pink
Hugh Carthy, Mikel Landa and Lennard Kamna all made the top 10 today and finished well ahead of Richard Carapaz, who conceded a minute and a half there when he crossed the line just ahead of Davide Formolo. Here's today's top 10, plus Carapaz:
Jai Hindley roars into pink; wins the Giro?
The Australian dances along the home straight for the best sixth place you'll see in a while! Barring incident or accident on the last day, Hindley will win the Giro d'Italia in Verona tomorrow. He had a big gap over Carapaz going into the final time trial...
Alessandro Covi wins Stage 20 on the Marmolada
The Italian from UAE Team Emirates is all smiles after his third win of the season and the biggest of his career. He wins in the Dolomites by 33 seconds over Domen Novak (Bahrain Victorious) who was almost caught by Guilio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) just ahead of the line.
16:07 - Hindley opening up a gap, Covi on course
Final kilometre: Alessandro Covi is going to hold on - he's still 30 seconds clear of Domen Novak, who just can't close the gap. Further down the mountain, Jai Hindley is riding into the pink jersey. He has 30 seconds on the Ecuadorian, who has Kamna sandbagging his back wheel. Carapaz is cracking so much that he's been caught and passed by Hugh Carthy.
16:02 - Carapaz cracks! Hindley rides clear
2km to go: Wow! Is this the moment Jai Hindley won the Giro? After a big pull from teammate Kamna, the Australian puts in an attack that has the pink jersey on the ropes. They look over their shoulder, see Carapaz, and Hindley marches on while Kamna drops back, his work done.
2.5km to go: Is this the moment? Hindley's attack drops everyone except Carapaz - and then the Australian links up with teammate Kamna, who had dropped back from that breakaway.
16:58 - Just five in the pink jersey group
3km to go: Martin and Hirt are distanced and that leaves a quintet of Carapaz, Sivakov, Landa, Hindley and Carthy in the maglia rosa group, who still trail the lone leader by 4:40. Covi is starting to tire and is only 35 seconds clear of Novak now.
15:55 - Now Ineos take it up for Carapaz
4km to go: Ineos Grenadiers clearly want to put this Giro to bed. Tulett and Sivakov have come to the front to up the tempo for Richard Carapaz. This acceleration spells the end for Martin's foray off the front and also sees Emanuel Buchmann distanced - so Hindley only has Kelderman with him now. Hugh Carthy and Landa are still present, ditto Jan Hirt. But it looks like Nibali, Valverde and Bilbao have been dropped.
15:53 - Novak attacks from chasing trio
4.5km to go: It may not be the Bahrain-Victorious attack on the Passo Fedaia we all expected but the Slovenian has dropped Arensman and Ciccone as he rides off in pursuit of Covi, whose lead is down to 1:15.
15:50 - Covi hits the hardest part, Martin attacks
5km to go: Our lone leader has passed the sprint at Malga Ciapela and will now hit the tough part of this climb. Meanwhile, back with the main pink jersey group, the sluggish tempo is highlighted by Frenchman Guillaume Martin - the human yo-yo - going clear with another one of his baffling attacks.
15:45 - Formolo dropped, chase group thins out
7km to go: That's a surprise - Formolo has been distanced along with Pedrero. They follow Leemreize and Kamna, who may or may not have been called back to help teammate Hindley for the finale. Covi, then, continues his ride into the history books. He's approaching the intermediate sprint (!) and still has 1:45 over three chasers: Novak, Ciccone and Arensman.
The main part of the climb, of course, comes after the sprint when the gradient ramps up to an average of 11.3% over the last five or so kilometres...
15:40 - Carapaz with three teammates
9km to go: The pink jersey looks fairly comfortable. He still has Jonathan Castroviejo, Benn Tullett and Pavel Sivakov with him, with Ben Swift only dropping back fairly recently. Ineos have had another free ride today with Bahrain doing all the work after Bora did the honours yesterday. It's Buitrago who paces Bahrain teammates Landa and Bilbao on the front of this main group. Surely the Spanish duo will try something at some point? Hindley, meanwhile, is with a couple of Bora teammates and seems content to follow Carapaz's wheel. He has Kamna up the road, remember.
15:35 - Ciccone ups tempo, peloton whittled down
11km to go: Guilio Ciccone increases the pace on the front of the chase group and that sees Oomen and Ballerini distanced. But Covi still has 2:15 over these riders and 5:55 on the pack, which now has Bahrain Victorious back drilling the tempo. It's a tempo that has dropped a host of riders including Koen Bouwman, the blue jersey, and Domenico Pozzovivo, eighth on GC this morning, and Wout Poels, who has just put in a huge shift for teammates Landa and Bilbao.
15:30 - Breakaway onto the Passo Fedaia
13km to go: We're onto the final big climb of the 2022 Giro d'Italia. It's the Passo Fedaia, or Marmolada, and it's 14km long at 7.6% and a maximum gradient of 14%. Covi is the lone leader while Ballerini has been caught by those eight other pursuers.
15:26 - Ballerini back with a bang!
15km to go: That's a huge indication of the lack of cohesion in the chase group because Davide Ballerini - who was working for his teammate Mauri Vansevenant earlier - has managed to catch the eight riders on the descent. Not only that - he's just zipped past them and powered ahead - at the exact moment that Vansevenant is swept up by the peloton behind.
15:22 - Fatigue looms large over the race
20km to go: We were all waiting for today's showdown but it has been a truly subdued affair with zero attacks from any of the favourites who are all biding their time for the final climb. That is understandable - they are clearly knackered - but it's also a disappointment. The accumulated fatigue is taking over and it seems like no one can actually do anything out there. Except Covi, that is: he's 2:20 clear of the eight chasers and 6:15 clear of the pack. He's got over the small ledge that breaks up this long descent and he's not on the drop towards the second sprint and the Passo Fedaia...
15:16 - Van der Poel and Vendrame to be caught
25km to go: The duo have joined forces on this descent and will soon be caught by the Bahrain-led pink jersey group. Wout Poels has been pulling but they still trail the lone leader by six minutes ahead of the final climb.
15:02 - Amazing scenery ahead of final climb
37km to go: This is one of those quite stunning descents which you wish you could be riding yourself...
14:54 - Covi wins Cima Coppi atop Passo Pordoi
45km to go: Alessandro Covi crests the summit of the highest climb of this year's Giro and he will win the Cima Coppi prize for his efforts. The Italian has 1:20 over the eight chasers with the main pack still 5:50 down. Ciccone took second over the top ahead of Formolo. It's all going to come down to the final climb...
14:45 - Covi extends lead over eight chasers
47km to go: Eight riders have now come together in pursuit of Alessandro Covi, who's gap is up to 1:15. The chasers are: Domen Novak (Bahrain Victorious), Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Gijs Leemreize and Sam Oomen (Jumbo-Visma), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Thymen Arensman (Team DSM), Guilio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates). Formolo doesn't have to do any work because Covi up the road is his teammate.
Behind, it's still Wout Poels on the front and he's managed to distance quite a few riders as this pink jersey group slims down. But they still trail the lone leader by 5:50.
14:35 - Covi leads, 5 in pursuit, Poels redivivus
51km to go: Lone leader Alessandro Covi has 20 seconds on a chasing quintet of Domen Novak, Lennard Kamna, Thymen Arensman, Giulio Ciccone and Davide Formolo, who have distanced Jumbp-Visma duo Gijs Leemreize and Sam Oomen but who will soon be joined again by Antonio Pedrero.
Back with the main pack, Wout Poels - after pedalling triangles earlier - is now pulling fo Bahrain Victorious on the front ahead of Buitrago, Bilbao and Landa. They're followed by the Ineos train and then Bora. The gap back to this pink jersey group is still 5:40 so we may see two battles today - for the stage and for the maglia rosa.
Alessandro Covi of Italy and UAE Team Emirates, Edoardo Zardini of Italy and Team Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec, Lennard Kämna of Germany and Team Bora - Hansgrohe, Mauri Vansevenant of Belgium and Team Quick-Step - Alpha Vinyl and a genera
Image credit: Getty Images
14:30 - Van der Poel dropped, breakaway in tatters
53km to go: Poor Davide Ballerini - he's done all that hard work for Mauri Vansevenant but his Quick-Step teammate has only just gone and popped. They both rider off the back but ahead of Mathieu van der Poel, who got distanced even earlier. Meanwhile, on the front Alessandro Covi has kicked clear after closing down an early but short-lived attack from compatriot Edoardo Zardini.
14:20 - Break onto Passo Pordoi, Vendrame dropped
56km to go: The breakaway is onto the Passo Pordoi which, rising to 2239m, is the highest point in this race where the Cima Coppi prize will be up for grabs. It's 11.8km long at a gentle average gradient of 6.8% and a maximum gradient of 10%. Davide Ballerini continues to set the tempo on the front and this has seen Andrea Vendrame shelled out the back.
14:10 - Gap drops a touch ahead of Pordoi
65km to go: It's getting into seriously sexy mountain territory now with the Sella Ronda appearing on the horizon as well as the Tre Cime. The gap is down to 5:10 for the 15 leaders. A reminder of who they are:
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Domen Novak (Bahrain Victorious), Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Edoardo Zardini (Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli), Gijs Leemreize and Sam Oomen (Jumbo-Visma), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Davide Ballerini and Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Thymen Arensman (Team DSM), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Alessandro Covi and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates), and Andrea Vendrame (Ag2R-Citroen).
14:00 - Poels dropped from peloton
70km to go: The road is now heading uphill to the foot of the Passo Pordoi proper and we have seen the Dutchman Wout Poels dropped. He's being yo-yoing off and on today, clearly struggling with something - maybe just empty legs after a tough three weeks. He's no spring chicken any more, is he? Certainly not the rider who won (by default) on the Angliru.
So, a blow for Landa then - although it's Bahrain Victorious who still drive the pace of the peloton with three riders paving the way for their Basque climber and his teammate Pello Bilbao. The upshot of this is that, for the second day running, Ineos Grenadiers are getting a free ride...
Mikel Landa: I will gamble everything
We spoke to Mikel Landa at the start of today's stage about his prospects of caughing an upset. He's currently third on GC at 1:05 but almost five minutes clear of fourth-place Vincenzo Nibali.
"I'm very motivated for the stage - I have more to win than to lose. I'd gamble everything to win this race. I think it will be decided on the finish so I don't think I will lose my place on the podium. We want to be aggressive and make the other teams work hard. Both Carapaz and Hindley are very strong. They're explosive riders and on a finish like yesterday there's not much I can do against them. But on longer climbs like today I will have a better chance."
And this from Bradley Wiggins earlier...
13:40 - Formolo pips Ciccone over the summit
85km to go: The blue king of the mountains jersey is done and dusted but that doesn't stop Italians Davide Formolo and Guilio Ciccone enjoying a little tussle to get over the top of the Passo San Pellegrino. It's the former who gets there first after being led out by his UAE teammate Covi, with Ciccone settling for second place that consolidates his second position in the KOM standings. Formolo will move up to seventh place - but he could feasibly move into third by the end of the day.
13:30 - The calm before the GC storm
88km to go: Although, meteorologically speaking, the rain has cleared up, and so we shouldn't see any storms today. The riders will be pleased about the prospect of dry roads for the next long descent, which is coming up for the 15 leaders in 3km. No Koen Bouwman in the break today - that's because the Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma mathematically secured the blue jersey yesterday on his way to a second stage win. No change, meanwhile, in the status quo with the gap still 5:30.
13:20 - Landa and Nibali deep in conversation
91km to go: Now this is very interesting... Could the two former teammates be planning something? Bradley Wiggins picked up on it from the back of his motorbike and Robbie McEwen is speculating on a potential alliance: the two working together so that Nibali wins the stage and Landa takes the pink jersey. I think every neutral cycling fan would go all-in for that...
Gap is still 5:30 for this 15-man move which is now being powered by the Quick-Step duo of Ballerini and Vansevenant.
13:10 - Tension rises as breakaway splits up
95km to go: It comes back together but some riders are having words with Domen Novak, the Bahrain rider in this breakaway, who is being a bit of a passenger and let a gap grow without closing it just then. He's only here as a relay later for Mikel Landa and Kamna isn't best pleased about the situation.
Van der Poel is also having a discussion with Ciccone - it looks like he's not happy with the Italian's tendency to take a pull but accelerate while doing so, whereby disrupting the rhythm of the rest of the break. Judging by his hand gestures, the Dutchman seems to explaining to Ciccone that he would be better off keeping things steady rather than all this stop-start stuff that he dishes out.
13:02 - The unbearable weight of Van der Poel's massive talent
100km to go: Not many of us expected Mathieu van der Poel to still be in the Giro at this point of the race given how he withdrew from his debut Tour well before the big mountains. Even fewer of us would have thought he'd be getting into his second mountain breakaway in four days. But here he is - a rider who seems to know no boundaries. It will be a big ask for him to get anything for his efforts today, but you have to applaud his enterprise.
102km to go: Alessandro Covi taps out tempo alongside Antonio Pedrero on the front of this 15-man move whose lead is back up to six minutes as they start the first major test today, the Cat.1 Passo San Pellegrino, whis is 18.5km long at an average gradient of 6.2% and a maximum tilt of 15%.
12:50 - Ballerini 'wins' intermediate sprint
105km to go: Davide Ballerini looks around, sees that no one is interested, and then skips clear to take the intermediate sprint at Cencenighe Agordino. The Italian has been in good form at the end of this Giro, and was present in the break yesterday paving the way for teammate Mauro Schmid. The advantage of the 15 leaders is down to 5:20 with the first climb coming up imminently. You'll be pleased to know that the rain has now stopped and the sun is back out - so we could be in for a dry finale today...
12:35 - Who are the dangermen in the move?
114km to go: In terms of GC none of the 15 leaders are exactly a threat to Richard Carapaz's pink jersey with the best placed riders Kamna and Arensman at 43min and 44min down respectively. The best climbers here are Kamna, Oomen, Arensman, Ciccone and Formolo - two of whom (Kamna and Ciccone) have already won a stage this year. But Kamna may have duties to perform later for teammate Hindley, while the others are totally free after their GC leaders either pulled out or are well down. The first clinb is coming up and the gap is still 6:15.
12:30 - Almost six minutes for leaders as Bahrain take it up
119km to go: Landa's teammates Jasha Sutterlin and Santiago Buitrago have come to the front to set tempo ahead of the Ineos train. The gap is up to six minutes but it's not a done deal that one of the 15 leaders wins today's stage - especially given what's in store: three monstrous Cat.1 climbs and over 4,000m of climbing.
12:20 - Hindley and Landa with men in the break
125km to go: Despite those early worries, Bora and Bahrain have a rider each in the break - Kamna and Novak respectively - and they could well prove to be useful relays for their leaders Jai Hindley and Mikel Landa later on.
It's a big day for Mikel Landa. He's only ever finished on the podium in one Grand Tour before - the Giro back in 2015. He's 1:05 off the pink jersey summit but almost five minutes clear of the fourth-place rider, Vincenzo Nibali. He has nothing to lose and so surely he must go on the offensive early today in his bid to take the maglia rosa.
Jai Hindley of Australia and Team Bora - Hansgrohe, Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers Pink Leader Jersey and Mikel Landa Meana of Spain and Team Bahrain Victorious during the 105th Giro d'Italia 2022, Stage 17
Image credit: Getty Images
12:15 - Vendrame joins the breakaway
130km to go: A fifteenth rider makes the break in the form of Andrea Vendrame, the Italian from Ag2R-Citroen who misjudged that final bend in the finale yesterday and had to take evasive action through a gap in the barriers. The gap grows out to three minutes so it looks like this break could go the distance. Behind, the domestiques are heading back to their team cars to pick up rain capes for their leaders.
12:10 - Pozzovivo in trouble, Ineos bring calm
135km to go: Things may settle now as Ineos Grenadiers come to the front and force the peloton to knock it off - and that will help Domenico Pozzovivo, who is one of those riders to get distanced with the intensity of those last 20 minutes.
The 14-man move now has over a minute and this will no doubt grow. The leaders are: Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Domen Novak (Bahrain Victorious), Lennard Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Edoardo Zardini (Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli), Gijs Leemreize and Sam Oomen (Jumbo-Visma), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Davide Ballerini and Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Thymen Arensman (Team DSM), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Alessandro Covi and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates).
And it's started to tip it down!
12:00 - Chaos with riders all over the place
140km to go: This stage is far from settled despite this move of 12 men with around 20 seconds on the pack. They are Van der Poel, Novak, Zardini, Leemreize, Oomen, Moniquet, Pedrero, Vansevenant, Arensman, Ciccone, Covi and Formolo - but there's a lot of looking around and many riders trying to bridge over, such as Kamna and Ballerini. The pack itself is all strung out with a gruppetto well and truly formed and many riders already in the red.
Five scenarios for today's showdown in the Dolomites
Another GC stalemate in Stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia means the fight for pink will come down to the last day in the Dolomites. Felix Lowe proposes five different scenarios for the last mountaintop finish of the race as Richard Carapaz, Jai Hindley and Mikel Landa bid to stake their definitive claim to the maglia rosa before the lottery of Sunday’s final time trial.
All pants and no trousers. That just about sums up Bora-Hansgrohe’s tactics on Friday’s Stage 19 where Jai Hindley’s team took up the pacing in the peloton for over 100km only to give up the ghost ahead of the final climb to the Sanctuario di Castelmonte. Despite attacks from both Richard Carapaz and Mikel Landa, Hindley was able to cope once he was jettisoned by his team – but the race’s big three crossed the line together to cap another GC stalemate in the Julian Alps of north-east Italy.
Eurosport pundit Adam Blythe described Bora’s tactics as “the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen in a long time” – and this is a man who has to regularly look at his own shirts in the mirror. Blythe and his fellow pundits on The Breakaway were perplexed by Bora’s decision to set up all their targets and then fail to pull the trigger.
“Throughout the whole stage I was expecting them to do something – they had to try something,” said Blythe. “But with 10km to go they just sat up off the front. What’s the point?” Read on by clicking the link below...
Jai Hindley of Australia and Team Bora - Hansgrohe, Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers Pink Leader Jersey and Mikel Landa Meana of Spain and Team Bahrain Victorious compete while fans cheer during the 105th Giro d'Italia 2022, Stage 19
Image credit: Getty Images
11:53 - This climb is brutal! Bora struggling...
147km to go: It's only meant to be a 3km leg-stretcher but this uncategorised climb has blown the race apart with its narrow, double-digit - and cobbled! - steepest stretch. Guilio Ciccone put in a big attack and was joined by Sam Oomen, Davide Formolo and a few others. And a group of a dozen or so have come together including that man Mathieu van der Poel.
Bora-Hansgrohe are really struggling: they have already lost Patrick Gamper and Cesare Benedetti. So it's advantage Ineos Grenadiers and Bahrain Victorious who, I should add, have Domen Novac in this early break... That said, Stage 17 winner Santiago Buitrago and Wout Poels have both been distanced for Bahrain, so Mikel Landa is losing teammates as well as Jai Hindley...
11:48 - De Bondt and Juul-Jensen caught
149km to go: Chris Juul-Jensen (BikeExchange-Jayco) and that man De Bondt, who has been very active since the start, were off the front for a period but they've now got swept up and spat out as the peloton tackles this little uncategorised climb that I mentioned earlier. Team DSM have taken it up - probably for their man Thymen Arensman. Such a shame that Romain Bardet was forced out of this Giro - his presence would have added some much-needed zing in the GC battle, which has really plateaued this week.
11:40 - First drops of rain, more thwarted attacks
155km to go: It's not the sunny weather everyone wanted for this picture postcard stage in the Dolomites and it's now started to drizzle. Mathieu van der Poel had a pop, as did his Belgian teammate De Bondt once again. Nothing. Then Lotto Soudal and Israel-Premier Tech again went clear through Sylvain Moniquet and the towering Swiss powerhouse Reto Hollenstein. But the peloton was having nothing of it.
We have a little uncategorised climb coming up which could act as a springboard for a breakaway...
11:30 - Early attacks come to nothing
162km to go: Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal) and Alessandro De Marchi (Israel-Premier Tech) both tried their luck in solo attempts off the front - but they came to nothing and it's now Dries De Bondt, the Stage 18 winner from Alpecin-Fenix, who is trying to force something after a brief flurry from Movistar, who have got absolutely nothing from this race.
11:25 - Stage 20 under way!
167km to go: Ciao ragazzi! It's time for the big one - a final showdown in the Dolomites with three massive peaks including the fearsome Passo San Pellegrino, the Cima Coppi for the highest climb in the race, the Passo Pordoi, and the final slog of the mighty Marmolada. The flag has gone down and the first attacks are coming in... Stay tuned for all the action with me, Felix Lowe, on this, the penultimate day of the 105th Giro d'Italia.
STAGE 19 RECAP - Vendrame misses out in catastrophic moment on final turn as Bouwman wins
A tight ninety-degree bend caused chaos for the leading breakaway of five riders in a bizarre conclusion to Stage 19 at the Santuario di Castelmonte as Dutchman Koen Bouwman squeezed past Switzerland’s Mauro Schmid to take a second stage win on the Giro while Italy’s Andrea Vendrame and Hungary’s Attila Valter careered into the barriers behind.
Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) took an aggressive but ideal race line into the controversial corner, catching Schmid (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) by surprise as Vendrame (Ag2R-Citroen) and Valter (Groupama-FDJ) were forced wide. Vendrame and Valter were left to rue their luck as Bouwman went on to punch the air ahead of an embittered Schmid and third-place Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizane).
“My opinion it was not a fair sprint – that’s pretty clear,” Schmid said in the immediate aftermath of the 178km stage through the Julian Alps of north-east Italy. “Because my handlebars were in front and he [Bouwman] nearly crashed in the last corner. He knew that he was slower in the sprint so he pushed me away and I could do nothing.”
It was double delight for Bouwman who also crested the summit of all four of the day’s climbs to put the blue king of the mountains jersey beyond the reach of any of his rivals. Provided he completes the race, the 28-year-old will become the first Dutchman in Giro history to win the climbers’ classification in Verona on Sunday.
With an initial breakaway of 12 riders establishing a maximum lead of over 11 minutes as the race dipped into Slovenia for a trip up the tough Kolovrat mountain, there was little drama in the fight for pink despite some concerted pressure applied by Jai Hindley’s Bora-Hansgrohe team following the early withdrawal of Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) through illness.
After his Bora team faded on the final climb, Australia’s Hindley was able to follow attacks from the pink jersey Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), with the top three riders of this year’s Giro crossing the line together almost four minutes behind the leaders.
HOW CAN I WATCH THE GIRO ON TV AND LIVE STREAM?
Each and every stage will be broadcast in its entirety on Eurosport, discovery+ and GCN+, bookended by The Breakaway, presented by Orla Chennaoui and Dan Lloyd. Rob Hatch and Hannah Walker will be in the commentary box with regular contributions from pundits Robbie McEwen, Sean Kelly and Adam Blythe, with Bradley Wiggins doing his thing on the back of a motorbike.
WHEN IS STAGE 20?
Tune in from 11:00 BST to watch Stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia. Watch uninterrupted coverage on eurosport.co.uk and discovery+, or watch the action on Eurosport 2.
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Stream the 2022 Giro d'Italia and the rest of the cycling season live and on demand on discovery+