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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Saturday, May 27, 2023

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2022 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Giro d'Italia stage nineteen reports

We posted the report from GC leader Geraint Thomas' Team INEOS Grenadiers with the results.

Here's the report from Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Primoz Roglic has crossed the line first among the favourites in the queen stage of the Giro d'Italia. The Slovenian of Team Jumbo-Visma appeared unable to follow the rosette jersey wearer Geraint Thomas on the steep final climb. However, after a fierce final sprint, the second-placed rider in the general classification took a few seconds off the clock. Roglic will start Saturday's crucial climbing time trial 26 seconds behind the leader.

Primoz Roglic and Geraint Thomas finish stage nineteen together.

The peloton, which had thinned out significantly, didn't appear to be particularly eager for action on the Passo Giau. No fewer than six riders from Team Jumbo-Visma made their presence felt in a group that had now grown to 25 riders. Rohan Dennis and Sepp Kuss remained close to stage leader Roglic as the pace picked up towards the end of the race.

When they hit the 18 percent gradients, Roglic attacked without hesitation. Only classification leader Thomas was able to follow Roglic. Once again, the duo proved to be evenly matched. Thomas appeared too strong for Roglic as the finish line drew closer, but the 33-year-old refused to back down. He overtook the Briton and eventually gained three seconds. Colombian Santiago Buitrago won the stage.

"It has been two beautiful days in the Dolomites. But the most important day is tomorrow”, Roglic said. "As a team, we can look back on a good day. In the end, I had the legs to try something. I enjoyed the massive support at the side. It's great to pass so many enthusiastic supporters. I expect it to be a madhouse again tomorrow. Maybe that support, combined with good legs, can lead to something good. We have been working towards the last part of this race, and tomorrow will be decisive. I will do my best, give everything and try to get energy from the fans' support. It promises to be a challenging but exciting day.”

Sports director Arthur van Dongen backed his rider. "This Giro is now approaching its absolute boiling point. As it looks now, tomorrow will be a game of seconds. Thomas and Primoz are currently on equal footing. We would have liked to get the last four bonus seconds, but we are happy with how the stage ended. We will start tomorrow with confidence. Hopefully, the fans will give Primoz even more energy and fighting spirit than he already has. It was great to see how many Slovenians were cheering him on today already. We believe in the highest attainable”, Van Dongen said.

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Here's the Giro report from GC third-place Joao Almeida's UAE Team Emirates:

Joao Almeida and UAE Team Emirates ticked another stage off the list as just one final mountainous time-trial lies between and the final podium in Rome. Almeida came home in 6th spot with Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) taking the win from the breakaway on stage 19.

Joao Almeida winning stage 16. Sirotti photo

The 24 year old Portuguese champion Almeida already has a stage victory to his name after a gutsy ride on stage 16 to Monte Bondone.

With three stage wins on the board the road to Rome is lined with glory, though a final push in the time trial is on the cards tomorrow.

Almeida: “I gave it everything I had. I was up there until the end but the others got a bit of a gap in the end. It was so steep and hard to attack, you really needed amazing legs. It’s not impossible to make up the time but it’s pretty unlikely. Overall I’ll be happy with my performance and the team performance on this Giro.”

Almeida sits 3rd on GC, 59’’ behind race leader Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) and continues to lead the white jersey classification.

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Here's the stage 19 report from Ilan Van Wilder's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the climb forever linked with Eddy Merckx’s incredible exploits at the 1968 Giro d’Italia, hosted the penultimate showdown between the GC favourites, setting a pecking order ahead of Saturday’s individual time trial. Back after nine years, the ascent took the riders to more than 2000 meters, with the finish line at Rifugio Auronzo, after 7.2 kilometers averaging 7.6%.

It was the fifth classified climb of the day, and Ilan Van Wilder punched above his weight for the umpteenth time at this edition, staying with the best until three kilometers to go, when the big moves came on the gruelling double-digit gradients. The Belgian dug deep once the elastic snapped and every man was for himself, and just like on the previous mountain stages, he impressed with his pacing and determination. This cemented his position in the general classification and brought him just a couple of seconds from 12th place, where Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious), the stage 19 winner, sits at the moment.

Ilan Van Wilder (on left) finishes stage 16. Sirotti photo

“Just like on the other days, I rode my own tempo once things began heating up in the kilometers to the finish, so I’m pretty satisfied with how things went. The last climb was just horrible, not very much to my liking, because it was too short and too steep, but I did my best. That’s another reason for me to be content at the end of the day. Now I will try to recover and give everything in the individual time trial, which is going to be very tough”, said Soudal Quick-Step’s 23-year-old, who is close to taking his best result in a Grand Tour.

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And here's the Giro stage 19 report from Lennard Kämna's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Today's 182 km long stage in the Dolomites was the queen stage of this year's Giro d'Italia. Five serious climbs, most of them over the last 100 km, awaited the riders in quick succession. The last 3200 metres presented a particular challenge, with an average gradient of 13 percent to Tre Cime at an altitude of 2304 metres. After numerous unsuccessful attacks, a larger breakaway including Patrick Konrad went clear after 50 km and was able to extend its lead to 8 minutes. On the Passo Giau, Patrick lost contact with the leading group, but the Austrian managed to catch back up to the group shortly before the intermediate sprint in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Back in the Maglia Rosa group, there was a series of attacks on the final climb, with Lennard Kämna falling back. When he was no longer in contention for the stage win, Patrick dropped back to him from the leading group to support him in the finale. With the win going to Buitrago from the breakaway, Lenni crossed the finish line in 18th place, 1:30 minute behind Roglič, today's best-placed GC rider, thereby slipping to 8th place overall.

Ths was a hard day in the mountains.

"Today I wanted to try to get into the break, which I eventually managed to do. The plan was then either to race for a stage result or to be there for Lenni in the final section. And when Lenni was alone in the Maglia Rosa group, I waited for him and tried to bring him over the last kilometre and a half, and from that perspective, the plan went pretty well today. I think he's still in a good position for tomorrow's time trial."- Patrick Konrad

"It was a very tough stage with over 5000m of elevation gain. Our goal was to send someone into the lead group and Koni did that well. The idea was that he could race for the stage win. But if Lenni was alone on the final climb, he could also drop back to support him. At the moment Koni is not 100% fit, but he was fully motivated. For Lenni it was then about keeping up with the Maglia Rosa group. He slipped two places in the general classification, but the guys gave everything today and supported Lenni well. Cece, Nico and Toni brought him bidons and Bob was still with him almost to the top of the second last climb." - Enrico Gasparotto, Sports Director

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