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Sunday, May 29, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Tour de France: 2019

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Giro d'Italia Stage 20 team reports

We posted the report from stage winner Alessandro Covi's UAE Team Emirates with the results.

Here's the update from new GC leader Jai Hindley's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Before the Giro comes to a close with the individual time trial on Sunday, there was a brutal 178km stage with around 4,500m of climbing through the Dolomites to contend with today. Two long and difficult climbs, as well as the final Marmolada ascent was a last big challenge for everyone after three weeks in the saddle.

In the fight for pink, Carapaz, Hindley and Landa were quite on par until today's stage and so the fight for the overall victory was still relatively open. BORA - hansgrohe was represented by Lennard Kämna in the day's 15-man breakaway, but the group fell apart at the Passo Fedaia.

Ineos Grenadiers upped the pace on the final climb, quickly thinning the group of favourites to six riders, including Carapaz and Jai Hindley. When the Australian then launched his first attack, only Carapaz was able to follow. The duo closed in on Lennard Kämna, who had been waiting for his teammate at the front.

Jai attacked again and the pink jersey wearer could not keep up despite all his efforts. Jai crossed the finish line 1:25 minutes ahead of Carapaz, while earlier Covi had taken the stage win from the breakaway group.

Jai Hindley finishes stage 20. Sirotti photo.

"We had a plan today and we executed it perfectly. Lennard gave me an incredible boost and when I heard that Carapaz had dropped back, I pulled everything out of the bag. I knew that today would be the decisive stage of the Giro. It was a brutal finale, but I knew that it was possible to make up time here if you have good legs. As for the time trial, we'll see how it goes tomorrow. You never know how a time trial will go on the last day of a three-week tour, but I will give everything to win the pink jersey. The Giro is not over yet, but the team and I are very confident." - Jai Hindley

"It was a super tough finish and we were pretty convinced that the real finale of today would be around the last 5 kilometres. Lenni got into the breakaway group, and I think that was a really great move by him. And then once we had him up front, we were able to play with it a little bit. Our plan was to keep Lenni up front until the really steep ramps. We wanted to let the others do the work and wait for the right moment in the last four kilometers, where the climbs were super steep. And indeed it went as we had planned. Of course Jai did an incredible job once again, and having Lenni at the front was also something very important and helpful for Jai in his last attack. We rode this Giro really well, the guys performed super here, and I think they all showed their commitment to our goal. For now, of course, we're happy, but the Giro doesn't finish until Verona tomorrow." - Enrico Gasparotto, Sports Director

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Here’s the short post from Ricard Carapaz’s Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Richard Carapaz put in a battling performance on the final mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia but was forced to relinquish the pink jersey.

The Ecuadorian followed an acceleration from rival Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) on the Passo Fedaia but became distanced on the steep slopes of the climb.

The moment when Hindley rode away from Carapaz. RCS Sport photo

Digging deep in a bid to limit his losses, he crossed the line 1:28 back on Hindley. Carapaz now sits second, 1:25 off pink with a final 17.4km time trial set to conclude the race on Sunday.

Carapaz had the support of his teammates across the mountainous final stage. Jonathan Castroviejo, Ben Tulett and Pavel Sivakov put in the final efforts before the attacks arrived.

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Here's the report from second-place Domen Novak's Team Bahrain Victorious:

Domen Novak continued to show his impressive form in this year’s Giro, taking second place from the breakaway on stage 20, while Mike Landa finished 9th and, more importantly, gained time on the now second-place Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers), who lost the Maglia Rosa to Jai Hindley (Bora Hansgrohe).

Domen Novak finishes second. Sirotti photo

The penultimate stage was the final chance for a major shakeup in the GC, with the peloton taking on a mammoth 4,718 vertical meters over the 168km. The stage saw an early breakaway form on an uncategorized climb after 20km, which Novak entered alongside 13 other riders, including the day’s eventual stage winner Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates).

Covi attacked the breakaway on the Passo Pordoi and had a gap of 2:20 from the rest of the break and 5 minutes from the peloton. Bahrain Victorious took control in the peloton for most of the stage, with the potential of Novak being a handy lieutenant for Landa later on. Although, with 6km to go on the final climb, Domen was given the clear to fight for the win: “Second place always feels like a disappointment. I tried my best and put in everything to try and win and was just a bit too short, but this is cycling. Next year I will come and win a stage.

"The first plan today was to win the stage with Mikel, with the guys pulling behind while I was in the break.

"On Passo Pordoi, Covi attacked and went at his pace and survived to the finish line. It was before the last climb that the team decided I would go to try win the stage, and I went full to try and catch him.” 

In the GC battle, Ineos moved to the front on the final climb, and Carapaz went clear with Hindley as Landa started to lose the wheel. However, in the last few km, Carapaz lost contact with Hindley, and Landa was able to catch the Ecuadorian, gaining 39 seconds and now sitting just 26 seconds behind ahead of the ITT in Verona.

Mikel Landa will continue to fight on for the highest possible finish in GC: “Today’s been the last Mountain stage, I’ve not had the best feelings, but I think we worked well. We had Domen on the breakaway, and then we tried to put a hard pace at the back. We suffered all a bit with the tailwind. On the last climb, I did my best. I dropped a bit at the beginning, and then I took my pace and gained some time with Carapaz, which is good but maybe not enough looking to move to second place. But tomorrow is the ITT, and till the last km, this is not finished.”

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And here’s the report from fifth place Thymen Arensman’s Team DSM:

The final day in the mountains at the Giro saw the bunch faced with a tough day in the saddle, tacking the Passo San Pellegrino and Passo Pordoi climbs, with the day ending on the steep ascent of Passo Fedaia. With lots of teams hunting for their first stage win of the race, it was a fast and frenetic start to proceedings. The team rode well together as a group, trying to infiltrate moves with Thymen Arensman eventually finding himself out front after marking the attacks.

Their gap grew quickly to five minutes over the peloton who then started to set tempo and begin the chase, throwing the potential stage win up in the balance. The gap stayed stable over the San Pellegrino and onto the Pordoi, where eventual stage winner Covi made his attack. Things were tactical in Arensman’s group as other riders had different motives, not pulling due to either Covi being out front or playing the card of waiting for their GC rider behind.

On the final climb, some of those that had sat on attacked or waited for their GC rider, while Arensman rode at his own tempo all the way to the line – taking a solid fifth place atop Fedaia.

Thymen Arensman finishes stage 20. Sirotti photo

Arensman said: “At the beginning of the stage I was marking the breakaways and tried to get one of the other guys into the move. Things split though and I found myself in the break. We tried to save as much energy as possible before we knew for sure that the break would have a really good chance of making it all the way to the line. Things also became pretty tactical in the group with the other teams. I then gave it a go in the finale but it just wasn’t to be in the end.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “We were hoping to make the break today with Chris and Martijn, and the guys did a good job at the start of the stage to follow moves and try and set things up. Eventually a group went clear that Thymen had followed and that would be the break of the day. We tried to be tactical in the group and save energy for when it was clear the break could take the stage, but the peloton kept them relatively close. Covi attacked out of the group at a good moment and a lot of eyes were on us to do the work with Thymen but we didn’t want to tow anyone back freely. In the end, Thymen gave it a go but it just wasn’t to be for us in terms of the stage result.”

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