Giro d’Italia resources
Stage 17 recap
The Australian soloed to the victory after attacking the day’s breakaway on the final climb. He finished 31 seconds ahead of chasers Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain McLaren) in second and 1:10 ahead of Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) in third.
The day’s breakaway included Ruben Guerreiro (EF Pro Cycling), who picked up enough points to move into the lead in the mountain competition. Also in the breakaway were Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale), Óscar Rodríguez (Astana), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain McLaren), Victor de la Parte and Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team), Jesper Hansen (Cofidis), Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ), Thomas De Gendt, Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal), Héctor Carretero, Dario Cataldo, Eduardo Sepúlveda (Movistar), Louis Meintjes, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Ben O’Connor (NTT Pro Cycling), Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers) and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates).
The gap stretched out to a maximum of eight minutes but that was reduced to just over five minutes at the base of the final 12.5km climb to the finish line.
O’Connor attacked with eight kilometres to go and while there was a desperate chase from Zakarin, Pernsteiner and De Gendt, they weren’t strong enough bring him back. O’Connor took the stage win, while Pernsteiner crossed the line in second, and De Gendt out-paced Zakarin for third.
João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) was able to stay close to rival GC favourites on the final climb and crossed the line with a select group 5:11 behind the stage winner. He maintained his lead in the overall lead for another day, with 17 seconds on Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) and 2:58 on Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb).
The postponed Giro d’Italia gets underway in Monreale on October 3 with a 15.1km individual time trial, having moved from its normal May time slot to the autumn because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rather than start in Budapest, as originally planned, the Giro d’Italia will start with four days in Sicily – site of the start of the 2021 race – before reaching the mainland on stage 5 and the race then winds its way northwards and into the high mountains.
The Giro d’Italia starts in Palermo on Saturday October 3 with a mostly downhill 15.1km time trial from the hill-top village of Monreale and finishes in Milan on Sunday October 25 with a 15.7km time trial to the spectacular Duomo.
As well as featuring three individual time trials that total almost 70km in distance, the Giro d’Italia will include a series of high-altitude mountain passes in its third week. The penultimate stage will bring the gruppo from Alba to Sestriere by way of the mighty Colle dell’Agnello, Col d’Izoard and Col de Montgenèvre.
To balance out the amount of time trial kilometers the race organisers RCS have also including a whopping 40,000 meters of climbing across 50 classified climbs and five summit finishes. That amount of climbing in the mountains will ensure that the Giro d’Italia is a close-fought race, with pre-race favorite Geraint Thomas facing stiff opposition from the climbers.
The 2019 Giro was won by Richard Carapaz, who seized the maglia rosa after claiming stage victory at Courmayeur. The Ecuadorian rode with assurance in the final week to repel the challenges of Vincenzo Nibali and Primoz Roglic, and he was feted as the Giro champion in the Arena in Verona. Carapaz will not return to defend his crown in 2020 having raced the Tour de France earlier this year.
Giro d’Italia: Race favourites
Vincenzo Nibali will return to the Giro d’Italia in 2020 in the colours of his new team Trek-Segafredo, while Peter Sagan will make his Giro d’Italia debut. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), having been omitted from his team’s squad for the Tour de France, will start as one of the overall favourites but he will have to take on the likes of Nibali, Jacob Fuglsang (Astana), and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) to win the coveted maglia rosa.
Yates won three stages in 2018 and wore the maglia rosa until he cracked with just a handful of stages remaining. This time around he has said that he has learned from his mistakes, and he certainly looked in form in September, when he won Tirreno-Adriatico, ahead of Geraint Thomas.
Other potential GC contenders for the overall include Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) but the Giro d’Italia almost always throws up a few surprises in the race for the maglia rosa and even though Remco Evenepoel is missing through injury, there are a number of young riders making their debuts who are worth watching over the three-week Italian Grand Tour.
Kruijswijk also missed the Tour de France through injury but the Dutch rider came close to winning the Giro d’Italia back in 2016 and this year’s route certainty suits him. Majka has a strong Bora-hansgrohe team around him and is riding for a new contract for next year, so should be highly motivated to perform.
The race has a number of high-profile sprinters on the start list, despite news that Caleb Ewan would no longer be at the race. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) leads the line but the Colombian fast man will face stiff competition from Arnaud Demare (Groupama FDJ), Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), and Alvaro Hodeg (Deceuninck – Quick Step). Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) is also on the start list and will be targeting stage wins before his move to Mitchelton-Scott in 2020.