The fight to see who wins the final pink jersey as overall winner of the Giro d’Italia will continue on Sunday, with at least four candidates set to battle it out in the final time trial. The white jersey is also still up for grabs with Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) separated by less than 30 seconds.
Two jerseys, however, have already been decided, assuming that both riders finish the time trial within the time limit. With no mountain points on tap, the king of the mountains and the points ranking will continue of the shoulders of those who wore them at the end of stage 20.
The maglia azzurra of the mountains classification traveled around to a variety of shoulders before settling on those of Team Sky’s Mikel Landa. Jan Polanc of UAE Team Emirates wore it the longest, for seven days, and even then-race leader Tom Dumoulin had a two-day spell with it. Dimension Data's Daniel Teklehaimanot and Omar Fraile also wore it, as did Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Landa took the jersey after stage 16, where he was first over the final two climbs before being beaten to victory by Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida). He built up his lead two days later by taking the final three KOMs on offer in stage 18, and cemented it with his long-awaited stage win atop the Piancavello on stage 19. He has 106 points more than his nearest rival in the competition Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), giving him something to celebrate in this Giro d'Italia after his GC hopes crashed around his ears on stage 9 to Blockhaus.
"I'm really happy. After the crash we had to find the motivation and I found it in the mountain's jersey. The team did some nice work to help me keep the jersey and I'll finish the race happy," Landa told teamsky.com.
The cyclamen jersey for the points leader was long ago settled on the shoulders of Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors). After Lukas Postlberger and Andre Greipel has a chance to wear it, the young Colombian claimed it with his second stage win on stage 5. With two further stage wins along the way, it was never in doubt. He also had the leader’s jersey and the best young rider’s jersey after winning stage 3, but only for one day.
While most of his rivals for the points competition headed home mid-way through the second week, Gaviria was determined to stay on and make it to Milan. His determination has been rewarded with a classification victory in his first ever Grand Tour. Gaviria goes into the final stage with an overwhelming lead of 325 points, ahead of Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven’s 192 points.
"It's an unbelievable feeling to know that I'll arrive in Milan with the cyclamen jersey. I'm over the moon and tomorrow I will enjoy every moment of it," Gaviria said of his achievement.
Pink and white still to be decided
The race for the GC could hardly be tighter, as Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Nibali, Thibaut Pinot (AG2R) and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) are separated by only 53 seconds. With their differing time trial abilities and possible bad weather, the final wearer of the pink jersey will not be known until current leader Quintana crosses the line.
Yates currently wears the white jersey for best young rider, but Jungels is only 28 seconds back. Jungels wore the jersey for much of the race. He won it on stage 4, lost it again, and then regained it on stage 10, giving him a total of 13 stages in white.
Yates had been right behind the Luxembourger most of the time, and on the mountainous stage 18, which finished atop St. Ulrich, proved to have the better legs. He was able to turn a 2:25 deficit and third place into the rankings lead by 28 seconds. Both finished in the same time in stages 19 and 20, leaving the final decision down to the better in the time trial.
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