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Giro d'Italia stage 19 – Live coverage

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The profile of stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia

The profile of stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: RCS Sport)

It's raining in Morbegno and it seems the riders aren't happy with the length of the stage and close to seven hours in the rain after a third week of stages close to 200km. 

The riders are heading to the start line after talking to race director Mauro Vegni. 

After talks Italian RAI television is reporting that the stage will start, then riders will travel by their team buses down the course and then complete a shorter section of the stage.

The riders are lined up with new pink jersey Wilco Kelderman on the front.  

According to Italian television, the riders will climb onto the buses now and drive towards Milan, with the final 150km raced as scheduled.  

Our man on the race Barry Ryan has seen riders return to their buses. They will now transfer down the Valtellina valley to near Milan for the expected second start of the new reduced stage.

The riders will no doubt be happy to avoid 100km in the rain and can relax on the team buses during the drive south. 

From the Cyclingnews blimp we can see that the riders rolled out together but the race has been neutralised as they await for the team buses to join them. 

They riders are now stopping on a long straight section of road, it seems where the buses will stop. 

It's pouring with rain as the riders wait for their team buses.

The Giro d'Italia has stopped but it seems they are still waiting for two team buses to arrive to collect their riders.  

The race caravan is still stopped in the road a few kilometres south of Morbegno. There are discussion about where the stage will start. It seems it could start in Como and so after a reduction of 75km. 

Bernhard Eisel is a former rider and often represented the riders in talks about safety and race changes. He now works for Eurosport and GCN and is in Italy. He defends the rider protest. 

As the rain pours down the race caravan has set off all together for the new start location. It seems all the vehicles and team buses will have a police escort to ensure they stay together and reach the start point in time.

It seems riders were also angry about long transfers and traffic problems last night after the stage over the Stelvio. Some teams faced a long drive down the Valtellina valley during the rush hour and so arrived late at their hotels.

As the buses drive down the Valtellina with a police escort, RAI Tv is now suggesting the new stage start will be in Abbiategrasso, to the west of Milan. 

It seems the Bora-Hansgrohe bikes were loaded on the bus along with their riders.

Several different start locations have been reported but Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport has still to confirm where the stage will start.

As the Giro d'Italia caravan travels by bus to the new start somewhere Milan, its a great chance to look back at the great racing of yesterday's stage over the Stelvio. 

Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb) took victory at Laghi di Cancano, ending a day of high drama at the race by outsprinting Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) to the line after six hours of racing in the Dolomites.

Click here to read our full stage report and to see the full results and our 61-image photo gallery.

In the overall standings, Hindley is just 12 seconds behind his leader, with three stages remaining. 

Tao Geoghegan Hart and Ineos Grenadiers enjoyed a day of mixed emotions on stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia, dominating the racing over the Stelvio and moving within the grasp of the maglia rosa, but missing out a prestigious stage victory and the race lead.

It's official. Stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia will start in Abbiategrasso, west of Milan. 

The team buses and race vehicles are currently being given a police escort along the original race route via Lake Como and then south towards Milan. 

ASTI ITALY OCTOBER 23 Cars Race neutralised due to heavy rain and team riders protest during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 19 a 258km stage from Morbegno to Asti girodiitalia Giro on October 23 2020 in Asti Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Adam Hansen has explained the position of some of the riders at the Giro via Twitter, revealing that they asked for the stage to be shortened last night but that was refused. 

Hansen spoke to new race leader Wilco Kelderman as riders waited at the original start. 

The riders rolled out of Morbegno but then stopped and climbed into the team buses.

Riders head to their team buses for a transfer to the new start location

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Riders had to wait in the rain for their team buses

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wilco Kelderman at his Sunweb team car

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The team bus caravan is now on the motorway near Milan, trying to reach Abbiategrasso as soon as possible so that the stage can start at the scheduled time of 1:30CET.

The buses are currently near Como and so still face an hour drive to reach Abbiategrasso. 

Jai Hindley and Wilco Kelderman at the start

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wilco Kelderman in the pink jersey

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Television images from the sign-on podium captured the cheers of the riders when it was confirmed the stage had been shortened. 

RCS Sport assistant director Stefano Allocchio has said the stage should now start at around 2:30. 

The riders borrowed umbrellas for the sign-on

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the race caravan nears the new start location in Abbiategrasso, the rain has eased. The riders happy, even if the roads are still wet.

There will no doubt be much debate about the rider protest, the changes to the stage and also what it means for the fight for overall victory in the Giro.

The Deceuninck-QuickStep riders are getting ready to race as their bus travels to the start.

From the Cyclingnews blimp we can see the Inizio Gara Ciclistica car, that signals the start of the race convoy, is almost at the new start in Abbiategrasso.

The team buses are parking up and the riders preparing for the reduced, 124.5km stage. 

Race director Mauro Vegni is still angry after the stage protest and disruption. He insists he was not told about the possible protest and calls to reduce the stage on Thursday evening. 

The riders are collecting their bikes and heading to the new start. 

There is no real start line. The riders are gathering in a huge carpark for the new roll out.  

The riders are on the roll. After a protest and bus transfer, the racing is underway! 

124km to go

Several small groups have surged away as the peloton eases. 

There are 13 riders on the attack. A first group of 3 rider and then a further 11 who will soon join forces.

Simon Pellaud is there and lead the attack through the intermediate sprint.

Bora is leading the chase of the attack, working for Peter Sagan for the expected sprint finish in Asti. 

The peloton is 1:30 back. The race is (finally) on.

The 11 riders are closing in on the trio up front. 

Oops. A few riders take the wrong side of a roundabout and are forced turn around and chase. 

After a hard chase, the 13-rider attack has come together. They are now working together but the Bora-lead peloton is chasing hard.

These are the riders in the attack: Van Empel (Vini Zabu), Keisse (Deceuninck), Armée (Lotto-Soudal), Carboni (Bardiani), Haas, Mathis (Cofidis), Clarke, Morton (EF), Dowsett (Israel SN), Torres (Movistar) and Mosca (Trek).

They are working through and off but so are Bora. The gap is down to 35 seconds.

Groupama-FDJ are moving up and helping with the chase of the break now. 

The road to Asti cuts southwest across the Lombardy plain and into the Piemonte region. 

80km to go

The stage has become a high-speed pursuit match. The gap is up to 1:10 now. The elastic is about to snap.

The speed is so high that the break is splitting up. 

Groupama is not helping with the chase, despite having Arnaud Demare for the sprint. 

The break has comeback together but they seem to have lost their momentum.

The protests have overshadowed the news that Wilco Kelderman is the new race leader. 

Bora refuse to give up the chase but the gap is up to 1:30. 

And indeed, Bora ease up. And Groupama riders stop for a natural break. They do not seem interesting is trying to win another stage with Demare. 

As other riders stop for natural breaks, the break opens the gap to beyond 2:00.  

After a long wait, the team cars for the riders in the break are allowed to pass the peloton and so service their riders.

The 14 riders in the break that are now likely to fight for the stage victory are: 

Kelderman and his Sunweb teammates are on the front and riding calmly. The gap is up to 4:00. 

The 14 riders in the break know they have  5:50 lead and so have also eased the pace.  

The gap to the peloton is up to 8:00.

This is the break of the day. Who of the 14 is the strongest? We will surely see attacks in the final 20km. 

The riders in the peloton are rolling along chatting with teammates and eating race food. 

Here we go! 31km to go and the first attack comes from Victor Campenaerts. 

The attack is shuffiled again on a slight rise in the road. Campenaerts has hurt some of them.

The attacks has split and there are now six riders up front. 

Armée of Lotto, Cerny of CC and Mosca of Trek are also there. 

Haas, Dowsett and others have been distanced.

The six attackers lead the rest by 25 seconds now.

The attackers are at 16km to go, the peloton at 25km to go. 

Cerny is pushing on but there are now five rider chasing him at 40 seconds. Keisse has joined the others and the five are working well together. This will be close.

10km to go

Cerny is stamping on the pedals to try to find extra speed. but his lead is down to 25 seconds with 6km to go. 

Cerny is a double Czech Republic TT champion. He knows how to do it but so do the chasers, that include Campenaerts. 

3km to go! 

3km to go! 

2km to go. 

Cerny is going to hang on and stay away.

Cerny wins the stage solo. 

Cerny takes time to savour his victory, sitting up before the line and waving his arms in celebration. 

Victor Campenaerts stayed away to take second, with Mosca winning the sprint for 3rd place.

Cerny struggles to believe he's pulled off a stage victory at the Giro d'Italia. 

The rest of the attackers come in as the peloton  rides closer to Asti. 

This is the top ten for the stage:

Here comes the peloton. The GC teams are keeping their leaders up front as the final kilometre approaches.

Tao Geoghegan Hart leads home the peloton, perhaps trying to open a gap but he's is pulled back as the pack cross the line.

The peloton finish 11:43 down on Cerny. 

This is the top ten on GC: 

Cerny is celebrated on the podium but the debate about the rider protest continues. 

Here is Cerny's moment.

Cerny was stunned to win a stage at the Giro. 

Wilco Kelderman spoke about his first day in the pink jersey.

Jai Hindley also spoke briefly to Eurosport: 

Here's Cerny as he crossed the line. He couldn't believe he'd won the stage. 

Victor Campenaerts was gutted not to win after being super aggressive and after driving the break away up the road.

Here is Wilco Kelderman on the podium as he collects his second pink jersey.  

Post race he was asked about the rider protest and thanked RCS for agreeing to cut the stage. It was a very diplomatic response after race director Mauro Vegni and others criticised the riders for the actions. 

Cristian Salvato is the head of the Italian riders association and represented the riders in talks today. He defended their decision and said that 16 of the 18 teams in the Giro voted via a Telegram chat to protest and demand the stage be shortened.

Emotions are still high at the Giro d'Italia, with race director threatening to withholds prize money from the stage after the rider protest and repeat his threats to take action when the Giro makes it to Milan. 

We'll have more reaction from the riders and teams at the Giro d'Italia as they explain their protest. 

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