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Giro d'Italia 2018: Stage 19


Hello and welcome to stage 19 of the 2018 Giro d’Italia. It’s crunch time with back-to-back stages in the mountains and the last chances for the GC riders to alter the ever-intensifying battle for the maglia rosa. In case you missed yesterday’s thrilling finale, Simon Yates’ overall lead has been cut in half and stands at just 28 seconds, with defending champion Tom Dumoulin waiting in the wings. If anyone knows how to close out a GC win in the Giro in the final two days it’s ‘Terrific Tom’ but today will reveal if stage 18 to Prato Nevoso was just a wobble or if Yates really is in crisis.

The British rider certainly cut a disconsolate figure at the finish yesterday. He was short and somewhat terse in his mix zone interview, but tried his best to play down the lost time. To be fair, he held his hands up and admitted he simply didn’t have the legs but that slight weakness will be tested to the limit today with Team Sky and Sunweb both vying for blood. And don’t forget the diminutive figure of Domenico Pozzovivo, who sits third on GC, and is climbing superbly. These two stages in the Alps are perfect for the pint-sized climber. He’s in his element, although it would certainly be a huge shock if he were to distance his rivals and really challenge for the maglia rosa.


The riders are currently signing on at the moment with the start in around 20 minutes from now. There’s a huge crowd outside the Mitchelton Scott bus as fans wait for a glimpse of the race leader, who will right now be going through his pre-race rituals. The team talks will have been completed, and everyone will know what’s required of them. This is perhaps, without sounding too over the top, the biggest day in Yates’ career so far. Unless he puts significant time into his rivals he probably can’t win the Giro today, but hold them, or find a few seconds and he’ll send them an important message. There’s real tension the air this morning, but don’t worry the CN blimp has been washed overnight, it’s purring along nicely, and we’ll be providing you with complete live coverage throughout the day.


Just signing on now, Team Sky and Chris Froome. Surely he can’t pull off the almost impossible and win the Giro? He’s 3:22 down on Yates at the moment but it was the British rider’s vicious acceleration that helped to drop Yates at Prato Nevoso, and he pulled Pozzovivo and Yates along with him. The trio found 28 seconds in just under 2km and the four-time Tour winner will be relishing the chance to launch a full-out assault on the maglia rosa. If he wants to win, and not just move onto the podium, he has to take risks both today and tomorrow. He looks ready, that’s for sure. There’s Wout Poels, his most needed teammates for today’s stage. If the Dutchman can keep on the course he’ll be an important rider for the final climb.


Here are the GC standing coming into today's all-important stage:


1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 75:06:24
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:28
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:43
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:03:22
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:24
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:54
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:09
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:05:54
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:05:59
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:05


Tom Dumoulin has already signed on, and he’s back at the Sunweb bus for now. The Dutch rider has probably ridden a better all-round Giro than 12 months ago but remains in second place. He looked unable to land a single blow on Yates until the time trial, but it was the 28 seconds he gained yesterday that really reignited his Giro challenge. He looks the equal of Pozzovivo in the mountains and better than Froome when the road points uphill, so many now see him as the race favourite. What might help him, as it did yesterday, is the fight for the top-ten places from 5-10. Those attacks from Bennett, Lopez and Carapaz helped to soften up Yates and his team yesterday and were an eventual springboard. Dumoulin is smiling as he makes his way to the line. He looks quietly confident. A few yards away, Mitchelton Scott’s Matt White looks relatively relaxed but inside he’ll know how important today is. Mitchelton have made the podium in Grand Tours, they were second here two years ago, of course, but winning would move them up a notch and surely help with their continued search for new partners beyond this year.


Route analysis

So what do the riders have ahead of them? Four cols to be precise, and of course the summit finish. The road actually climbs from the start of the stage but our first ascent proper comes with the Colle del Lys. It’s a second category climb and will surely expose any tired legs from yesterday’s stage. It’s probably too early to test the GC riders but this could be the moment when Mitchelton’s rivals fire riders up the road in a bid to use them later in the stage.


After the first climb the road dips into the Dora Riparia valley before the route climbs once more with the Colle delle Finistre (Cima Coppi in 2018). This ascent has a steady 9.2 per cent gradient but is peppered with sections stretching to 14 per cent. The first 9km are tarmac, while the second half of the climb is raced on gravel roads. There are 29 hairpins and in all honesty it’s a beast of a climb. It’s where Alberto Contador cracked in the 2015 Giro and was put under serious pressure by Astana. Landa won that day, as Contador held on to take the Giro eventually. 


Once over the top the riders will face a super technical descent. There’s virtually no flat road, before the race then climbs to Sestriere. By that point we’ll be down to just a handful of riders, with even the super domestiques struggling to keep their footing. There will then be a manic chase for those dropped, as the race descents into Oulx. Then with around 20km to go the road kicks up with a false flat section before the final climb of the Jafferau.


As for the final climb, the last 7km are all uphill with a gradient of between 9-10 per cent. There are pitches at around 14 per cent and by that point the riders will be on their knees. There’s no doubt in my mind that today is a day where the riders will come over the line in ones and twos. The gaps could be huge. And here ends today's route analysis.


Here’s a key for the major climbs:


Roughly ten minutes until the roll out from  Venaria Reale. The riders are now on the startline and we see the maglia rosa move the front and take his place. There's a short neutralized zone that will take around 10 minutes to complete, before the flag drops and we're officially racing stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia.

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 


And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

And the riders are rolling through the neutralized zone. The small matter of 184km and four major climbs ahead of them on one of the most difficult days at this year's Giro d'Italia. Riders from Bahrain, Androni and LottoNL are near the front and one can safely assume that they'll be trying to make it into early breaks. Certainly Androni, who have been in every break (bar one) in this year's Giro. They nabbed third on yesterday's stage but haven't taken a win in this race for a number of years. The intent is evident though.


We're racing and already there's a wave of attacks from the bunch. This could be relentless. The road is already climbing  - although at a rather shallow gradient. The big question for Yates' and his teammates is which moves to follow and which moves to shut down. They can't control the race for 184km and they're unlikely to have much support in these early stages. They might have to rely on teams who miss the break, in order to nullify dangerous attacks. 


Just before the start this morning Simon Yates spoke to the media and confidently told them: "I’m still in the lead and the coming two mountain stages suit me". 


Only the road can judge whether or not Yates really has what it takes. The climb yesterday did suit the likes of Dumoulin, that's true but few expected Yates to crack in the manner he did, and especially given how strong he looked in the first couple of weeks. 


A few kilometres into the stage and we're hurtling along at around 50kph. Ulissi is the next rider to try his luck wth an attack but as soon as he goes he's swapped by a gaggle of riders from rivals teams.


Now it's the turn of Didier and Mosca, who clip off the front together and put in a few seconds on the bunch. However they're almost instantly shut down with EF and a volley of other teams drawing them back. 


There's a huge split now with almost 100 riders off the front, or is it 58 riders off the back? Either way it looks like the bunch is coming back together. 


Astana are active too. They have two riders in the top ten but they're not riding a defensive race. Lopez, 6th overall at the start of the stage, has promised to attack again.


"I saw a possibility to attack, and I just did it," explained Lopez, who made his move with around 4km to go yesterday, and ended the day moving from seventh position overall to sixth.

"It was Carapaz who tried first, but I was able to respond quickly, and I found myself in a good position to continue. Honestly, I wanted to gain more time on my rivals, but I did my best on the climb, which was quite fast. The hardest stages are still to come, so let's see what happens."


More on Lopez and Astana, right here.


EF Education are looking to make things happen. They've been close one or twice in this year's race but are still looking for their first stage win. They claimed a stage last year with Rolland but their climbers have been on the back foot in the last few days. It's time for the likes of Dombrowski to step up. 


164km remaining from 184km

Just a shade under 165km to go and still no break from the peloton. The willingness and intent are both there but so far nothing has stuck. There's a short little downhill section now before the road once again kicks up. 

25km into the stage and Marco Frapporti skips away from the main field. A coalition of riders work their way up to the Italian, he looks back, sits up and the bunch bring it all back together. Again. 


12 rider group pulls clear of the peloton as a result of the crosswinds and hold a 20 second gap over the main field #Ras2018

@rastailteann Fri, 25th May 2018 10:27:29


Meanwhile, over in Ireland...

Movistar and UAE then form a short collaboration, sending two riders up the road. The relationship gets off to a good start, and the pair establish a lead but once more a paddling of of riders make the juncture and the move comes to nothing. Something significant will happen soon. I promise.


We almost had a proper attack. Visconti went clear with two riders but once more the bunch were on the attack in a flash. 32km covered and it's all together.

Giro d'Italia stage 19: The hardest part is still to come Dumoulin chases Yates, while Froome is the wildcard on t…

@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 25th May 2018 10:30:45

148km remaining from 184km

The official climb of the Colle del Lys has not yet started but we're already going uphill. 148km to go.


If you've stopped receiving the CN newsletter in recent days don't fret. It's something to do with the GDPR but the service should be up and running again soon (if you've opted for it). I'm still not quite sure what GDPR is all about but like tax returns, social skills and parental responsibilities between the hours of 8am and 4pm I'm pretending as if it's someone else's problem. 143km to go.


Don't forget that Hammer Series gets underway later today. You can find our complete race preview, right here. We'll have reports, news, photos and video highlights later on today. Can't wait!


Another litter of attacks but nothing sticks. We'll be on the climb proper soon enough. 


Ben Hermans, who has been on the attack several times in the race, has a pop but he's drawn back by a strong counter attack. And then it's the turn of Formolo to make a move. He's only around 10 minutes down on GC so there's no chance of the bunch letting him go clear as immediately he's covered. 


Formolo again and this time Bentancur, Henao go with him. There's another catch before Henao and Betancur kick once more. Riders are all over the road at the moment. It's carnage. 


Chaves is marking moves at the moment but Poels and Dumoulin are also near the front of the race. The two Dutch riders can sense that this is a dangerous moment in the race, even though there's still such a long way to go. 


And Henao is fired up the road once more. Another seven riders look  to match him, including Formolo, de la Cruz, Conti and Betancur. Team Sky are showing their intent nice and early today as they look to weaken Yates's team and create an advantage before the harder climbs later on in the race. 


Four leaders  - Formolo, Betancur, Conti, Pedrero but they're joined by another collective and the group swells to nine. Team Sky have two riders in the mix but here comes ten Dam, who looks to match the offence from Froome's men with his own attack. 


Conti, Henao and Betancur keep the pressure up, however and it looks like they have a small gap with six further riders chasing. Make that nine as race radio crackles through with a few more names. It's almost impossible to keep up with the action at this point.


Now Conti accelerates and join the leaders to make it four riders up front but Formolo and a few others are not giving up just yet. Neither is ten Dam who can't follow the first acceleration but is still plugging away at a decent pace. 


At the moment we have a group of four, followed by a group of five an then the maglia rosa group but there's still no consistency to the stage. I miss the quit sprint stages. 137km to go.



The lead group now swells to six but Henao still isn't happy and kicks once more, with only Betancur able to follow. The two riders then look look at each other, before another group of seven make contact. 


We're about to crest the top of the first climb. Seven riders are just out in front but it could all come back together at any moment. 


It looks as though EF have missed the split and it's Dombrowski who kicks out and tries to make it across. 


The radio crackles through and we have news that Aru has abandoned the race. More to follow.


Aru was lying in 27th spot coming into today's stage. His GC bid never got going but there was hope in the UAE camp that he could fight for at least a stage win. The dream is over and Aru is heading home, however. Will he return for the Tour de France or be saved for the Vuelta later on in the year? Either way it's a period of reflection for the Italian who has struggled all year to be honest.


128km remaining from 184km

On the long descent and the leaders - Henao, Betancur, ten Dam, de la Cruz, Neilands, Formolo, Atapuma have just a few seconds on the main field. 


Vasil Kiryienka also pulled out of the race on the first climb of the day. Like Aru, he's heading home.


Vasil Kiryienka also pulled out of the race on the first climb of the day. Like Aru, he's heading home.


The lead group has now swelled to 14 riders. Names to follow but ten Dam, Cherel, Sanchez, Formolo, Visconti, Betancur, Montaguti and Neilands are all present. The gap, however, is just 20 seconds.


.@FabioAru1 has abandoned the race on the Colle del Lys. #Giro101 #UAETeamEmirates

@TeamUAEAbuDhabi Fri, 25th May 2018 11:22:47

Back onto relatively flat roads but the break are not that organised. Team Sky have two men in the mix, but it's ten Dam who is driving the move on. Yates has not posted a man in the move as the lead goes out to 51 seconds with 118km to go.


Dombrowski is there with Brown for EF as the sun continues to shine on the race. Back down the road and the peloton line out as Mitchelton Scott set the tempo. They're chasing this move and the gap is down to 44 seconds.


A run down of the riders in the break: Henao & De La Cruz (Sky), ten Dam (Sunweb), Visconti (Bahrain), Sánchez (Astana), Betancur & Pedrero (Movistar), Montaguti & Cherel, Conti & Atapuma, Brown & Dombro, Masnada, Ciccone, Brambilla, Štybar, Formolo, Gonçalves, Neilands but the gap is down to 39 seconds.


Betancur is less than ten minutes down, hence why Mitchelton are chasing, with Bewley and Juul Jensen leading the pursuit. Those two riders have one job and that's to keep the break in check and bring it back before the Finestre. 


109km remaining from 184km

The gap is holding at 37 seconds, even though there are a few passengers in the break. Mitchelon will not get any allies at this stage but they continue to lead the chase as we see the gap move out to 41 seconds.


The gap between the break and the bunch is down to just 400m as the leaders pass through the feedzone. It's all coming back together. 


The bunch will not sit up through the feedzone, as Mitchelton look to close down the break for good. Brambilla is well aware of this and looks to press on, before Henao brings everyone else back up to him.


Neilands, Atapuma and Montaguti are all that's left from the break with 103km to go. 


Conti and Brown have made it to the leaders, so we've five riders up front. This move might stick but there's no let up from the bunch just yet.


100km remaining from 184km

100km to go and here's what's coming up on the stage:


km 110.7 - Colle delle Finestre - m 2178 (Cima Coppi)
km 138.4 - Sestriere - m 2035 (3ª cat.)
km 184 - BARDONECCHIA - m 1908 (1ª cat.)


And a reminder of the GC standings coming into the race: 


1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 75:06:24
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:28
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:43
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:03:22
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:24
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:54
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:09
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:05:54
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:05:59
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:05


Are you ready for the Cima Coppi of the #Giro101? | Pronti per la Cima Coppi del #Giro101? #Giro

@giroditalia Fri, 25th May 2018 11:50:47

There are now nine riders in the break. Sanchez and three more have joined up with the original five. Van Poppel is there too and LottoNL have two men present. We're quickly approaching the Cima Coppi though.


93km remaining from 184km

Montaguti, Agudelo, Sanchez, Neilands, Brown, Bouwman, van Poppel, Atapuma and Conti. Those are your leaders with 93km to go. The gap, however, is only 55 seconds.


Yates' men are still on the front and setting the pace and that will carry on until we hit the next climb. Then it might be Astana, Team Sky and Sunweb who take over. 


Almost onto the lower slopes as we see Brown lead the break as the advantage moves out to 1'09. And here come Team Sky. 91km to go and they're already putting Yates under pressure. Other than Poels and at times Henao the British team have been creaking for most of the race, but they're intent on taking this race on. 


The peloton is thinning out quickly as the road heads uphill

And the break has exploded, too. Sanchez is now alone out front. 


Van Poppel and Neilands have been caught by the advancing Sky train. Meanwhile Montaguti, Brown, Bouwman, Conti, Atapuma, and Torres press on in chase of Sanchez.


It's Salvatore Puccio, jersey flapping open, controlling things here. Behind him in the Sky train is De la Cruz, then Henao, Elissonde, and Froome. Poels is futher back but moving up the bunch now. 


Brown and Bouwman can't stick the pace and fall back to the peloton, leaving four in pursuit of Sanchez. 


The maglia rosa group are already down to around 30 riders, with just Sanchez left out front from the break. It's Puccio who is still setting the pace with 87km to go. 

Dennis is  in there, so too are the rest of the top-ten contenders but Pozzovivo has no men left. Yates has a couple but I can't see Chaves. 


Yates is near the back of the group. He's going to crack. Yates is going to crack.


Nieve sits up and Yates has gone. Wow.


Froome looks around and then says push on, push on to his teammates. Yates is all over the bike and he looks out of this. Nieve is tapping along and Yates is struggling to hold him. He's already lost 20 seconds to the front of the Sky group. 


And Froome has his team press on once more after Puccio peels off. Yates is 30 seconds back.


So with 85km to and about two thirds of the climb, Sanchez leads by 28 seconds, with Yates at 1'21. 


Yates looks like a different rider today. He's hunched over the bars, struggling to find a tempo and any level of power. Forget the lead, he could be out of the top ten today. 


Up front and de la Cruz sets the pace with Henao and then Froome on his wheel. The tempo isn't crazy from Team Sky but Yates and now Lopez is struggling. 


And that means Sanchez has to wait. 


Yates has Nieve and now Haig with him but there's such a long way still to go. He pours a bidon over the back of his neck in a bid to cool down but he's not the only one off the back. Lopez is losing contact once more. 


The big winner at the moment is Dumoulin. He has two men left in the group and he doesn't have to work. Right now he's the leader on the road too. 


Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 


And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

I thought Dennis was there but alas, no. Pinot, Oomen, they are in the Froome/Dumoulin group as Lopez battles back. Yates is now at 1'59 with 82 long kms to go.


De la Cruz hasn't been on the front at all during the first two and a bit weeks but he's found some incredible form today as he continues to lead. Henao can't follow though, and he starts to slip back.


Froome has just Poels and de la Cruz left now but Bennett and O'Connor are hanging on. Back down the climb and Nieve continues to spin through the gears as Yates labours with both tempo and gradient. He won't climb off but his GC bid looks well and truly over. He's slipped to second on GC already. 


Ah Elissdone is still there too. I couldn't see him behind de la Cruz but he's there. 


Lopez continues to bring up the rear for the Froome/Dumoulin group as further down the climb we see Dennis protected by his BMC teammates. Up ahead and we're onto the gravel roads as Sanchez drops back to help Lopez. No, Sanchez is just cracking. 


And de la Cruz drops back and Elissonde takes over with a huge injection of pace. Poels has also been dropped. Are Sky not aware that we've still got 80km to go?


Ellisonde is doing a Beltran Alpe d'Huez 2003 - this pace is dropping everyone and it's surely way too soon. Pinot and Dumoulin respond but Pozzovivo has been dropped. 


Just six riders in the Froome/Dumoulin group as we seen Pozzovivo with Formolo. Team Sky have destroyed the field and Froome attacks. With 80km to go.


Don't laugh. Chris Froome has attacked with 80km to in the mountains. 


Behind the Sky rider Lopez is coming back to the Dumoulin group but this is sensation stuff. This climb and the pace from Team Sky has blown the race up. 


Froome has 15 seconds on Dumoulin who at least still has company with him. Pozzovivo is at 40 seconds. Froome has been around long enough to know what he's doing, so he's clearly very confident. This is a huge attack though, from so far out. At 15 seconds Dumoulin is with Pinot and Carapaz. Yates is at 4'30.


78km remaining from 184km

Dumoulin can't afford to panic. He needs to set a steady temp and then wait for more riders before the next climb. Froome isn't showing any sign of waiting though as the road briefly flattens. 


Pinot comes through and takes a turn with Carapaz there too. And then Froome kicks again to move the lead out to 17 seconds. 


Pozzovivo loses more ground and is at 1'04, so Froome is up to second on provisional GC.


Twenty seconds now for Froome as Yates moves out to 6 minutes down. 


27 seconds for Froome. Dumoulin is riding at his own pace and perhaps waiting for reinforcements, as Lopez makes it a four-man chase group. 


Back down the climb and Pozzovivo is forced to drag a group of seven along that contains Bennett, O'Connor and a few super domestiques. Froome now as 37 seconds on Dumoulin. 


Virtual GC and Froome is 2'15 down on Dumoulin, who continues to lead the chase at 40 seconds. Yates is almost 8 minutes down on Froome today. 


Poels has now attacked from the Pozzovivo group. 75km to go.


Yates is in a group with Stybar. No offence to the talented Quick-Step rider but that's not where the maglia rosa would want to be at this moment. Up ahead and Froome as 39 seconds on Dumoulin/Pinot/Lopez and Carapaz.


Dumoulin can't count on the Pozzovivo group to come back at this stage, they're well over a minute down on the Dutchman now. Froome though is holding his advantage at 40 seconds as we hit 9 per cent slopes. 38 seconds now.


Yates is at ten minutes, his top-ten place is now under threat. 


Pinot... what's he doing? As Froome crests the top. 


It looks like Pinot stopped but he's coming back to the Dumoulin group with the lead at 38 seconds. 


The Dumoulin/Pinot group should wait for Reichenbach, who is just a little further the down climb. He could be key with such a long way still to go. Froome now has 47 seconds on the chase.


52 seconds now as Poels, Formolo and Pozzovio go over the climb. 71km to go. This race has been blown to pieces in the last 10km.


67km remaining from 184km

The gap goes out to a minute for the first time as we continue to descend. It's not at 1'11 with Yates at 13'04.


Yates we see now is crawling to the top of the climb. Where has the athlete gone, the one who won three stages and stood up to Dumoulin in the time trial? That rider has vanished. 


1'18 to Froome now, who descends well. 


And Reichenbach makes contact. It's up to him to drag this group back to Froome on the next climb. 


Fabio Aru quitting the race earlier today seems like an age ago. Froome now has 1'32 over the Dumoulin group.


58km remaining from 184km

Froome is now leaning over the bars in full TT mode. The gap is up to 1'40. That's right, 1'40. Froome is heading towards the pink jersey if he keeps this up.


The gap keeps going out, it's up to 1'44 as Reichenbach leads the chase in the next group. Pozzovivo is another minute down. This is what the GC looked like this morning. 



1 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 75:06:24
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:28
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:43
4 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:03:22
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:24
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:54
7 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:09
8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:05:54
9 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:05:59
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:05


Yates has just crested the top of the Finestre, some 16'46 down on Froome. The Team Sky rider now has 1'50 on Dumoulin and Pinot.


Dumoulin is forced to take a turn because Froome is close to taking the virtual race lead. These are truly incredible scenes at the 2018 Giro d'Italia.


Dumoulin then contests the intermediate sprint but he's up against it at the moment as Froome finds a few more seconds. He almost has two minutes. 


We're almost on the Sestriere climb, where we'll see if Froome has attacked from too far out or timed this ride perfectly. Contador tried moves like this but never on his own. This is something else. 


52km remaining from 184km

And we're starting the climb with 53km to go and the gap is holding at 1'52.


Froome is less than a minute off the maglia rosa as he continues to climb. The gap is holding at 1'57 and the Team Sky leader still looks relatively fresh as he spins that small gear. The lead is now 2'02. Dumoulin can't panic but this is a very dangerous moment for the defending champion. 


2'08. 2'09.. the gap keeps going out. 2'10. Where has this ride come from? Froome looked out of it a few days ago but he's riding towards a Giro title if he can keep this up. 2'15... the chase look shell-shocked. 2'18. 


Pozzovivo meanwhile is at 3'40 as Lopez and Carapaz start to lose ground. They come back but they've not helped with the chase one bit. They're in their own little battle for the white jersey. 


3km of climbing for Froome with the lead 2'20. 


Froome is just 27 seconds off the maglia rosa. He'll have it by the time he hits the summit at this rate. 47km to go as we see Dumoulin on the radio. 


The team cars move up to the chase but unless these riders get in the back seat they're chances of winning the Giro look over at this stage. Froome took off with 80km to go and now has 2'36 on the Pinot/Dumoulin group.


Froome goes over the top. He has 2'41 over Dumoulin with Pozzovivo at an even four minutes. 


The Team Sky rider then gets out of the saddle and then begins his long descent towards the final climb of today's stage. 


45km remaining from 184km

With 45km to go Froome has 2'45 over Dumoulin and Pinot. Pozzovivo is at 4'22 as the chase take on bottles before the descent.


Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 


And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 


And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

A moto pilot crashed it almost caused a real problem for Froome. He's fine though and flying down the descent here. 


Further down the road, Dumoulin is leading on the descent with Pinot following but the virtual race lead has now passed to Froome's shoulders. 


The gap between Dumoulin is at 2'40 with Pozzovivo at 5'18. Froome leans over the bars once more in a TT style tuck. He has 36km to go between now and the finish as we see he finds another three seconds on Dumoulin. 


Ben O'Connor has crashed on the descent. He's back on his feet but that was a real scare for the Dimension Data rider.


Dumoulin gets on the radio again but he's well aware that only Pinot will help with the chase with Carapaz and Lopez unwilling to help. 


Froome almost has three minutes with 33km to go.


Dumoulin then ups the pace with the gap now at 2'57. For now it looks like the fight has gone out of this group but the final climb will be the decider. Have Dumoulin and Pinot held anything in reserve? Can Froome finish off the job? The stage is certainly his but he has is eyes set on the maglia rosa. 


Henao has made it up to the Poels/Pozzovivo group. It's not important at the moment but that could help decide the team prize later in the race. 


25km remaining from 184km

Pinot is still trying to get assistance from Carapaz and Lopez but it's wasted energy at this point because they're locked in a battle for the white jersey and they know that Pozzovivo  - another GC rival -  is over two minutes down. In the virtual GC Froome has three seconds on Dumoulin but this is too close to call. Froome has been out there for over 40km and two climbs. He has the final ascent to come and Dumoulin hasn't been in the wind for nearly as long. 


Reichenbach has made it back after being dropped. He needs to pull out a big ride now as we head towards the final climb as the gap levels out at 2'56.


Reichenbach is now trying to get the two passengers to work but they're under orders to wait for the final climb. Pozzovivo is at 6'15 and he's down in 5th on virtual GC.


22km remaining from 184km

Bennett is shouting at Pozzovivo for not riding but the Italian is shot. He has nothing left as he just stares ahead. If Pozzovivo could work he would. 


19km remaining from 184km

I know we have another mountain stage tomorrow, and it could well be just as important but today's antics have still be huge. Yates cracked early on the Finestre and lost around 20 minutes at the last check. Froome is the virtual leader on the road and only Dumoulin stands in his way right now. This last climb of the stage has so much importance attached to it. 19km to go and Froome has 3'06.


Just turned on #giro101 and cant believe what is going on

@PetrVakoc Fri, 25th May 2018 14:15:44

16km remaining from 184km

Heading towards the final climb and the gap is holding at 3'08. One would assume that Dumoulin has saved something for the final climb but Froome is still pressing on, and he still looks relatively fresh as we see Dumoulin look to limit his loses before we start climbing. 


Into the final 14 and the road begins to climb. This is a super-tough climb and the steepest sections are near the start with 14 per cent gradients. Froome is still in the saddle and he's found even more time with the gap at 3'15. Dumoulin looks slightly resigned to his fate at the moment but there's still a long way to go. If Froome runs into trouble then the gap could come down rapidly. 


A penny for Dumoulin's thoughts when Frooome attacked with 80km still to go in the stage. Right now it's the Team Sky rider who is in control with 12km to go, with the gap out to 3'20.

10km remaining from 184km

In the virtual standings Froome has 33 seconds of a lead on Dumoulin. 


The gap is just increasing, there's no response from the chase at this point as we see Dumoulin once again come to the front. 3'30 now.


O'Connor has abandoned after his crash. That's terrible news for the young rider and his Dimension Data. 


The road kicks up and Dumoulin is just trying to keep this race alive but he's not able to draw any time out of Froome. All of a sudden though, he finds two seconds as Froome pours a bidon over him back and arms. 


8km remaining from 184km

There's a short downhill section for Froome but the road is about to kick up once more. It's uphill all the way to finish with 7.6km to go.


Two FDJ and Dumoulin, they've not been able to put even the smallest dent in Froome's lead as he continues to power up the final slopes. The gap has come down just a little though now, to 3'21. 


3'20... so Froome loses another second but he still looks decent as he takes on some of the tougher sections of the climb. 


Froome is 1.3km ahead of the Dumoulin group as the Dutchman takes  a corner too wide but just about keeps it together. He looks tired. 3'24 with 6km to go.


The chase are on the lower slopes of the climb proper and they're all out of the saddle. No one can attack right now as Dumoulin is dropped with 5.8km to go. We said he looked tired but to be dropped this early? Wow.


Pinot picks up the challenge, with Lopez and Carapaz but Dumoulin is coming back. and then Pinot attacks. Froome is at 3'17.


The gap is coming down to Froome but at what price? Dumoulin is slowly bringing the two kids back to Pinot. 


Pinot though powers on and the gap is at 3'12 with 5.3km to go. 


5km remaining from 184km

5km to go for Froome, and his lead is at 3'12. He still has enough time to take the maglia rosa, having started the dat in fourth place overall. 3'08 now but that's to Pinot who has about 5 seconds on Dumoulin. 


Froome still has 3'15 on Dumoulin and 3'04 on Pinot. Pozzovivo is at 8'20. That's right, 8'20 while we're not even getting time gaps on Yates anymore. 


Pinot is killing himself for all of ten seconds on Dumoulin. 4.1km to go. 


Froome is starting to lose time but it's around 20 seconds per-kilometre. 


3km remaining from 184km

Froome has 3'08 on Pinot and 3'17 over Dumoulin. 


Pinot sits up, seeing sense perhaps and Dumoulin comes up to him with Carapaz and Lopez.


Pozzovivo is climbing with Formolo but we've no idea if they were dropped from the Bennett group. As Lopez attacks with 3.2km to go. Carapaz goes with him. 


And now Pinot leaves Dumoulin once more. 3'08 between Froome and Dumoulin. 


I think Dumoulin looks cooked but now he's coming back. Impressive ride as he goes by them and takes up the pace. The gap is back out to 3'14 but it's now or never for Dumoulin.


But Lopez goes again and Pinot and then Carapaz join. Dumoulin is out the back once more. 2.4km to go for Froome.


Again Dumoulin comes back and starts to set the pace. 2.3km to go and the gap is at 3'16. 


It looks like Pozzovivo and Formolo are the third group on the road. 1.6km to go and Froome still has 3'13 on the Dumoulin group. Froome will take the stage and the maglia rosa. 


The four chasers are helpless at the moment as we see Froome rise out the saddle and power up to the finish. He has just 1,400m to go. 


Just over 1km to go and the gap is at 3'14 as the crowds intensify around Froome. 


As things stand Froome will have around 30 seconds on Dumoulin after today's stage. 


Dumoulin finds three seconds with 700m, still no work from Carapaz and Lopez as the road kicks up once more. 


500m for Froome. 


Froome comes to the line. An 80km break from the rider who was constantly being dropped in the first two weeks. A miracle recovery, a stage win, and most likely a pink jersey. 


Further down the climb and Dumoulin is still plugging away but it looks like the jersey is heading to Froome. 


The clock is at 1'40 with 400m to go. 


Froome took ten seconds at the line but Dumoulin is about to be jumped. 


And Pinot kicks things off. 


Carapaz goes clear. 


Pinot gives chase but Carapaz takes seconds, then Pinot, and then Lopez. Dumoulin over the line in 3'21. His head instantly drops. 


When Elissonde kicked things off with 80km to go I genuinely thought he'd not looked at the road book properly and that he thought the stage finished on the Finestre - such was the pace of his acceleration. But it was the launchpad for Froome, who attacked with 80km remaining and three climbs to go. He never looked back and has moved from fourth to first overall in the Giro with two stages remaining. I'm speechless. 


The top five for the stage:


1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
2 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb


Chris Froome is about to get on the podium but Simon Yates has still not crossed the line. 


1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 05:12:26
2 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 00:03:00
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:03:07
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:03:12
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:03:23
6 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 00:06:13
7 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:08:22
8 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:08:23
9 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team

General classification after stage 19 

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb


Froome is on the podium to take his second stage win of the race but also the maglia rosa. He has 40 seconds over Dumoulin, having started almost three minutes down on the Dutchman at the start of the stage.


Reef from Sunweb is on TV. He's not entirely thrown in the towel but he's stunned, fending off the questions and pointing out that Pozzovivo, starting the day in third on GC has lost eight minutes today. It's really been an incredible day at the Giro. I've certainly not seen anything like this in the last ten years. 


And here is the new GC: 


General classification after stage 19
1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 80:21:59
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:00:40
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:04:17
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:04:57
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 00:05:44
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 00:08:03
7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 00:11:08
8 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:12:19
9 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 00:12:35
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 00:14:18


Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)

I felt much better today - this was a really crazy stage, that’s how the story of the Giro is written. Now I’m hoping to have good legs again tomorrow, because my dream has always been to make the podium in Rome.


Here's Brailsford:


"I'm very proud, we're half way through this two day block that is going to decide the race. We had nothing to lose we were fourth on GC, a long way back. Sometimes you have to race in true racing fashion. We spent all day yesterday dissecting the stage, our nutrition team, our coaching team and working with the DS's to chop the race into different sections and we decided we'd try to drop Yates on the switchbacks during the Finestre. You don't know whether it's going to work or not but you certainly have to try and you never find out until you do try. He [Froome] was coming up in form, after the crash in the first week which put him back. The plan was always to get to this point and win the race in this block and we just thought let's put it on the line and see what happens. You can have the best plan but it takes the individual and the mentality to deliver it."


Brailsford has just told Eurosport that there was a 'strong possibility' that this could have happened. Scenes outside the Team Sky bus. 


And here comes Yates over the line. He's lost 38 minutes. As high as Froome has climbed, no one could see this from Yates, not that margin anyway. 


Matt White on Froome's ride: "I've never seen a guy do that in a Grand Tour. Ever. That will go down in history."

Meanwhile, you can find our report, results and photos, right here.


Some major casualties in the top ten. No Dennis, no O'Connor (crashed out), Pozzovivo off the podium, and just three riders within five minutes of Froome on GC.


Let's hear from the stage winner:


I don't think I've ever attacked with 80k to go like that on my own and gone all the way to the finish but the team did such a fantastic job to set that up for me. It was going to take something really special today to try, and first of all, get rid of Simon [Yates] and get away from [Tom] Dumoulin and [Domenico] Pozzovivo. To go from fourth to first - I wasn't going to do that on the last climb alone, so I had to try from far out and Colle delle Finestre was the perfect place - gravel roads I guess reminds me a bit of riding on the roads in Africa. It just felt good and I said it's now or never, I have to try.


It's great - obviously there's still a really hard day tomorrow, but the legs are feeling good and I've been feeling better and better as the races has gone on. Even today up front I gave it everything but I also tried to stay within my limits and tried to stay within myself. Hopefully we can finish this off tomorrow.



You can find our complete post-race quotes story, right here.


Giro d'Italia: Stage 19 finish line quotes #Giro101 |

@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 25th May 2018 16:04:26

Looking down the GC Dennis lost most ground, six places, and slipping to 15th overall. It was a good day for the Bora duo of Konrad and Formolo who both gained timed and moved up, while Simon Yates has dropped from first to 17th at 35:42.


Side note, you can pre-order our next film on Vimeo. It's called CRESCENDO, and we're going to focus on the final week of the Giro, with more behind the scenes tales from the race. It's out on June 1 but you can pick it up at our special pre-order price now. 


And you can still download the hugely popular THE HOLY WEEK too. 

A reminder of the new GC in the race, with two stages remaining:

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 80:21:59
2 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:40
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:17
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:04:57
5 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 0:05:44
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:08:03
7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:11:08
8 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:12:19
9 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:12:35
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:14:18


Finally we have a quote from Tom Dumoulin, who was the virtual leader on the road for a portion today's stage:


"Today was really a crazy stage. I had good legs and did everything right but Froome was too strong and I just didn't have the legs to follow."


A phenomenal stage at the Giro d’Italia saw a solo 80km attack from Chris Froome to put him in the overall lead.…

@Cyclingnewsfeed Fri, 25th May 2018 16:48:58

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