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Giro d'Italia 2019: Stage 19

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We're just two days from the end of the 2019 Giro d'Italia now, and the peloton head back into the mountains for a 151km race from Treviso into the Dolomites to the ski resort of San Martino di Castrozza.

 

We're around 20 minutes from the neutralised start of the stage.

 

The GC battle should get underway once again today, though a big shakeup at the top of the rankings isn't too likely. Today's stage isn't exactly the toughest mountain test around, resembling a stage we'd usually see in the first ten days rather than the sharp end of the Giro.

 

The final climb up to San Martino di Castrozza is 13.6km long and averages 5.6%, though most of the climb is just above a 6% gradient.

 

At the top of the standings, Richard Carapaz (Movistar) lies 1:43 up on Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida). Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is third overall, 2:16 down.

 

San Martino di Castrozza has hosted the Giro three times in the past, the last of which came in 2009. Back then, Danilo Di Luca won stage 4 ahead of Stefano Garzelli and Franco Pellizotti, though his victory was later wiped from the records.

 

To give you a taster of what we might be in store for later today, 16 men finished in the lead group on the same time that day, with 42 riders finishing within a minute of Di Luca. The stage did come a lot earlier on in the race, though.

 

 

In 1982, Vicente Belda won in San Martino di Castrozza, while the race's first visit in 1954 saw Wout Wagtmans win the first of his three career Giro stage victories.

 

We've seen the breakaway triumph for four days in a row now, with Dario Cataldo, Giulio Ciccone, Nans Peters and Damiano Cima all taking wins. There have been eight wins from the early break so far in this Giro and today might just see a ninth. The riders are about to roll out in Treviso.

 

Stage 19 is now underway.

 

Davide Formolo is chatting to the race director as the peloton roll through the neutralised zone.

151km remaining from 151km

It's a warm, sunny day in Treviso, a nice start for the riders.

 

The flag is dropped, and they're away for real now. 

 

And right away, there are five riders up the road with more attempting to get away too.

 

146km remaining from 151km

Amaro Antunes (CCC Team), Marco Canola, Ivan Santaromita (both Nippo-Vini Fantini), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), Oliver Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Francois Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale), Manuele Senni (Bardiani-CSF), Pieter Serry (Deceuninck-Quick Step),and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) are the riders clear up the road, while others try to get away further back.

 

Of course, some teams have missed the break and are active on the front of the peloton as they try to salvage the situation.

 

Andrea Vendrame (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec) is also in the break.

 

They're currently 30 seconds up on the peloton.

 

140km remaining from 151km

It looks like the peloton has settled down now. The front of the group is flat across the road, blocking the way for any other potential attackers.

 

A Bardiani rider has snuck through though.

 

And now an Israel Cycling Academy rider too.

 

The Bardiani rider, Giovanni Carboni, got up on the pavement to get around the front of the peloton to freedom.

 

Carboni and the ICA rider are clear of the peloton and are working to get across. The peloton is content with this break group.

Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) notably didn't try to get into the break today. He's 13 points behind Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the points classification, and getting points at intermediate sprints are his only shot at changing that.

 

Nate Brown (EF Education First) also jumped out of the peloton and is chasing the break.

 

The peloton is 1:50 down on the break now, and the gap is only rising.

 

A weather check at the finish - the skies are clear and the temperature is a pleasant 13°C.

 

Movistar move to the front of the peloton. The gap is up to three minutes.

 

There are a few unclassified lumps and bumps during the early stages, but no classified climb until the 66km mark. It's the third-category Passo San Boldo, which features 17 hairpins en route the summit.

On the sidebar, I've had to deck out points leader Pascal Ackermann in a red jersey. We don't have a purple jersey icon so that'll have to do.

 

Four minutes for the break now. Movistar are massed on the front of the peloton, and should remain there for much of the day. 

 

129km remaining from 151km

The Carboni chase group is 30 seconds behind the break. No word on the identity of the ICA rider, or even if he and Brown are still chasing, though.

 

Mitchelton-Scott sports director Matt White was just interviewed on tv. Here's what he had to say...

"Both," he says, when asked about whether Mitchelton are targeting a stage win or the GC.

"We came here for GC, that hasn't changed. We'd like to move up ranking and win stage at same time."

"[Today] it's one for the breakaway. I really don't think it's hard enough to see big gaps unless people are really imploding in the finale. We're trying again for the stage win today."

Indeed, the team has Esteban Chaves in the break. The Colombian was second two days ago and is approaching his old self after a long fight back from mononucleosis.

"It's a good sign after a year of work. We've been very very conservative about his comeback and it's a big boost of morale that he's getting back."

Carboni isn't making much headway at the moment. He's 40 seconds down on the break now.

 

Guillaume Boivin was the ICA rider trying to bridge across. He's over three minutes down on the break now, though. The peloton is 6:30 back.

 

Carboni is still hanging 30 seconds down on the break but he's clearly not giving up.

 

115km remaining from 151km

The peloton is lined out at the front, but they're not exactly speeding along - the break is gaining time here and they're now seven minutes up the road.

 

Nobody in the break is within an hour of the race lead though, so there's no danger for race leader Carapaz here.

 

There's not a ton of action at the moment, save for the suspense of whether Carboni will make it up to the break or not.

 

A perfect time, then, to listen to the latest Cyclingnews podcast. Click through for opinion, news and interviews from the Giro d'Italia. We speak to third-placed man Primoz Roglic, his sports director Addy Engels, Ineos' top ten hope Pavel Sivakov, and Esteban Chaves, among others.

 

The break passes through Valdobiaddene, and Carboni finally gets across.

 

The town has hosted the Giro twice before, with Vasil Kiryienka winning a time trial in 2015, and Alessandro Petacchi winning in 2009.

 

103km remaining from 151km

Almost eight minutes for the break now as they approach the 100km to go mark.

 

Carboni took a breather at the rear of the break after his efforts making it across, and a few of the riders were seemingly unhappy with him for it. Manuele Boaro had words with him. The commissaire's car came up to calm the situation, though.

 

We're a third of the way through the stage. 50km down, 101km to go.

 

For the break, there's a descent and a section of flat road before they start the first climb of the day, the Passo di San Boldo.

 

95km remaining from 151km

Movistar still lead the peloton, 7:25 down on the break.

 

Check out our new look at the latest gear from the world of cycling, The Musette. There's Rotor cranks, a Rapha jacket, Oakley's Sutro sunglasses and more. Click through to read.

 

 

The break are on the climb now. It's 6.3km long at an average of 6.8%. It's a bit of unique one, with the road going in and out of tunnels numerous times further up the climb.

 

 

The climb is toughest at the top, with the gradient averaging 9.4% for the final 2.8km.

 

The peloton follow the break, 7:25 further down the climb.

 

86km remaining from 151km

The break are 2km from the top of the climb now. They're still all together.

 

Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy) salutes his fanclub at the side of the road on the climb. He hails from Pordenone, some 60km from this point of the route.

 

Here's a look at the hairpins at the top of the climb, as the break make their way up.

 

 

Vendrame leads the break over the top uncontested.

 

Ackermann has dropped out of the back of the peloton on the climb. He's going back to the Bora car rather than being under any strain.

Actually, it looks like he's getting a fresh dressing on his knee. The points classification leader crashed in the stage 10 finale and has been bandaged on his elbow and knee ever since.

 

78km remaining from 151km

The Movistar-led peloton are 6km down on the break.

 

There's a pretty long ride in the valley now. The start of the next climb - the fourth cat to Lamon - is just over 40km away.

 

As you might have guessed, it's a pretty quiet part of the stage right now. There's an intermediate sprint coming up in around 5km though.

 

63km remaining from 151km

Vincenzo Nibali smiles at the camera, riding calmly along in the peloton. Meanwhile, blue jersey Giulio Ciccone grabs some bottles from the car.

The peloton is strung out with Movistar still leading. They're 8:40 down on the break.

 

Marcato led the break over the intermediate sprint, by the way. The break are still working well together. It looks like they'll contest the stage win unless some teams begin to put on the pressure at the head of the peloton.

 

58km remaining from 151km

The break have reached the feed zone now. They're 16km from the next intermediate sprint in Fonzaso.

 

The break passes through Feltre, the start town for tomorrow's stage.

 

The gap is still up at around eight minutes. It's come down a bit but not by much. Looking more and more likely that the break will win the stage again today.

 

50km remaining from 151km

And the break passes under the 50km to go mark.

 

The gap is back up to 8:25 now. It was 7:40 a minute ago, so maybe some GPS shenanigans at play there.

 

Just 4km to the next intermediate sprint for the break now, and the climb to Lamon will start shortly afterwards.

 

Here's a shot of the break from earlier in the day.

 

 

41km remaining from 151km

Carapaz drops back to the Movistar team car to grab a bottle. The gap between break and peloton grows to nine minutes.

 

The break has passed the 40km to go banner now.

 

Movistar and Bahrain lead the peloton, with a few Jumbo riders further back.

 

The break start the fourth-category climb of Lamon now. It's 7.4km long, at an average of 3.7%.

 

35km remaining from 151km

It's up to 9:20 for the peloton now. They're really lagging behind and it looks certain that the break will win their fifth stage in a row.

 

Chaves looks the favourite - he's the strongest climber there and was second on stage 17. Amaro Antunes is a good climber too, while Bidard and Marcato have a shot depending on their form too. Meanwhile, Carboni was fifth on the hilly stage 6, where he took the young rider's jersey for three days.

 

Boaro leaps from the break as they near the top of the climb.

 

Boaro crosses the top first and powers on, the break fracturing behind him.

 

32km remaining from 151km

A short descent now, before the riders hit a false flat and cross into the region of Trento-Alto Adige. The climb to the finish start in around 18km.

 

Boaro is flying down the descent. He comes from Bassano del Grappa, some 45km due south of the roads he's currently racing on, so he'll no doubt know them well.

 

29km remaining from 151km

Boaro has 13 seconds on the rest of the break.

 

Lluis Mas and Jasha Sutterlin are still working on the front of the peloton for Movistar - they've been there all day.

 

Bahrain are moving up in the peloton. Damiano Caruso heads to the front.

 

Joe Dombrowski has a mechanical and stops by the side of the road. Not an ideal time for it, but the peloton is hardly flying along here, so he should be fine.

 

The break are still chasing Boaro. They're 12 seconds back.

 

20km remaining from 151km

20km to go now. Boaro still leads, some ten seconds up on the break, while the peloton are 9:30 down.

 

And Boaro sits up, drifting back to the break.

 

18km remaining from 151km

The break are 5km from the start of the climb.

 

And here's a look at that climb to the finish in San Martino di Castrozza. It's 13.6km long at an average of 5.6%.

 

 

It's still Movistar on the front of the peloton. They've been there all day. Up front there's a small split in the break as riders start playing games, quickly closed though.

 

Canola pushes on under the 15km banner.

 

Canola has 15 seconds straight away. He's another local-ish rider, hailing from Vicenza, some 100km to the south. It's his third time at the Giro - he won stage 13 from the break back in 2014.

 

12km remaining from 151km

Portuguese climber Antunes is the next to go from the break, but his move is shut down.

 

There's a definite split in the break now as the attacks start flying.

 

Le Gac has a go now.

 

11km remaining from 151km

The Frenchman is shut down though, with Chaves leading the way. 

 

Marcato has been dropped from the break.

 

And Antunes has another try.

 

10km remaining from 151km

Canola is 18 seconds up the road, unbothered by the stop-start pace behind at the moment. He passes the 10km to go mark.

 

Nippo, Vini Fantini, Faizane, Aisam, Eneos, De Rosa, L'Isola dei Tesori and the myriad of other sponsors on the front of his jersey no doubt will be thrilled by the team's display the past two days.

 

Small attacks are followed by riders looking around at each other. Nothing is sticking in the break.

 

Now Serry and Bidard go, getting a decent gap.

 

And Antunes has another go. 

 

9km remaining from 151km

Chaves and Vendrame go.

 

The pair quickly join up with Serry and Bidard.

 

The four-man group are 12 seconds down on Canola now.

 

Well, that 12 seconds was optimistic. They've caught him already.

 

8km remaining from 151km

Chaves asks for some cooperation.

 

Further back, the peloton hit the climb. They're 8:40 down.

 

Chaves attacks and Canola goes out the back. Serry takes a few seconds to get back on.

 

7km remaining from 151km

Canola is slowly making his way back to the group.

 

Ah, he's a few seconds off the rear and it looks like he might just hang there until the next attack - probably from Chaves.

 

Canola briefly got back in but now he's off the back again.

 

The remainder of the break are 15 seconds back.

 

Canola is yo-yoing back and forth. He won't win the stage but it's a great effort from the Italian.

 

Chaves goes again, taking Vendrame and Serry with him. Bidard and Canola can't follow.

 

5km remaining from 151km

Bidard and Canola come back! The camera moto lingered generously close for a few seconds there.

 

Carboni and Antunes are chasing behind. They're getting close too!

 

5km remaining from 151km

And Chaves goes again. Poor Canola is dropped again.

 

It looks like Canola might be gone for good now. There's a decent gap to the front for him.

 

Carboni and Antunes catch Canola. They're maybe 10 seconds back.

 

4km remaining from 151km

Just as the Canola-Carboni-Antunes group closes in on the catch, Chaves looks around and goes again.

 

Carboni is making his way across to the four leaders again now.

 

Back in the peloton, Astana are on the front.

 

Yep, Carboni and Antunes make it across. No sign of Canola though.

 

Bidard's turn to attack now. Chaves is on his wheel, while Serry is next up. Carboni and Antunes chase.

 

Vendrame has a mechanical! What a shame.

 

3km remaining from 151km

Chaves, Bidard and Serry remain up front now. Antunes and Carboni chase.

 

Further back it's Vendrame and Canola.

 

2km remaining from 151km

Chaves attack again, just as Antunes and Carboni make it back.

 

And it looks like Chaves is getting away! Nobody can respond to his attack.

 

2km remaining from 151km

Chaves enters the final 2km alone.

 

Back in the peloton, Lopez attacks. Landa is the first to follow but he sits and waits with Nibali, Roglic and Carapaz.

 

Lopez is 1:10 down on fifth-placed Mollema, and 4:01 down on third-placed Roglic. He won't get those kind of times gaps here though.

 

1km remaining from 151km

Final kilometre for Chaves now.

 

Chaves wins stage 19 of the 2019 Giro d'Italia!

 

It's his first victory since his win at Etna in last year's Giro.

 

Vendrame takes second ahead of Antunes. Brutal for Vendrame after his late mechanical.

 

Meanwhile, Lopez is still on the attack.

 

Carthy has a go with Sivakov on his wheel.

 

It's a group of around 12-13 riders chasing Lopez. Majka puts in a dig now.

 

Landa takes it up on the front to catch Majka.

 

It looks like Lopez will be the only GC rider taking any significant time here.

 

Roglic puts in an attack but is easily shut down by Nibali and Carapaz. The rest of the group is still intact.

 

Lopez crosses the line, 5:44 down.

 

Roglic tries again, but no dice. Carapaz covers easily.

 

Roglic leads the GC group over, around 45 seconds down on Lopez.

 

Here's the top ten on the stage:

 

1 Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott 4:01:31
2 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:00:10
3 Amaro Antunes (Por) CCC Team 0:00:12
4 Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:24
5 Pieter Serry (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:32
6 François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:35
7 Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Faizane 0:01:02
8 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:37
9 Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:01:53
10 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:02:33

 

Yates, Zakarin, Sivakov all lose 4-6 seconds on the GC group.

 

Canola ended up in 7th place, 1:02 down on Chaves, by the way.

 

Lopez moves within around 20 seconds of Mollema's fifth place now. He has a big chance to take that spot tomorrow, though further progression up the rankings looks more difficult, given the time gaps.

 

General classification after stage 19


1 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 83:52:22
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:54
3 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:02:16
4 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:03
5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:07
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:05:33
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:06:48
8 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:07:17
9 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos
10 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:10:06

 

Esteban Chaves speaks after his win:

 

"It's unbelievable, I don't really have words for this. A lot of work has been put in together, all my family, my team, my friends, everyone knows how hard we've worked but I never gave up. the climb today showed that, I attacked many, many times until I dropped everyone and life is like that as well. You have to keep attacking, attacking, attacking until the line because you never know how close you are until everyone arrives at the finish line. I'm really happy, I cannot describe in words especially in English. It's unbelievable, you're crying, everyone is crying, it's a beautiful day.

 

"Last couple of years I've had a lot of difficult moments but I have a beautiful family, friends and people by my side. We all worked together and this is a victory for everyone who supported me. Thank you very much everyone."

 

Here's an amended GC - a few times were off.

 

1 Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team 83:52:22
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:54
3 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:02:16
4 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:03:03
5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:05:07
6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:05:33
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:06:48
8 Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:07:17
9 Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos 0:08:27
10 Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:10:06

 

Here's a great shot of Chaves crossing the line.

 

 

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