Giro d'Italia (st. 9)
Argentinian allrounder from Movistar Team spends rainy, cold stage into hard-fought breakaway, supports Pedrero into final climb as Antonio hangs to GC chances.
/ Today’s route
To close the first block of racing in the 2020 Giro d’Italia, 4,500 meters of elevation gain in a big mountain stage. Another long route -208km; more than four hundred covered between Saturday and Sunday- from San Salvo, in the Abruzzo coast, to the summit of Aremogna, in Roccaraso (Cat-1), climbing Lanciano (Cat-1), San Leonardo (Cat-2) and Bosco di Sant’Antonio (Cat-2) before the last 10km at 6%, including a last kilometer at nearly 10%.
/ Weather report
The ‘indian summer’ the convoy had enjoyed in the last few days seemed to vanish, at least this Sunday, with some rain, around 18ºC -and feeling a bit cooler- at the start and less than 10ºC at the finish.
/ Keys to the race
- Battles like the one we witnessed for the breakaway on Sunday usually happen only at demanding stages of the Grand Tours, such as today’s. It took 80km and over one hour and a half to have a move stick, the Movistar Team fighting hard to join the attacks with Villella, Samitier, Cataldo -who suffered a crash and some bruises just after the start- and Eduardo Sepúlveda, the rider eventually able to join. Frankiny (GFC), Visconti (THR), Guerreiro (EF1), Castroviejo (IGD), O’Connor (NTT) and Warbasse (ALM) joined the Chubut native at a group completing the Passo Lanciano ascent (-108 km) with a gap exceeding seven minutes.
- Sepúlveda, however, lost contact at the penultimate rated climb, Bosco di Sant’Antonio, from a leading group of five reached, in between the opening ascents, by Danish rouleur Mikkel Bjerg (UAD). Behind, Trek-Segafredo took the baton from Deceuninck-Quick Step at the helm of the main group, shrinking a peloton where Pedrero and Samitier stayed with the GC contenders.
- Guerreiro ended up claiming the day’s honours from the breakaway, ahead of Castroviejo (2nd) and Bjerg (3rd), while Sepúlveda, neutralized by the favourites’ group, took some good turns to help out Antonio Pedrero. Sadly, the Spaniard paid the efforts and finished 50″ behind the leading echelon of favourites, with Fuglsang (AST) and Kelderman (SUN). Almeida (DQT) retains the Maglia Rosa, with Pedrero now in 16th place at 2’27” as Samitier sits in 19th, 4’06” down after conceding over two minutes on the bunch.
/ Upcoming goals
The race will enjoy on Monday – Spain’s National Day – its first rest day near Pescara, before resuming racing in the 2020 Giro with stage ten on Tuesday, starting in Lanciano -hometown of Dario Cataldo- and finishing in Tortoreto after a hilly route, ‘Tirreno-Adriatico-like’.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto