Giro d'Italia (st. 13)
Sergio claims first top-ten finish for Movistar Team in this year’s ‘Corsa Rosa’ as both Blues make it into elite, 20-rider field after hard pace into final climbs. Tough ITT coming up on Saturday.
/ Today’s route
Friday’s stage thirteen in the 2020 Giro was, in practice, the last sprint opportunity of the race, because, even if there’s some flat routes still left, third weeks in the Grand Tours are always unpredictable. The 192km route from Cervia to Monselice was divided into two parts: a long flat through the ‘Pianura Padana’, then the decisive 35km, with two Cat-4 ascents: Roccolo (4.3km at 8%) and Calaone, the latter crested just 16km before the end.
/ Weather report
We’re finally getting to northern Italy -today’s finish was between Bologna and Verona-, and that really shows at the temperatures: barely 14ºC maximum during the race and a slight, even if sufficiently annoying, headwind for most of the stage. And to cap it off, the effects of a squall in the Gulf of Venice, which meant: plenty of rain once again!
/ Keys to the race
- The break went away after 25km, with Bouchard (ALM), Pellaud, Ravanelli (ANS), Contreras (AST), Tonelli (BCF), Vanhoucke (LTS) amd Rota (THR). Despite any of those meaning a threat to the GC contenders, Bora-Hansgrohe and Israel Start-Up Nation showed themselves quite reluctant to let the move go too far and started to push hard from afar, never letting the gap grow above two minutes.
- In the end, what seemed to be a sprint chance turned into almost a toe-to-toe battle between the GC riders. The tough slopes of the GPMs of Roccolo (4km at 8%) and Calaone (2km at 10%) saw numerous attacks and left the leading group -once the break, with Tonelli and Bouchard as last ‘survivors’, was caught- in just 20 riders. The Movistar Team, which completed a nice approach with Sepúlveda, Cataldo and Torres at the front of the bunch, saw Sergio Samitier making some more improvements and leading the bunch through the final climb, supporting Antonio Pedrero at the front. Behind the two, Davide Villella and Einer Rubio kept the pace of the second group.
- Ulissi (UAD) won the restricted field’s sprint ahead of race leader Almeida (DQT) and Konrad (BOH), while Samitier obtained a valuable 6th spot after a difficult position heading into the final straight. Pedrero, seventeenth over the line, remains in 13th place overall, 38″ off the top-ten, while Sergio now sits in 16th at the GC.
/ Upcoming goals
Saturday will take us to what should be the first real race-defining stage in the 2020 Giro. A demanding 34km ITT will link Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, between hills and vineyards, with two main difficulties: the Muro di Ca’ del Poggio (Cat-4; 1.1km at 12.3%) and a longer ascent towards Guia, in the last third of the stage. Two sections will, in turn, be perfectly suited to the rouleurs (the last 6km and about fifteen kilometers halfway through), while the finish will require an extra effort, with some slopes, not too difficult, towards the line. One for the TT specialists… ma non troppo.
— Start times Valdobbiadene ITT (Saturday 17th) – all CEST: Torres 13.32, Carretero 13.41, Cataldo 14.06, Rubio 14.24, Sepúlveda 14.27, Villella 14.49, Samitier 15.07, Pedrero 15.16.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto