Giro d'Italia (st. 15)
Sergio, Davide both into stage contention until last climb of demanding Friuli stage, with Tao (IGD) taking the win from the favourites’ group. Pedrero remains 13th overall.
/ Today’s route
The Giro has completed its journey from south to north in the Italian Peninsula, and entered on Sunday the big mountains set to decide the overall result. Four big climbs were to be covered on the 185km stage fifteen: Sella Chianzutan (Cat-2), Forcella di Monte Rest (Cat-2), Forcella di Pala Barzana (Cat-2) and the finish up Piancavallo (Cat-1; 14.5km at 7.8%).
/ Weather report
Sunny skies at the start and cloudier at the climbs, fortunately with no rain. Temperatures at the valleys were around 9-10ºC, quite colder at the tops.
/ Keys to the race
- As it’s happened many times already in this Giro, the Blues had multiple riders into the breakaway and a task to surmount early on. 11 riders attacked from the peloton at the very start, including Davide Villella, while a counter-attack with Sergio Samitier had to make a big effort to join after leaving the bunch into a small climb prior to Sella Chianzutan. Joined by Guerreiro (EF1), KOM leader, in his move, Sergio couldn’t bridge back until he left his companion behind, the leaders pushing hard to not let him join. As ‘Sami’ entered the group, the gap was just over 6′ over a main group led by Sunweb and NTT.
- It wasn’t until the third categorized climb, Forcella di Pala Balzana, with 45km to go, when the breakaway, always kept under stress from Sunweb at the bunch (the GC contenders sitting 3′ behind the leaders), was torn into pieces. Dennis (IGD) and De Gendt (LTS) attacked, both solo, ahead of a second group where Samitier tried to keep his chances alive alongside Visconti (THR). Just behind, Villella, who had to spend quite some energy after a mechanical before the climb, battled into a third group.
- Both Samitier and Villella were caught, in the early slopes of Piancavallo, by a GC group Sunweb kept strung out, taking the better from several GC favourites. Antonio Pedrero, who lost contact 10km before the top -together with Pozzovivo (NTT)-, distributed his energy well over the ascent and finished close to Nibali (TFS), Fuglsang (AST) or Bilbao (TBM), 1’54” behind winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (IGD), who bested Sunweb duo Wilco Kelderman and Jai Hindley. Almeida (DQT), 37″ back, kept the Maglia Rosa.
/ Upcoming goals
The 2020 Giro convoy will enjoy a well-deserved second, final rest day on Monday. The race will restart on Tuesday, starting a brilliant coincidence – held alongside La Vuelta for the first time ever – with a long, hilly stage 16: 229km from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli with six climbs -all of them Cat-2 or Cat-3- mostly featured into an ending circuit with three ascents to the Monte di Ragogna (2.8km at 10%).
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto