Giro d'Italia (st. 19)
Spaniard from Movistar Team caps off nice Grand Tour debut, fights for success at final move in Asti after longest stage gets shortened by 140km. Josef Cerny (CCC) takes solo victory.
/ Today’s route
A somewhat peculiar day on stage 19 of the Giro, due to its morphology -a completely flat route– and, above that, its length, the most extense in this year’s race over 253 kilometers between Morbegno and Asti (the UCI regulations actually prevent a stagerace from containing routes longer than 240 kilometers). Would there be any teams willing to control the race for a sprint or would we rather see a break making it all the way to the finish?
/ Weather report
Cold, rainy conditions, with about 10ºC and showers over a course that marked the fourth consecutive day with 200+ kilometer routes for the riders – the previous three containing elevations over 4,000 metres…
/ Keys to the race
- It was an eventful start. Due to weather conditions, the race was stopped after just 8km, having also departed from Morbegno with a significant delay. The team vehicles, which had already left for the finish in Asti, had to come back and pick up a peloton which didn’t take the start until nearly four hours later, in Abbiategrasso, with 124 kilometers to cover. More than half the stage was shortened in the process.
- After the race was resumed, an early stretch full of action saw a 15-man breakaway being set up, with Albert Torres in. The Menorca native got himself into a group kept under tight control from Bora – hansgrohe, who didn’t allow him gain more than 1’30”. However, just over 50km from the end, and with no teams interested in helping them out, the German squad stopped pulling and let the break gain a decisive advantage to contest the stage win.
- At that point, Torres got himself into the always difficult fight for the win into such a numerous break. One of the earliest moves ended up being the winning one: from a six-man split, Josef Cerny (CCC) jumped alone with 20km to go and took the solo victory. Behind them, at a second echelon, Albert led his group’s sprint to take 7th place and prove, once again, his jump towards the WorldTour in 2020 was fully deserved. There were no changes GC-wise, as Samitier and Pedrero remain 13th and 16th overall.
/ Upcoming goals
We finally enter the decisive weekend of the 2020 Giro, starting with a final mountain stage on Saturday, from Alba to Sestriere (190km). It won’t be the great showdown expected until few days ago, as the climbs of Agnello, Izoard and Montgenèvre were cancelled on Wednesday, but it will still contain 3,500 meters of elevation gain and three climbs to Sestriere -two of them Cat-1 ascents-, just 24 hours before the decisive ITT in Milan.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto