Giro Stage 20: Key Takeaways From the Dolomiti Showdown
Breaking down what happened during the wild final few kilometers when the Giro's GC battle finally came to life
It took until the final few kilometers of the hardest climb of the most difficult (and beautiful) Dolomiti stage, but the GC competition at the 2022 Giro finally came to life when Jai Hindley, who waited patiently while Ineos set a hard pace for Maglia Rosa Richard Carapaz, unleashed a brutal acceleration to thin down the herd, and then methodically rode Carapaz off his wheel inside the final two kilometers. This effort saw him cross the finish line 1’28 ahead of Carapaz and head into the race lead with a gap of 1’25 over the former winner. This lead, which is the largest by any rider at this race, will almost certainly be enough for him to win the overall title following the 17-kilometer time trial tomorrow in Verona.
Up ahead in the breakaway, Alessandro Covi took an impressive stage win with a cerebral ascent, and extremely daring descent, of the penultimate Passo Pordoi to pad his lead enough to hold off a surging Domen Novak and Giulio Ciccone atop the brutal Marmolada climb.
Stage Top 3
1) Alessandro Covi +0
2) Domen Novak +32
3) Giulio Ciccone +37
GC Stage Time Gaps:
Jai Hindley +0
Mikel Landa +49
Richard Carapaz +1’28
GC Top 5
1) Jai Hindley +0
2) Richard Carapaz +1’25
3) Mikel Landa +1’51
4) Vincenzo Nibali +7’57
5) Pello Bilbao +8’55
52.7km: Alessandro Covi attacks the breakaway on the Passo Pordoi and immediately gets an impressive gap. He crosses the summit with a 1’27 gap over the chasers.
7.8km: On the lower, and milder, slopes of the final climb of the Marmolada, Carapaz is visibly struggling to hold the pace at 350 watts (while normals would be dying at this pace, this is ‘tempo’ for these guys). It is so obvious that his Ineos teammate rides up to ask if he is okay.
7.6km: Meanwhile, Hindley looks incredibly easy and relaxed at the same pace. At this point, it is obvious Carapaz will struggle to hold his lead.
4.8km: Up front, Domen Novak attacks in an attempt to reel in Covi to win the stage.
4.6km: Novak closes down the gap by 15-seconds in just .2kms, but Covi is still getting a nice motion through the pedals and has 90-seconds in hand for the final 5kms.
4.1km: As the peloton hits the harder slopes, Carapaz has his Ineos team come to the front and set a hard enough pace that it whittles down the group. Hindley likely can’t believe his luck.
2.6km: But, as soon as his last man pulls off, Hindley attacks the now teammate-less Carapaz. Landa doesn’t even attempt to match them.
2.5km: Lennard Kämna drops back from the breakaway just in time to pace Hindley. This well-timed move gives Hindley a vital surge of pace and most importantly, a confidence boost.
2.2km: When Kämna starts riding for Hindley, we can immediately see that Carapaz is struggling due to his cadence being far more labored and rectangular than Hindley’s smooth circles.
1.8km: Kämna’s pace distances Carapaz and sensing his moment to win the race is here, Hindley picks up the pace and heads off alone.
1.6km: Kämna gets on Carapaz’s wheel as he passes and due to the fact that he is able to get on the wheel, we know just how slowly Carapaz is going versus Hindley.
Meanwhile, Hindley’s pedal stroke is far more lively and he appears to be popping up the climb like a warming corn kernel.
Finish: Hindley keeps his high pace up all the way to the finish line, coming in 2’30 behind the stage winner Covi.
Carapaz comes over the line nearly 90-seconds after Hindley and we can see just how much more he is struggling than his Australian rival.