Giro d’Italia 2023 – Stage 19

Stage 19 ladies and gentlemen. This is the hardest stage of the entire race.


The easy part is the first half. Nothing really happens here. It the all kicks off with the last four climbs.

The thing that makes this stage so difficult is the altitude meters. We cross that 2000m barrier a good few times. This is a brilliant stage.

First climb that matters comes with 78 km left of the stage and from here, it is just pure pain until the line.

The first climb is the Passo Valparola

The second climb is one we have seen before a few times – Passo Giau. A brutal, brutal climb. We have 40 km left from the top.

A long descent then comes, at the bottom of the penultimate climb, we are 21.5 km from the line.

From the top to the last climb, we have some smaller hills. Very hard to settle into a rhythm here. Will anyone attack on the 800m at 12.7? I doubt it.

Now, the last climb. Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Last used back in 2013, with Nibali taking the stage win.


Another day without the wind blowing. Throughout the day we should see a bit rain and a chance of thunder. Hopefully, they don’t cancel or change the stage.

How will the stage unfold?

A breakaway will go up the road early on. With the long flat section, expect them to build up a big lead. I think we will see quite a big breakaway get up the road. Will it be the first time we see satellite riders?

INEOS: They are riding as they are supposed to. Keep G safe, set a pace they can work within and not burn their domestiques. He got a buffer today, 29 seconds is it now. I think he will be happy with the breakaway taking the bonus seconds and keeping that lead going into the time trial.

UAE: It was not them setting it up today, I think they expected an easier day on the bike. I think they should look to get Ulissi or Formolo up the road so they can help at a later point. It seems I’m learning about Almeida. Long and steady efforts does the job for him, not short and punchy.

JV: They looked like they had the most riders in the front group but only Kuss was worth his weight in gold once more. Bouwman and Oomen, one of you try to catch the breakaway – it is important to have helpers after Passo Giau.

In general terms, I think Passo Giau is the optimal spot to thin the group. Is it too early to attack here? It likely is with Tre Cime di Lavaredo waiting. You can only damage G, if you isolate him and that can only really happen if you attack on Passo Giau or attack on Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The altitude meters will make this a very tough stage.

Who will control the breakaway? Once again, they stand a good chance of winning. The three big teams will save their ammo until the last 78 km.


Thomas – he had another good day on the bike. He currently looks untouchable. With De Plus and Arensman, he has all the help he needs. Tomorrow is a big test for him but look back at prior results, namely Col du Granon stage and Hautacam stage in the TdF 2022, he deals well with multiple climbs and higher altitudes. He will be tough to beat.

Roglic – signs of promise. What the race needed. How well does he do in high altitudes? Sierra Nevada is the last sign of that but he was slightly injured here. Col de Loze back in 2020, second behind Lopez is a good sign. We will have to see, I think he will do well. The last ramp is perfect for him.

Almeida – this is not necessarily signs fatigue or anything. He did his yoyo-style and Vine miscalculated a corner. Then he did not keep his cool and burned some matches. He was close to getting back. Heading in to tomorrow, I have no idea how he will deal with the altitude. I doubt he will put time in to the other two.

Dunbar – just looking very well. I expect another top-performance.

Caruso – his biggest stage win came after loads of mountains in high altitudes. I expect him to defend 5th.

Pinot – the type of rider that can go two for two. He used to battle for the GC. Is he allowed up the road? It will keep the peloton on a leash. Can they just use the team to reel in Healy and Bais? Well, they likely will and should. 4:43 is a bit close in the GC.

Van Wilder – do something. Now 9:03 after. If does not make the breakaway tomorrow, I don’t know what to say. Perhaps this is out of his league but I would really like to see him empty the tank.

Rubio – suits the small climber. High altitudes and Colombia usually goes hand in hand. It will be a bit tough getting in the break on the flat.

Cepeda – see above. He lost a lot of time today. Plus he is from Equador. I hope Cort and Bettiol are ready to slingshot!

Gee – does this man have no limits?


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Roglic
⭐⭐⭐Thomas, Rubio
⭐⭐ Almeida, Van Wilder, Caruso
⭐ Dunbar, Gee, Pinot, Cepeda

Who will win?

With Carthy out of the GC, it is time to launch Cepeda. I think the breakaway will take the win, they will build up a very large gap on the flat.

I will take a stage Roglic, with Rubio being the best option for the breakaway.

* Updated 22:35, as Cepeda has gotten ill.

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