Giro d’Italia 2024 – Stage 19

Sorry I missed another one. Usually some of the motivation comes from hitting winners too but since it has been a coinflip for most of the race, whether we see a random team pull for Pogacar, it has been difficult to keep the motivation going.

Route

A stage that does not suit the sprinters nor GC men. It should mean a day for the breakaway.

The race moves north for the first 100 km, before turning towards west when the climbing begins with roughly 60 km left.

Where will the breakaway form?

The breakaway should form on the flat. I highly doubt any team whatsoever can keep it controlled until Passo Duron. It does mean that it likely will not be a pure climber than wins from the breakaway, unless they have a history of joining breakaways on the flat.

Fuga de la fuga?

The finale starts at the foot of Passo Duron. It is always odd to add the toughest climb as the first, I guess the organizers expect fireworks. Then it is just plain stupid to do it when you have a tough mountain stage tomorrow. I think the GC men are going to ride it safely.

The breakaway will consist of strong all rounders. But the winner must be able to handle a fair bit of climbing too. The winning move does not happen on Cima Sappada, it happens before.

Passo Duron. Last used back in 2018 on stage 14 before the Monte Zoncolan. Takes merely 14-15 minutes.

Sella Valcalda. After the plateau and short descent, it is 4.6 km at 7.4%.

Cima Sappada. Another climb with irregularities. The tough section is 2.4 km at 9.5%. From the top, the riders have 6.7 km left.

The run for home. More downhill than uphill.

Weather

A tailwind. It does mean it can take a little time getting the breakaway formed.

Contenders

Someone who can get away on the flat, can handle steep 10-15 minute efforts and understand the fuga de la fuga.

Alaphillipe – seven days in the breakaway. How much does he haft left in the tank? And despite I’m trying to talk the stage down in terms of climbing, it is difficult with nearly 3000 climbing meters. He did look good on stage 16 and had it not been for the cold, it could have been even more.

P. Sanchez – I think he has enough left in the tank for another breakaway. It is a stage that suits him well, he goes well on double-digits.

Steinhauser – his current shape is fantastic. I do however think he can find it hard getting in the breakaway on the flat, hopefully the two Danes can help him.

APP – last chance for the brothers. If not, I expect Ben O’Connor to do fireworks tomorrow.

Plapp – I’m not sure how much he has left but the flat start is excellent for him. He does well on short, steep inclines. And he has been with the group of favorites for many stages deep into the finale. Is he on a defend 9th overall duty?

Valter – he will keep trying.

Caruso – the likelihood of him being locked to Tiberi is high but it is the last chance for the breakaway.

Pogacar – wins if the let him.

Who will win?

I got a good feeling about Luke Plapp, I’ll take his first win on European soil today.

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