Favorites sign stalemate at Tre Cime di Lavaredo and prepare for tomorrow's time trial

Road 26/05/23 17:45 Migue A.

The expected queen stage of the Giro d'Italia through some of the most mythical passes of the Dolomites ended, following the trend of this edition, with an unattractive spectacle for the spectator thanks to the conservatism of the main favorites who faced the very hard stage 19 with the calculator and saving all possible forces for tomorrow's decisive time trial.

Santiago Buitrago leaves Derek Gee without victory in stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia

Strange day in the Giro d'Italia in the expected queen stage with finish in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The dolomitic stage of 183 kilometers and 5,400 meters of elevation gain through some of the most legendary passes of this mountainous massif that, on paper, should leave the race sentenced.

However, it seemed from the start that the favorites had their heads set on tomorrow's decisive time trial. This, and the fact that the breakaways in this Giro d'Italia are being rewarded, meant that many were encouraged to take the train at the start, given the permissiveness of an INEOS Grenadiers that, knowing its limitations as a team, let them do what they wanted.

In this way, 15 riders like Carlos Verona, Santiago Buitrago, Magnus Cort Nielsen or the revelation of this Giro, Derek Gee, joined in the lead, who began to gain so much advantage that, after the passage through the first of the difficulties, the Passo Campolongo, Bahrain-Victorious rider Santiago Buitrago, 12 minutes behind the leader, got into the noble zone of the classification.

The second pass, the Passo Valparola, went unnoticed, with the gap widening progressively and the peloton letting it all hang out. It remained to be seen whether the bogeyman of the day, with permission of the climb to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, converted into Cima Coppi after the non-climb of Grand Saint Bernard, nothing less than the mythical Passo Giau, an animal of just under 10 km at almost 10% average.

Already on the Giau, as expected, the breakaway broke by mere natural selection, leaving Carlos Verona, Santiago Buitrago and Derek Gee ahead with, still, 45 kilometers to go, joined, making a more progressive ascent, by Michael Hepburn and Magnus Cort Nielsen. Meanwhile, INEOS-Grenadiers began to timidly tighten the pace in the peloton but with no real intention of doing any real damage.

Arrived in Cortina d'Ampezzo, on the descent of the Giau it was already clear that the favorites would leave all their moves for the last kilometers and that the stage victory, one more day, would be for the men of the breakaway that began, on the way to Tre Croci, the appetizer to the climb to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, to feel each other out and start measuring each relay. Behind the breakaway, the gap between the escapees remained at more than 6 minutes. Only an untimely flat tyre of Primoz Roglic in the streets of this town managed to get us out of the lethargy in which the favourites had us plunged.

Up Tre Croci the gap had been reduced to just over 4 minutes, proof that INEOS Grenadiers had stepped up the pace on this climb, which meant that the main peloton was reduced to around twenty riders. In the breakaway there were also movements, with several attacks that selected the group, with Buitrago, Cort Nielsen, Gee and Hepburn in the lead, although the rest of those who started in the lead in Cortina managed to return to the front on the very short descent of Tre Croci and the subsequent false flat towards Lake Misurina, the starting point of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Derek Gee took the lead on the climb, looking for the desired victory in this Giro after harvesting during the previous days no less than 3 second places while a few meters behind was Santiago Buitrago who tried to chase him, and a few meters behind Hepburn and Cort Nielsen conceding. Tremendous duel between the Bahrain-Victorious and the Israel-PremierTech rider that ended with 1.5 km to go when Buitrago managed to catch him and, immediately afterwards, with a dry and forceful overthrow left the Canadian who, once again, was yearning for more. Victory that serves to Buitrago to correct a Giro d'Italia to which he arrived as a contender for the overall and in which, until today, he had not found the pedal stroke.

Disappointing attitude of the group of favorites with Arensman leading the maglia rosa in easy riding until almost the final kilometer with neither Almeida nor Roglic making any move until shortly before reaching the red triangle the Slovenian started to repeat yesterday: Thomas easy on his wheel and Almeida conceding in the first instance but imposing his diesel pace managed to get back to the lead. A few hundred meters from the finish, it was Thomas himself who started, taking Roglic on his wheel and even releasing him at times, although the speed of the Jumbo-Visma rider in the last meters allowed him to come back and even gain 3 seconds on Geraint. A fruitful start in any case that unhooked Almeida and served to get another good handful of seconds on Almeida ahead of the time trial.

Stage 19 Classification

  1. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) 5h28′07″
  2. Derek Gee (Israel Premier Tech) +51″
  3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education EasyPost) +1’46”
  4. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) +1’46”
  5. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +1’49”
  6. Joao Pedro Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +2’09”
  7. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +2’09”
  8. Thymen Arensman (Ineos Grenadiers) +2’09”
  9. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama FDJ) +2’16”
  10. Einer Augusto Rubio Reyes (Movistar) +2’26”

General Classification

  1. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) 81h 55′ 47″
  2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) +26″
  3. Joao Pedro Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +59″
  4. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) +4’11”
  5. Edward Dunbar (Jayco AlUla) +4’53”
  6. Thibau Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +5’10”
  7. Thymen Arensman (Ineos Grenadiers) +5’13”
  8. Lennard Kamna (Bora hansgrohe) +5’54”
  9. Andreas Leknessund (Team DSM) +6’08”
  10. Laurens De Plus (Ineos Grenadiers) +7’30”



Subscribe to our newsletter and receive all our news. Mountain bike, advice on training and maintenance of your bike, mechanics, interviews ...

You will be aware of everything!

¿Prefieres leer la versión en Español?

Los favoritos firman tablas en Tres Cimas de Lavaredo y se citan para la crono de mañana