Giro d'Italia 2021 Giro d'Italia, Stage 20: Verbania – Alpe Motta 165 km

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WIll Bernal crack?

  • Yes, on the 1st climb

    Votes: 8 11.4%
  • Yes, on the penultimate climb

    Votes: 7 10.0%
  • Yes, on the final climb

    Votes: 10 14.3%
  • No, he will only lose a small amount of time at the end of the stage

    Votes: 34 48.6%
  • No, he will be able to follow his competitors

    Votes: 5 7.1%
  • No, he will destroy everyone

    Votes: 6 8.6%

  • Total voters
    70
  • Poll closed .
I like the stage design actually, and I even like it as the final stage of GC action in mountains. But given the underwhelming and comparatively easy Giro we've had so far, it doesn't quite do enough. Hopefully we'll see some great action in what has been a pretty tame Giro otherwise.
 
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The only positives I see is the technicality of the descents?
Youre a bit too pessimistic now. If all the climbs had 1% more it would be a really great stage. I fear its a tad too easy, but this is stage 20, 3 climbs and relatively high altitude. Sure the racing situation can make it so it will be a passive stage. I dont really have any problem with it, although I admit it feels flat after the queen stage getting shortened. Could be a lot worse..
 
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Youre a bit too pessimistic now. If all the climbs had 1% more it would be a really great stage. I fear its a tad too easy, but this is stage 20, 3 climbs and relatively high altitude. Sure the racing situation can make it so it will be a passive stage. I dont really have any problem with it, although I admit it feels flat after the queen stage getting shortened. Could be a lot worse..
1% is generally 10-15% more altitude gain over the same distance, very significant. If San Bernadino was false flat first then got really hard like Manghen or Agnello i'd be more optimistic but it has no single stretch really hard enough the last part being under 7% makes it near impossible. Also doesn't help Spluga isn't particularly steep + has an easier section in the middle.

Only chance for Bernal being under threat is if Bernal happens to not be one of the 10 best climbers on the stage.
 
If even one of the wet mountain stages had been dry, we would be looking at a climax to this Giro for the ages. As it is, Yates is clearly the strongest at this point but there doesn’t seem to be the kind of opportunities he would need to really challenge Bernal’s lead.
 
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Besides maybe Yates I think that no one has the legs for a long range attack ... they will eventually crack and lose to much time at the end! I would love to see Almeida going earlier but I fear that tomorrow he won’t have the legs after the last 2 mountain stages efforts. Let’s see how he’ll recover for tomorrow
 
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If even one of the wet mountain stages had been dry, we would be looking at a climax to this Giro for the ages. As it is, Yates is clearly the strongest at this point but there doesn’t seem to be the kind of opportunities he would need to really challenge Bernal’s lead.
Now we enter the world of the what ifs. If I were to guess before the race I would have put the money on rain and cold rather than sun. So we are asking for too much. If anything Bernal would have put more time into Yates on stage 16 if it wasn't for the curtailment.
 
I still think the gradients and effort are more than enough to shatter things if a team really wants. Lots of fatigue and effort in the legs tomorrow.

Best hope of an all out assault on Bernal is probably an alliance though, otherwise I think it will be a podium fight.
That talk today between Knox and Yates caught on camera seemed to me like Yates talking in short sentences, Knox just listening very carefully and going "Aye, aye captain".
 
I like the stage design actually, and I even like it as the final stage of GC action in mountains. But given the underwhelming and comparatively easy Giro we've had so far, it doesn't quite do enough. Hopefully we'll see some great action in what has been a pretty tame Giro otherwise.
I'd argue that stages 11, 16, 17 were VERY hard, even with the semi-neutralization of stage 16, that was a hard day out because of the weather and hard pace. They were raced hard and fast without any breaks.

I think if this Giro seems underwhelming, it's largely due to crashes and injuries that took out Landa, Hindley, Remco, Ciccone and a fair number of key domestiques. I guess I'd say it's been different rather than disappointing. Although the sprint stages were a big nothingburger to me.
 
Youre a bit too pessimistic now. If all the climbs had 1% more it would be a really great stage. I fear its a tad too easy, but this is stage 20, 3 climbs and relatively high altitude. Sure the racing situation can make it so it will be a passive stage. I dont really have any problem with it, although I admit it feels flat after the queen stage getting shortened. Could be a lot worse..
I agree, if it wasn't for the tappone being turned into a tappino I'd be totally fine wih this one.
The could have ended the descend earlier to start the final climb directly in Pianazzo, that would cut the first 2.5km of the last climb to force people to attack before the final climb.
 
Splügen is a good place to launch an attack . It's not that easy IMO.

Dumoulin got dethroned on lesser climbs in the Vuelta.

If the riders wait for the last climb, there will not be big gaps. Bernal can survive one final effort uphill.
 
I think % gradients on climbs in the final week of a GT have less importance (& even sometimes in week one as well).

Just look at last year's Vuelta, i.e. Roglic was dropped on the relatively easy Formigal (okay, bad weather & the rain jacket incident) & on the final La Covatilla mountain stage (where the % was not high, although the wind was). If the race explodes, domestiques drop & form of the leaders is the deciding factor, then yeah, all it takes is a 6-7% climb to blow someone up entirely.

I'm not saying that'll happen to Bernal, but there's still a race to be won here.
 
At this time of the race, even those gradients at altitude can do a lot of damage. Remember that there are a lot of tired legs now. I remember Sestriere last year that had shallow gradients. That was enough to split the peloton to pieces.
Yeah I think people are being too pessimistic as well. A lot of people remember the outcome of stages and then in hindsight it seems like it was all written in stone but that's very rare in cycling. Today was a lot of fun for me. Similarly, I remember stage 20 in the 2017 Giro on a far less promising profile where Quintana and Nibali kept attacking Dumoulin and I really believe had Bob Jungels not been fighting for GC the end of that story would have been completely different.

But yeah, in terms of epic attacks unless Yates really pays for the last few days or Bernal cracks early I see some huge fireworks being set off early. Haven't been this excited for a stage since the 2015 Tour.
 
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Yeah I think people are being to pessimistic as well. A lot of people remember the outcome of stages and then in hindsight it seems like it was all written in stone but that's very rare in cycling. Today was a lot of fun for me. Similarly, I remember stage 20 in the 2017 Giro on a far less promising profile where Quintana and Nibali kept attacking Dumoulin and I really believe had Bob Jungels not been fighting for GC the end of that story would have been completely different.

But yeah, in terms of epic attacks unless Yates really pays for the last few days or Bernal cracks early I see some huge fireworks being set off early. Haven't been this excited for a stage since the 2015 Tour.
I liked that profile. The 20km of rolling terrain directly after the summit meant there was likely going to be actual bike racing, where guys pedal their bikes really fast along the roads, and so it proved. I'd like to see something like that more often, where there's a bit of breathing space for the race after the last obstacle, rather than the line being right at the top or toe of the mountain.

Dumoulin was definitely lucky to have Beneluxers Jungels and "I'm trying for the stage win, honest" Mollema along to help chase, but Nibali and Quintana were lucky that Pinot and Zakarin both wanted the stage win too. (I completely forgot until I checked the results just now, but Dumoulin jumped from 4th to 1st in the TT the next day).
 
Serious damage can be done on this profile but requires a determined and capable squad, and a touch of lady luck for everything to go in the right direction.
San Bernardino has the length, the descents are technical enough (where's important to be such), false flat only along Hinterrhein, Splügenpass and Alpe Motta tough exactly how much they should be at this point in the race.
The trouble, or maybe a favourable circumstance, is the strongest team is the one to race against.
There's something for everything and everyone... stage hunters, tempo grinding, breakaway scouts.
 
Mar 13, 2021
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I dont think that Yates can really take enough distance in his own. Maybe of Bernal really cracks and Yates can work with a couple of other riders like Almeida/Caruso/Vlasov they can really take a lot of distance.

But this scenario unfortunately is not very likely.
 

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