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 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).
I agree with you that those stages are often fun, and on some days that would be the case, but on the last mountain stage before the final day time trial those valley stages don't work quite as well. Because it's usually a slightly less fatigued climber trying desperately to raid time on a heavier all-rounder on the last day. So you if you want a GC battle you often need a stage more like tomorrow's or like the 2015 Vuelta stage to Cercedilla where you give the climbers more of a shot to pull of a raid like that.

In 2017 it was two guys, who both had won Grand Tours, strong teams and a reputation for raiding, going all out -one of them being a fair enough rouleur himself-. And they fell short. But if you had that profile tomorrow then Yates's only gamble would be to go solo from Grappa and hope against hope that Caruso or Almeida help him pull on the flat against Moscon and Castroviejo, which seems more like a Kamikaze mission than a Dolittle raid. At that point, even given the amount you need to take back, you would just be better off pushing the pace and waiting for Foza and crossing your fingers that Bernal cracks. Tomorrow Yates actually has a couple of ways to play it if he has the legs.
 
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I like these kinds of stages as a final mountain stage. You really need to make something happen here, it's not like the Mortirolo or Zoncolan where you can just hope the gradient blows your rivals. I think it'll be interesting, because a few teams have motivation to make things exceptionally difficult.
 
I like these kinds of stages as a final mountain stage. You really need to make something happen here, it's not like the Mortirolo or Zoncolan where you can just hope the gradient blows your rivals. I think it'll be interesting, because a few teams have motivation to make things exceptionally difficult.
I agree with you. I'd prefer to have a climb at the start of the stage, that would make the break a lot harder to control.
This stage should suit a diesel like Caruso more than today.
 
In 2017 it was two guys, who had won Grand Tours, strong teams and a reputation for raiding, going all out, one of them being a fair enough rouleur himself. But if you had that profile tomorrow then Yates only gamble would be to go solo from Grappa and hope against hope that Caruso or Almeida help him pull on the flat against Moscon and Castroviejo seems more like a Kamikaze mission than a Dolittle raid. At that point you would just be better off pushing the pace and waiting for Foza and crossing your fingers that Bernal cracks. Tomorrow Yates actually has a couple of ways to play it if he has the legs.
No GT stage is ever designed knowing the exact race situation that will obtain. I'd just like to see a few more of those with 15-20km of flat road before the finish. The 2017 Tour had a couple, (Uran's stage win, Contador's raid on the 110km stage) and it led to great racing with the gc riders coalescing into a couple of groups of 4-6 riders with varying numbers of teammates all trying to TTT against each other.

For Yates, if Moscon is still with Bernal on the final climb tomorrow, then either Yates, Caruso et al have given up and everyone is cruising to the finish anyway, or Bernal has cracked so badly that he's out of the picture.

If Yates and Almeida can get separation from Ineos before the top of Splugenpass, and have the sense to work together, the GC race is game on.
 
It's the old "people complain no matter what" cliche haha, like if the last mountain stage is too hard, people immediately complain that everyone will ride conservatively for the last week waiting for the final stage. I think it'll be pretty good even if Bernal has to totally implode to lose.
 
Could be an interesting stage but the outcome will be the same, Bernal going to Milano with a comfortable advantage. Only way he loses this is if he cracks, haven't seen any sign today or if he will be isolated somewhere far from the finish which again seems impossible. He climbed very well, Yates was stratospheric and Almeida is establishing himself as part of the new trend of outstanding performances but this Giro was won probably on Giau.
 
No GT stage is ever designed knowing the exact race situation that will obtain. I'd just like to see a few more of those with 15-20km of flat road before the finish. The 2017 Tour had a couple, (Uran's stage win, Contador's raid on the 110km stage) and it led to great racing with the gc riders coalescing into a couple of groups of 4-6 riders with varying numbers of teammates all trying to TTT against each other.

For Yates, if Moscon is still with Bernal on the final climb tomorrow, then either Yates, Caruso et al have given up and everyone is cruising to the finish anyway, or Bernal has cracked so badly that he's out of the picture.

If Yates and Almeida can get separation from Ineos before the top of Splugenpass, and have the sense to work together, the GC race is game on.
It basically requires the final climb at least to be really steep and hard and it should generally be the last mountain stage in a sequence. But mostly it just depends on the climb
 
It's the old "people complain no matter what" cliche haha, like if the last mountain stage is too hard, people immediately complain that everyone will ride conservatively for the last week waiting for the final stage. I think it'll be pretty good even if Bernal has to totally implode to lose.
There's a balance, and I don't think it's extremely narrow.
 
Bahrain will work with Ineos!
It's not like Bahrain have many climbing domestiques left, Bilbao is always at the back of the bunch and not alongside Caruso when the pace goes up on the climbs.
Tomorrow might be the one day that Caruso could actually risk something, he's almost 4min ahead of Vlasov on the gc.
Nibali helping his old friend out and drilling it on a descent or working for him if he's in the breakaway and gets caught might happen.
 
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It's not like Bahrain have many climbing domestiques left, Bilbao is always at the back of the bunch and not alongside Caruso when the pace goes up on the climbs.
Tomorrow might be the one day that Caruso could actually risk something, he's almost 4min ahead of Vlasov on the gc.
Nibali helping his old friend out and drilling it on a descent or working for him if he's in the breakaway and gets caught might happen.
"See old friend, told you we would win the Giro together"

Insert Michael Scott crying gif
 
It's not like Bahrain have many climbing domestiques left, Bilbao is always at the back of the bunch and not alongside Caruso when the pace goes up on the climbs.
Tomorrow might be the one day that Caruso could actually risk something, he's almost 4min ahead of Vlasov on the gc.
Nibali helping his old friend out and drilling it on a descent or working for him if he's in the breakaway and gets caught might happen.
Carusso would trade his wife for the podium!!!
 
It basically requires the final climb at least to be really steep and hard and it should generally be the last mountain stage in a sequence. But mostly it just depends on the climb
Well really it depends on the riders. The parcours tomorrow is hard enough to split the field. It depends who suffers more, who is stronger and who is weaker. If Ineos is stronger than all other teams, then Bernal won’t lose any time.

Get rid of every Sky helper outside of Martinez on San Bernardino, thats the only chance
How do you do that without burning your own matches? And if they can’t ditch Martinez, who’s in the top 10 on merit don’t forget, have they really cracked Bernal?

Bernal is not going to leave Martinez’s side until Dani is completely 100% spent and/or there is no other choice.
 
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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.
yeah, i agree. thats how yates cemented his vuelta win a couple years ago too, on a moderate climb
 
I can't see any team on their current strength being strong enough by themselves to drop the likes of Narvaez, Castro and Moscon (and possibly Ganna) on San Bernardino. However, if they do manage to do that, they'll likely be leaving their leader isolated and Bernal will have Martinez. I think there are only two teams here who'll even try too with BikeExchange and QS who'll probably go all in for Almeida on the stage victory again. If Bahrain had Mohoric and Mader here, I could see them trying something but as now it's just Bilbao with Caruso, they'll just be in defence mode unless Bernal cracks.
 
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Almeida is impressing. He has worked hard since 2020 to improve his climbing. Martinez is doing a good Richie Porte impersonation. - valuable support for Bernal. I agree with the poll trend, looks like Yates will eek out another 30 seconds but it won't be enough. Kudos to him for trying.
 
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Tomorrow is a very hard stage! The hardest of this Giro. If Yates had a better team i would expect them to put a lot of effort since the beginning.

Cheering for almeida! Hope he gets the so deserved stage tomorrow! Won't be easy but is shape is fantastic. I still can't believe how much did he improved this last year. One of the best talents of the world. As portuguese you can't imagine how happy I am. We never had a cyclist for GC. Rui Costa is great for classics and for individual stages.
 

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