Giro d'Italia 2022 Giro d'Italia, Stage 19: Marano Lagunare – Santuario di Castelmonte 178 km (Friday, May 27th)

From @Eshnar's excellent 2022 Giro d'Italia: Stage-by-stage Analysis thread: https://forum.cyclingnews.com/threads/2022-giro-ditalia-stage-by-stage-analysis.37819/#post-2691578

Stage 19: Marano Lagunare – Santuario di Castelmonte 178 km
Friday, May 27th, 12:10 CET





Technical Overview:
The best stage of the whole race for long range attacks comes on the last Friday, with one big MTF still looming on the horizon, which is not ideal. Starting from Marano Lagunare, on the Adriatic coast, the peloton will make a detour in Slovenia, just like they did last year, but this time on a much tougher course. The first 67 km of this stage are mostly flat, with only the intermediate sprint in Buja spicing things up. Upon entering the mountains, the riders will hit the first climb of the day, Villanova Grotte (GPM3, 3.7 km at 8%) a short and quite steep climb that brings to the famous caves of the same name. The descent is also short, but it is very narrow and quite tricky, as it is often the case in this part of Italy. There will be no respite at the bottom, as the second climb of the day begins immediately. Passo di Tanamea (GPM3, 9.7 km at 5.3%) is a much gentler climb, with wide roads and a simple descent. The descent brings to the Slovenian border, and after another small climb and a longer descent the peloton will finally enter a flattish valley, around 15 km long. The riders will then reach the town of Kobarid, known in Italian as Caporetto, and very famous as our most ruinous defeat in WW1. Here they will start the biggest climb of the day, perhaps the hardest of the whole race: Kolovrat (GPM1, 10.3 km at 9.2%) a very steep climb that will cause havoc in the peloton and would be the perfect spot for an all-or-nothing attack. The descent is tricky as well, although it is not particularly steep, and in some section is little more than a false flat, but the road is always twisty and it will be hard to chase there. The only problem of this stage is the 15 km long valley at the bottom to reach the intermediate sprint of Cividale del Friuli, where the final climb will begin. Santuario di Castelmonte (GPM2, 7.1 km at 7.8%) is definitely easier than the previous climb but it is still a good climb to decide the stage winner.

Final km:



The Climbs:

Villanova Grotte
: GPM3, 3.7 km at 8%
A short but tough climb, with some scenic caves at the top.



Passo di Tanamea: GPM3, 9.7 km at 5.3%
The easiest climb of the day in terms of gradient.



Kolovrat: GPM1, 10.3 km at 9.2%
A great climb with some huge ramps. After a rather disappointing Slovenian stage last year, this time they have gone for it.



Santuario di Castelmonte: GPM2, 7.1 km at 7.8%
A very irregular climb that might prove much more selective than it looks.



What to expect:
Solo attacks are probably going to get killed by those 15 kms, but very small groups should definitely form on Kolovrat, and then who knows what is going to happen…


Santuario di Castelmonte
 
Call me a sceptic, but nothing of significance will happen on Kolovrat.
Same. Big problem is that the three strongest riders also have the strongest teams. If Bahrain tries something Bora and Ineos will change. And vice versa if Bora or Ineos try something.
Expecting more of the same tommorrow. Ineos train leading the group to the last climb. Bahrain takes over and reduces the group. In the end the Landa, Hindley and Carapaz look at each but nothing happens.
 
Same. Big problem is that the three strongest riders also have the strongest teams. If Bahrain tries something Bora and Ineos will change. And vice versa if Bora or Ineos try something.
Expecting more of the same tommorrow. Ineos train leading the group to the last climb. Bahrain takes over and reduces the group. In the end the Landa, Hindley and Carapaz look at each but nothing happens.
Also the hardest part of the final climb is from 1.5 to 0.5km to go.

Not that I want to criticize this stage too much. It would be pretty exciting in most GTs. But not this one.
 
Same. Big problem is that the three strongest riders also have the strongest teams. If Bahrain tries something Bora and Ineos will change. And vice versa if Bora or Ineos try something.
Expecting more of the same tommorrow. Ineos train leading the group to the last climb. Bahrain takes over and reduces the group. In the end the Landa, Hindley and Carapaz look at each but nothing happens.
Yup. Nibali is our only hope, but he's too far back and lacks the legs in any case.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The optimist in me says that the most attacking top contender in the race has everything to gain and due to his large time buffer nothing to really lose. Having said that, whilst Landa is on pretty good form, It's probably not enough to drop the top 2 off the wheels, he will have to try and catch them inattentive at some point.
 
The optimist in me says that the most attacking top contender in the race has everything to gain and due to his large time buffer nothing to really lose. Having said that, whilst Landa is on pretty good form, It's probably not enough to drop the top 2 off the wheels, he will have to try and catch them inattentive at some point.
I suppose the large gap between 3rd and 4th is conducive to Landa attacking. He'd really have to blow up to risk losing the podium.
 
Best scenario is Pello Bilbao follows, then Bahrain wont chase him
Bilbao is probably the one "dangerous" rider for Nibs at this point though. It may simply be that Vincenzo has made peace with his legs and decided to defend his 4th spot, which isn't bad at all (except for us fans). And without him attacking I also fear that this stage won't be that exciting from afar. Unless Landa goes full Landani.
 
If he's the Landa we know and hold in such high esteem, tomorrow he should really attack early. He's basically got nothing to lose: even if Nibs magically finds good legs he's almost five minutes down. He would have to blow up worse than 2018 Yates to lose his podium spot, but if he drills the descent with Bilbao he can probably drop a lot of Ineos and Bora domestiques and battle it out with Carapaz and Hindley. If at the end of the day they are stronger than him, so be it. It's not like he was gonna gain a minute on them on the TT anyway.
 
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