Giro d'Italia 2022 Giro d'Italia, Stage 20: Belluno – Marmolada 168 km (Saturday, May 28th)

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Who could've imagined that the Giro designed to be 100% on the final two days would come down to the final two days? Vegni got what he wanted and with the race decided - possibly by some tiny margin - on the final weekend it's all people will end up remembering "what a legendary Giro! etc". A shame that about 15 previous days were instantly forgettable eh
 
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This is one of the most spectacular stages one can design, landscape-wise. At first they will head north-west passing huge vertical towers of Monte Agner and Pale di San Lucano. Soon afterwards they will be not far from monstrous Civetta (they will approach it for the second time later, with better views). Then Vezzana massif and Cattinaccio (the latter after descending from San Pellegrino). Then, before and during the ascent to Pordoi they will ride in the proximity of spectacular Sassolungo and Sella massifs. And Marmolada at the end OFC. Been there, saw all of them.

Unfortunately the weather may not allow to see full views from helicopter but hopefully the action will be spectacular. However, the profile suggests it will be all about last 6 km. Will the big3 be finally separated? Will Hindley make the last push? He should, two years back (when the race was incredibly close as well) he lost the last TT battle.
 
The last six kilometers of the final ascent have a gradient of more than 10%, I think. Normally, there should be a small time gap between Carapaz and Hindley, at the stage finish line.

I think this gap could be between five and 20 seconds. I hope that Hindley gains 20 seconds, goes into the final ITT with an advantage, and wins the final GC.

To be honest, however, I believe Carapaz will be in front of Hindley tomorrow, on Sunday and overall. Carapaz is top end of world class, Hindley is (still) bottom end of world class.
 
break gets 10 minutes before the start of san pellegrino
peloton soft pedals san pellegrino and pordoi. we see them on screen for less than 2 minutes total over this time.
breakaway gets to fedaia with 8 minutes, we watch them on screen battle for the stage while never seeing the peloton once
hindley attacks 2.5km from the finish line, only carapaz and landa can follow. no gaps at the finish between them.
 
Who could've imagined that the Giro designed to be 100% on the final two days would come down to the final two days? Vegni got what he wanted and with the race decided - possibly by some tiny margin - on the final weekend it's all people will end up remembering "what a legendary Giro! etc". A shame that about 15 previous days were instantly forgettable eh
That's like Tour 2011. Crap all the way then puff! Schleck raid on Galibier and Contador all out on Telegraphe/Alpe and most people labet it epic forgetting the other 19 stages
 
That's like Tour 2011. Crap all the way then puff! Schleck raid on Galibier and Contador all out on Telegraphe/Alpe and most people labet it epic forgetting the other 19 stages
Those final two mountain stages were among the greatest days of racing of the decade though. Whatever happens, this weekend will not be able to match that. But yes, if tomorrow is somehow epic this Giro will rank close to that Tour given that we've had one excellent day so far (not quite on the magnitude of those Tour stages though).
 
That's like Tour 2011. Crap all the way then puff! Schleck raid on Galibier and Contador all out on Telegraphe/Alpe and most people labet it epic forgetting the other 19 stages
the entire last week of that race was fantastic though, it wasn't just the last two mountain stages. the Gap stage was incredible and the Pinerolo stage was pretty good as well.
 
Tomorrow will be the first day that showing lengthy pictures of scenery and nature instead of the GC action will be the correct and justified course of action, so I'm sure they'll show Carapaz and Hindley riding more arm in arm than Piepoli and Riccò for every single excruciating second in unnecessary detail and we'll miss the Serrai. This stage should finish on Pordoi. Unfortunately it seems the only one of the front trio with any interest in gaining time is Landa and he clearly doesn't have the legs to distance the other two, let alone by enough to overcome his inevitable time loss on Sunday.

The first 19 stages have been as boring as the 2012 Giro and the 2020 Tour, but at least those races had more people still in it at this point. A mythical mountain like FEDAIAAAAAA needs a winner worthy of it. It's only been an MTF once before and it was Emanuele Sella demonstrating how riders up to their eyeballs in CERA SHOULD race, so there's both an element of needing panache and also needing a redemption story. And God knows this Giro needs some redeeming. I guess therefore that I'll have to be rooting for the only man to come out of this GC battle with his dignity intact.

Jan Hirt.
 
Tomorrow will be the first day that showing lengthy pictures of scenery and nature instead of the GC action will be the correct and justified course of action, so I'm sure they'll show Carapaz and Hindley riding more arm in arm than Piepoli and Riccò for every single excruciating second in unnecessary detail and we'll miss the Serrai. This stage should finish on Pordoi. Unfortunately it seems the only one of the front trio with any interest in gaining time is Landa and he clearly doesn't have the legs to distance the other two, let alone by enough to overcome his inevitable time loss on Sunday.

The first 19 stages have been as boring as the 2012 Giro and the 2020 Tour, but at least those races had more people still in it at this point. A mythical mountain like FEDAIAAAAAA needs a winner worthy of it. It's only been an MTF once before and it was Emanuele Sella demonstrating how riders up to their eyeballs in CERA SHOULD race, so there's both an element of needing panache and also needing a redemption story. And God knows this Giro needs some redeeming. I guess therefore that I'll have to be rooting for the only man to come out of this GC battle with his dignity intact.

Jan Hirt.
I will actually say I mostly don't blame the lower GC riders in the top 15. Some have teammates higher up, and they mostly haven't really had the legs. I think I mostly blame Hindley so far. Unless he's literally wind tunnel tested a new position on the rest days he's gonna lose the ITT.

Other than that the simple concept of steepest MTF and ITT as the penultimate and final stages are horrendous. Final stage TTs are terrible if there's no obvious beneficiary. It worked in 2017 with Dumoulin because Dumoulin was getting dropped on the climbs in the third week and he was obviously gonna gain big time in the final ITT, which led to a dynamic that made even a pretty lame mountain stage like Foza pretty good in the end.
 
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