Giro d'Italia 2023 Giro d'Italia, Stage 19: Longarone – Tre Cime di Lavaredo 183 km (Friday, May 26th)

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So the queen stage is upon us! I'm hoping for drama, maybe even a GC action from Giau on (one can always hope). Primoz needs to take time on Thomas, the gap is not big but it's still there. It won't be easy as Thomas looks very hard to drop. Almeida is still in the game as well. Not sure if a breakaway can succeed, the big boys and big teams will want this stage.

BTW this is one of most beautiful stage (scenery wise) one can imagine. The road passes close to most spectacular massifs of the Dolomites. First, near Agordo they will pass majestic towers of Monte Agner, 2 km tall. Nearby Valle di San Lucano (relatively unknown and without people) is one of most dramatic valleys I've ever seen (and that includes most dramatic Himalayan views). Vertical towers from both sides are outstanding. Then (near Alleghe) they will be near a climbing icon, Civetta. Over a kilometer of vertical rock. They won't be far from Marmolada as well. Then (near Varparola) they will be close to Tofane di Rozes. Pink, glowing mountain. Near Cortina and Tre Croci they will be close to majestic Sorapiss and Cristallo massifs. And obviously Tre Cime at the end. Reliving my trekking there, I just couldn't help myself :p

Agner and San Lucano towers (Valle di San Lucano):
Civetta:
Tofane di Rozes:
Sunset over monstrous Sorapiss from Lago di Mosigio, one of most spectacular views in the Dolomites (and not crowded)
Resting in the shadow of Tre Cime, on very loose stones and rocks:
 
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So the queen stage is upon us! I'm hoping for drama, maybe even a GC action from Giau on (one can always hope). Primoz needs to take time on Thomas, the gap is not big but it's still there. It won't be easy as Thomas looks very hard to drop. Almeida is still in the game as well. Not sure if a breakaway can succeed, the big boys and big teams will want this stage.

BTW this is one of most beautiful stage (scenery wise) one can imagine. The road passes close to most spectacular massifs of the Dolomites. First, near Agordo they will pass majestic towers of Monte Agner, 2 km tall. Nearby Valle di San Lucano (relatively unknown and without people) is one of most dramatic valleys I've ever seen (and that includes most dramatic Himalayan views). Vertical towers from both sides are outstanding. Then (near Alleghe) they will be near a climbing icon, Civetta. Over a kilometer of vertical rock. They won't be far from Marmolada as well. Then (near Varparola) they will be close to Tofane di Rozes. Pink, glowing mountain. Near Cortina and Tre Croci they will be close to majestic Sorapiss and Cristallo massifs. And obviously Tre Cime at the end. Reliving my trekking there, I just couldn't help myself :p

Agner and San Lucano towers (Valle di San Lucano):
Civetta:
Tofane di Rozes:
Sunset over monstrous Sorapiss from Lago di Mosigio, one of most spectacular views in the Dolomites (and not crowded)
Resting in the shadow of Tre Cime, on very loose stones and rocks:
<3

I definitely want to visit the Dolomites in the near future.
 
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Zana hard pace for Dunbar on Giau and Tre Croci looking to put proper time into better tters before Saturday best chance of decent action I think.

Earlyish surprise would be the best chance of getting separation from Thomas for the others but they will probably deduce that it's too much risk, try in the the last few K and have to settle with a 30s deficit.
 
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I'm not overly optimistic about how great tomorrow will be. However, the good thing about stages like this and in particular mtf's like this, is that once a rider is in difficulties, they are REALLY in difficulties. On this altitude and with this much climbing in their legs a small weakness can have huge consequences and that always makes things a lot more dramatic.
Also, it's not even like the 2013 stage was overly great, but Nibali conquering this climb in the snow...just mythical.
 
I also believe the big teams are going to want this stage; the break is not going to take it. We're at the point where recovery becomes the most important thing and I believe youth will win out tomorrow; Almeida to take the stage. Kuss/Roglic to take 5 seconds out of Thomas, and we will be all set for an epic MTT on Saturday.

This race is really missing Remco and Tao, but I'll still be enjoying these last two big days nonetheless.
 
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will someone between 4th and 8th really try it tomorrow and go early or be allowed into a move. The likely answer is no but there could be a reward if people underestimate you and the bug three just focus on themselves.

Leknessund could be underestimated, but this would be also a big result for him and he has no one in the team that could help him. Same for Kämna. Pinot maybe tries. If the Maglia Azzura is save he has nothing to loose and a lot to gain. Dunbar should try it especially as he has two or three guys in his team that could be potential sattelites. Lets get de Marchi, Matthews and zana in that break! I don't see it with Caruso this year. People shouldn't forget that this would be his second best GT result.

The fight for the break will be entertaining. Almost everyone between 11th and 25th wants to be in that break. I think Amirail and Rubio will be to close. I can totally see the break being chased harder then with teams like Bora, Bahrain, Jayco contributing. But even if not this could be a GC stage especially if Jumbo is interesting there team is in its depth just on another level than the others. Of course that's because of the bad luck of Ineos but they have basically four riders left for this stage if the pace is on.
 
Does anyone think thar Jumbo will light it up on the Giau? I think Roglic smells blood and he and Kuss might try something
Jumbo is the only squad that could properly gather up the deployment if they send Bouwman + Oomen up the road and let them hammer up Tre Croci if Roglic attacks on Giau and gaps Thomas & Almeida.

They'll only attack into the 3 Merlons ascend Heras & Armstrong style with Kuss & Roglic instead I think.
 
Does anyone think thar Jumbo will light it up on the Giau? I think Roglic smells blood and he and Kuss might try something
I'm expecting it won't be until the last 2-3k of Tre Cime before we get Roglic Vs Thomas. Giau is possibly too far out when Thomas has De Plus and Arensman.

I think a lot will still be looking at Saturday so I can't see the top 3 guys going that early.
 
So the fun thing about the GC being 30 seconds between three riders and an uncertain MTT coming up next is that outside of a tragic circumstance or race modification, this will almost surely be at least an exciting stage. I can't quite see Ineos sending up Arensman or De Plus, Roglic joining Caruso on a long move, or Dunbar/Zanna doing a Chaves/Bewley on Aitana. And I don't see UAE trying anything bar maybe shredding the field on Tre Croci if Almeida feels like a billion dollars. But while I hope the sparks start flying on Giau, even Tre Cime will be enough to sort the GC.

I guess my point is that this a rare instance where provided we get a full stage, even if the podium somehow arrives together, I will be more intrigued about how that happened than disappointed. But I really doubt that's in the cards.
 
3 pages and no picture of the actual Tre Cime yet?

1280px-Sonnenuntergang_mit_Blick_auf_die_Drei_Zinnen_%28cropped%29.jpg


I know Matterhorn is fantastic but these beauties are a good rival for an emblem of the Alps.

As someone who loves cycling, rock climbing and backcountry skiing it's a beautiful place to be, very envious of you @Mayomaniac to live so close by, I only got there once.
 
So the fun thing about the GC being 30 seconds between three riders and an uncertain MTT coming up next is that outside of a tragic circumstance or race modification, this will almost surely be at least an exciting stage. I can't quite see Ineos sending up Arensman or De Plus, Roglic joining Caruso on a long move, or Dunbar/Zanna doing a Chaves/Bewley on Aitana. And I don't see UAE trying anything bar maybe shredding the field on Tre Croci if Almeida feels like a billion dollars. But while I hope the sparks start flying on Giau, even Tre Cime will be enough to sort the GC.

I guess my point is that this a rare instance where provided we get a full stage, even if the podium somehow arrives together, I will be more intrigued about how that happened than disappointed. But I really doubt that's in the cards.
Funny, I have the complete opposite take. With 30 sec between them, I imagine they're gonna be riding quite conservatively tomorrow precisely because of that MTT coming up. A MTT is still a TT. Which means you get to decide exactly when and where you're gonna exert yourself. It's almost a safe haven of sorts, amongst tough mountain stages where you're not in control of the rythm: you are forced to react to other teams upping the pace or attacking. In a TT you get to decide how to pace your ride the whole way. Yes, this is a MTT, but the top-3 are all great climbers as well as TT specialists so I think that's the stage they're gonna focus on.
Now if the gaps amongst the top-3 were a bit bigger, I'd imagine a more exciting stage, with the one(s) a bit behind going full-attack mode, but in the scenario as it is? I wouldn't get my hopes up too much for this stage. I'd love to be proven wrong of course.

On another note: I can't actually remember Thomas doing a MTT. He must have at some point I assume, I just can't remember it. He should be pretty good at it I reckon, but does anybody know about his previous results in a similar stage?
 
I just hope something happens, finally.
Something did happen. Illnesses all around.
I mean, I'm there hoping alongside of you, but it's not like it was just all cowardice from teams. So many teams being hit by health issues both before and during this Giro kinda f-ed it all up. Let's just hope we will enjoy whatever is left.
 
The only ones who want a slow pace early on tomorrow are break artists or those trying to usurp the KOM jersey. Booo!!! Ineos will test Roglic again, his legs weren't good early on today, I guess that Ineos didn't believe their luck. They will ride. JV will need to assert themselves and show that their ninja episode today was a one off and that no one can mess with them. So the pace should be very high very early.

And since the Sun revolves around Thibaut PInot, GFC will ride early on so he can fight his KOM foes, knowing that outside Rubio, no one should be in the picture atop Passo Giau and beyond. Almeida? Part of me wants fireworks, but maybe the smart play is Geraint's wheel, let the last 4 km be the judge, be some sort of Carapaz...

This could be an epic stage and deliver sizeable gaps. I can't wait. And pray for Thibaut Pinot. When he said post-race today that his Giro is not over, I know, we know, can he surprise us one more time? Vai Tibopino!