Giro d'Italia 2020, stage 18: Pinzolo - Laghi di Cancano 207 km

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In whose bag is the queen stage of this Giro

  • Vincenzo Nibali

    Votes: 19 28.8%
  • Antonio Nibali

    Votes: 47 71.2%

  • Total voters
    66
What a great stage. A few thoughts, most of which have been covered by others:

* I agreed this morning with the stage preview by Eshnar, where he said that the seemingly voluntary 10km of flat before the final climb was a flaw. But in hindsight it really added to the intrigue. Dennis absolutely burying himself in that section really, really put Sunweb under pressure.

* Rohan Dennis was absolutely brilliant today. I am always amazed at riders who do a job like this for seemingly minimal personal gain. He really went up in my estimation today.

* Kelderman actually rode very well up the final climb. I had thought he should have fought harder to stay on Fuglsang's wheel, but he probably got as much as possible out of his resources.

* Anybody criticising Hindley for "wheel sucking" doesn't really understand cycling.

* One could argue that he should have attacked earlier. I am sure if it was an uphill finish, he would have gone 500m or so before the line and tried to gain 10 seconds on him plus the bonus differential. But the flat section before the line meant he probably would have had to attack 3km out. And I don't think he had the legs to hold off Tao in the sprint. This would have jeopardised the stage win and pink for either himself or Wilco. It is definitely an argument, but I think the way he rode showed that he barely had the legs to sprint past Tao.

* I really don't have a clue who will win. I personally think Kelderman is the outsider of the 3, but the course change on Saturday is in his favour. I would marginally favour him in a time trial, but who knows how well done his goose is cooked?
 
I am actually considering that Pello Bilbao might not be out of this. If Bahrain get creative and can use Pernsteiner, and if Novak has these legs again, if Sunweb and Ineos are busy looking at each other he could get himself close enough to steal something in the ITT.

I think it's probably Hindley & Hart in a CRI shootout, but with the 'new' Sestrières stage it's a different story. A lot more tempo climbing than if they were going up the Colle di Agnello, and all three climbs of similar style rather than the varying types of the original stage design.

However, the point for Tao was that if he went all out, yes he might toast himself, but Hindley had absolutely no reason to attack as long as Kelderman would still acquire the maglia rosa. Especially once Tao took the bonus sprint at Valdidentro and Jai would therefore not be acquiring the jersey himself. At that point, as long as Kelderman's within 2'28" (he had 2'42" over Tao, minus the 3" Tao got in Valdidentro and the 10" bonus for winning the stage if Hindley doesn't win the sprint, = 2'29"), Hindley's cards include Kelderman. It would only be once the Kelderman card is removed from play that Tao could ask anything of Hindley. As a result, his best chance of getting a) the stage victory, and b) the maglia rosa, was to go 100% to try to either drop Hindley, or get that time gap up above Kelderman's GC lead, at which point Hindley, now behind Geogeghan Hart after the intermediate, would then have the incentive on him to attack.

By going at anything less than 100%, he increased his chances of winning the stage, but he simultaneously hurt them by not tiring Hindley out as much, nor giving him any incentive to contribute, and therefore there was no way that Tao could get the jump on him in the sprint. A tricky run in to the line and some crafty use of the best racing lines by Geogeghan Hart made it as tough as he could possibly make it for Hindley to come around him, but with Jai being comparatively fresh (as fresh as one can be after a stage like that of course) it wasn't quite enough; of course with the bonus seconds meaning he fell back behind Hindley, he ended up neither winning the stage nor taking the maglia rosa.

At the same time he may not have got either had he gone all out - but he might be 3" off Hindley in the GC rather than 15" off Kelderman AND 3" off Hindley.
The top 4 of GC right now are similarly placed to the top 4 of the 2008 TdF, with Bilbao in the Sastre position. He could steal it from right under their noses on Saturday.
 
Reactions: Carols
Just finished watching the stage quickly in about 40 minutes, fast forwarding a lot. How I wish I could have seen this live. WTF just happened? This is why we love cycling, even though it's a mickey mouse field right now.
 
Kelderman have ridden a perfect race given his capabilities and his age. He took advantage of his fitness when he could. Now he is feeling weaker and is defending his lead. He is doing the most he can. I can even say that he can win it even though there are other riders stronger than him and that they could lose it because of tactics.
 
Where to start with this one. Considering Tao Hart's sprint i guess Hindley was comparable with him in terms of strength. Otherwise he would likely test the guy when Bilbao was closing down. Bilbao did a great recovery and is only over 1min behind the pink. The pink himself climbed quite well and limited his losses but on the flat in Bormio he was looking horrible. Maybe too cold after the descent and needed time to heat his muscles again? Almeida is the Alaphilippe of this race. Still, great showing. Nibali's bag memes may finally be put to rest. Majka confirmed that he's just a slightly better Pozzovivo, how dissapeared quickly but closed down the Pole to just 1:30.

One sure great thing for everyone happened and that's Stelvio proper side being properly ridden. I still don't think it's on the level of Froome doing a Landis (that was cosmicly bonkers) but i would rate it around the 2005 finestre stage with a similar outcome. Unlike then it it has an additional plus in giving a rather eunich stage to Sestriere some additional balls.

Those 20s are possible to take back on Sestriere. I don't think Tao Hart should be scared of pulling Hindley with him as he seems to be better in TT while if Keldermann will have trouble on Sestriere then i also don't expect a good showing on the final TT. Maybe it's possible to have a similar to today Skineos surge on next to last Sestriere ascent to see how Kelderman reacts but not too much to not kill Tao Hart and give Hindley additional time. That last TT is not that long. Now i'm off to watch Vuelta.
 
Reactions: barmaher
Good win by Hindley. He looks to be the best climber out there today. Great ride by Dennis, didn't know he had it in him to turn himself inside out for someone else like that.

The tactics were really complicated, and its hard to work out all the game theory after climbing the Stelvio, but think Tao miffed it a bit by not just TTing up that last climb. If Hindley was stronger and free then coaxing attacks out of him would likely be counterproductive; if he was weaker, you either drop him, or cost yourself a few bonus seconds but gain a lot more time on the field. I think what ended up happening was thay Hindley was at least as good but not ready to commit to an attack, so had Tao pushed it from the start of the climb nothing would have changed bar the time gaps. But that's all to easy to say that after the fact, from the comfort of my laptop keyboard, with no consequences or pressure to make the right call.
 
Excellent stage. Intriguing that there are now 3 within 15s of each other on GC.
Ordinarily the course change and TT would suit kelderman it just depends on how cooked he is. Tao and Hindley are obviously the strongest climbers but the change in course means Sestriere is going to have to be ridden v. Hard to make big gaps
 
Helderman, Hindley and Hart, what a top 3! It sounds like the name of a lawyers' firm.

If Hindley had waited for Kelderman Sunweb wouldn't have won the stage, but Kelderman would have had a bigger lead in the GC, maybe 40-50 seconds. About tactical decisions like these one can argue forever. This will be decided in the ITT on Sunday.
 
Reactions: SHAD0W93
Kelderman have ridden a perfect race given his capabilities and his age. He took advantage of his fitness when he could. Now he is feeling weaker and is defending his lead. He is doing the most he can. I can even say that he can win it even though there are other riders stronger than him and that they could lose it because of tactics.
Kelderman is leading only because a rider stronger than him is in his team (as we saw on Piancavallo and today).
 
Such a comedy top 10. Just randomly assorted professional cyclists scattered around one past it champion. Am I right in thinking that the nine guys not named Vincenzo have one GT top five between them? Kelderman’s Vuelta fourth from a few years back?

And the other eight guys have three GT placings between 6-10 between them?
 
Looking up the TT results:
Stage 1:
  • Almeida: 0:22
  • Bilbao 0:59
  • Hindley 1:15
  • Kelderman 1:28
  • Geoghegan 2:04
Stage 14:
  • Almeida 1:31
  • Kelderman 1:47
  • Geoghegan 2:24
  • Bilbao 2:53
  • Hindley 3:39
No idea what happened to TGH in the first TT (didn't go all out? That could be costly...), and yeah, stage 21 TTs can be weird, but I'm not seeing a big advantage for him on any of the other contenders.
 
Reactions: richwallone
so ineos will attack kelderman on saturday, but hindley has at least as good legs as hart so they wont be able to drop him, which means hindley will end up in pink and magic of leaders jersey will help him in final TT to win giro to the applause of sunweb directors because kelderman is leaving for Bora next season

all according to keikaku
 
Looking up the TT results:
Stage 1:
  • Almeida: 0:22
  • Bilbao 0:59
  • Hindley 1:15
  • Kelderman 1:28
  • Geoghegan 2:04
Stage 14:
  • Almeida 1:31
  • Kelderman 1:47
  • Geoghegan 2:24
  • Bilbao 2:53
  • Hindley 3:39
No idea what happened to TGH in the first TT (didn't go all out? That could be costly...), and yeah, stage 21 TTs can be weird, but I'm not seeing a big advantage for him on any of the other contenders.
He destroyed Hindley in the second TT.
 
Looking up the TT results:
Stage 1:
  • Almeida: 0:22
  • Bilbao 0:59
  • Hindley 1:15
  • Kelderman 1:28
  • Geoghegan 2:04
Stage 14:
  • Almeida 1:31
  • Kelderman 1:47
  • Geoghegan 2:24
  • Bilbao 2:53
  • Hindley 3:39
No idea what happened to TGH in the first TT (didn't go all out? That could be costly...), and yeah, stage 21 TTs can be weird, but I'm not seeing a big advantage for him on any of the other contenders.
Stage 1 had wind which caused all the late starters to lose big time.
 
I'm not surprised. Dennis has had pretensions to go for GC in the past, and don't forget the TdS last year. He's capable of pulling off a performance like this at least once per GT, I think.
Except those pretensions never materialized, the TdS didn't have a climb like Stelvio and he never pulled off a performance like this in a GT.

Aside from the facts, I can see your point, sure.
 
Kelderman is a dumba**. Sorry but can't get around to like him... Stop being so candid with your stoopidity...

View: https://twitter.com/inrng/status/1319292363328507911?s=20
I wouldn't call him dumb for that. Might turn out as a decision that costed Sunweb the race. For now they did both, getting the stage and pink, but it was certainly not the "save" thing to do. Then again, the risk might very well pay off with having the stage today and two guys on the podium in the end.
 
Reactions: richwallone

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