Giro d'Italia stage 20, Stage 20: Alba – Sestriere 190 km

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Some people here call Kelderman a coward who does not attack. Actually he attacked a few times earlier in the Giro. I might be wrong, but can't remember TGH attacking by himself this Giro. Yesterday he was helped a lot by Dennis, who destroyed Kelderman.

Actually I don't think TGH can drop and distance Kelderman by himself. But he's got three incredible time trialists in Ganna, Dennis and Castroviejo who are very well able to pull a Stelvio on Kelderman. Positive for Kelderman is he might not be on his own tomorrow, guys like Oomen and Hamilton can help him out. If I were Sunweb, I would leave the helpers with Kelderman and give Hindley free reigns to follow TGH if he goes.

Tomorrow is going to be a cat and mouse game, a raw power struggle, life and death...great. Head says TGH, heart says Kelderman. And then I didn't even mention Hindley or Bilbao.
 
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Actually I expect some real fireworks to happen from all type of riders, right from the gun, not only the GC guys teams. Think they're very aware of the criticism of "weak rider cancellation" impression and a lot of different riders will prove us wrong. I mean, it's their last chance to do the difference.
Should be good.
 
Actually I expect some real fireworks to happen from all type of riders, right from the gun, not only the GC guys teams. Think they're very aware of the criticism of "weak rider cancellation" impression and a lot will prove us wrong. I mean, it's their last chance to do the difference.
Should be good.
I think most of them will laugh it off and just finish and then finish tomorrow then party then go home
 
Interesting potential scenarios for tomorrow..... I think:

Sunweb:
Will want to keep the tempo high all day, especially on climbs, to try and put pressure on Hart and his slightly heavier team. They will probably wait for the last ascend to have Kelderman and Hindley take turns, to try and break him, when he is isolated.

Ineos:
Will want to keep a leash on anything involving GC riders until the last climb, and with Dennis and Ganna it will take something special for people further down the GC to get away early. However, I do not suspect they will want a status quo ahead of the TT, so I think they will try and shake the tree on both the last ascends, to see if there is a Sunweb weakness to exploit.

Bahrain:
Bilbao does not have the punch to drop the top 3 on the last climb, and will probably need to go on the 2nd last ascend, if he wants a shot at the podium.
An interesting tactic would be to send out Pernsteiner early, and force Sunweb/Ineos to spend their teams trying to control his gap.

DQ:
Almeida needs to gain at least a minute, in order to make the podium with a great TT Sunday.
I don't think DQ believes he can do that by sticking to the favorites until the last climb, so if they want a real shot at making up time, they will put strong guys in the morning break, and Almeida will go already on the first ascend of Sestriere, where low gradients suit him better.

Astana:
I think Fuglsang will try early, on the 2nd last ascend of Sestriere.
I think he knows, that if he does not attempt something spectacular, his days as a GC captain are pretty much numbered.
If he does not, he will try for the stage win on the last climb, but that will be an unspoken admission of giving up GC hopes in future.

Bora:
Both Konrad and Majka are too far away for the podium, and will probably be focused on the stage win, which means the last descent or the bottom of the last ascend, is where they go.

Trek:
Nibali will want to go out with a bang, I could see him go very early, as early as on the first descent, in order to try for something epic. - He will fail, but I think (and hope) he tries it.

Prediction:
Pernsteiner, Pozzovivo and Sametier to hit the early break, but both Sunweb and Ineos are too strong for any of the other teams to pull off their shenanigans, and we will see the top 3 slug it out on the last climb, with most of the GC coming in 1 and 1.
 
Some people here call Kelderman a coward who does not attack. Actually he attacked a few times earlier in the Giro. I might be wrong, but can't remember TGH attacking by himself this Giro. Yesterday he was helped a lot by Dennis, who destroyed Kelderman.
Tao attacked several times earlier in the race as he started to try claw back time, but easy to forget because he hadnt emerged as a contender at that point.

Absolutely agree that kelderman has not raced in cowardly fashion though. He gave it a go when the legs were good and is now holding on for dear life and there's nothing wrong with that. If anything he should be upheld as an example of taking the chance to attack when you can as it has helped put him in pink

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On a different note, one thing I don't think has been talked about too much is that we shouldn't expect ineos to dominate sunweb tomorrow or anything.

They kind of pulled a fast one on stelvio where Sunweb burnt a lot of matches early only to get jumped by a small ineos force. I think they'll be a lot more conservative tomorrow and they have plenty of strength to put to use if Ineos try get riders up the road or want to launch Tao early
 
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What goes unsaid is that TGH (Or Bilbao) has to have the legs . It's easy to move chess pieces on the board, but what is easy to forget is that sometimes the cycling Rook can't go as far on turn 20 as it did on 18.

He is very untested. (Which is different than predictably unreliable in the Pinot sense.) So is Hindley for that matter.

I think expectations of an offensive final stage is unrealistic. But I'm wholly tuned in to the stuggle and attrition that will be on display.
 
What goes unsaid is that TGH (Or Bilbao) has to have the legs . It's easy to move chess pieces on the board, but what is easy to forget is that sometimes the cycling Rook can't go as far on turn 20 as it did on 18.

He is very untested. (Which is different than predictably unreliable in the Pinot sense.) So is Hindley for that matter.

I think expectations of an offensive final stage is unrealistic. But I'm wholly tuned in to the stuggle and attrition that will be on display.
To that, it seems like Tao, Jai and Bilbao have been getting stronger as the Giro has gone on, whereas Wilco is starting to tire. Almeida should be tired by now, but he should have been getting tired after his first few days in pink, let alone 2+ weeks, so who knows how long he can really last.
 
So this gonna be my typical Fridays night pathetic post, but sorry...

If anyone asks me what is the word that excites me in cycling the most in recent years I would say: "sestriere".
Dunno why.

Maybe the issue is that I was back sick into pro cycling after the 2015 G. stage exactly.
Fierce, dirty fight between Astana and Contador - paradoxically - took me afresh into area I left with never back promise.

Somehow I really, really love the place despite i've never been there.
 
Jul 2, 2019
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So this gonna be my typical Fridays night pathetic post, but sorry...

If anyone asks me what is the word that excites me in cycling the most in recent years I would say: "sestriere".
Dunno why.

Maybe the issue is that I was back sick into pro cycling after the 2015 G. stage exactly.
Fierce, dirty fight between Astana and Contador - paradoxically - took me afresh into area I left with never back promise.

Somehow I really, really love the place despite i've never been there.
Don't forget Claudio Chiappucci, which is the all time "I don't care if that was doped, because that was totally badass" performance ever.
 
Don't forget Claudio Chiappucci, which is the all time "I don't care if that was doped, because that was totally badass" performance ever.
That was my second TdF as a kid watching, and the first time where I thought "I hate when someone just dominates the TTs and doesn't attack the rest of the Tour."

I had a Carrera jersey and used to attack at the bottom of every hill on our Sunday rides.

That's what Sestriere always means to me.
 

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