Giro 2018 Stage 19: Froome solos from 80km out to take pink

It was going to be a day of GC shake-ups but no one expected Chris Froome to attempt an 80km ride for the stage and pink. But he did – dropping anyone who could be of any danger to him. With Simon Yates blowing very early in the stage and losing minutes every second (or so it seemed…), it was only Tom Dumoulin between the Sky rider and pink. In the end, Dumoulin came in 3.23 down from Froome. Pinot was third on the stage. GC: Chris Froome in pink, 40sec ahead of Tom Dumoulin with Thibaut Pinot third, 4.17 down. Domenico Pozzovivo has dropped down to 6th

Rider of the Race

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Obviously, when a rider takes the race by the scruff of the neck and makes an audacious move 80km from the finish to ride solo through the mountains to take the leader’s jersey, there can never really be another rider of the race. So this has to go to Chris Froome. It was a brave move and he made it the whole way. So chapeau.

But I have bad feelings about this performance – mainly because I don’t think Froome should be in the race at all. Yes, the rules say he can race until his case has been decided and many other riders have done the same thing, but I don’t think that’s fair to other riders. I didn’t think that Alberto Contador should have been riding during his clenbuterol legal wranglings and I hated that Alejandro Valverde rode for nearly two years before being banned for those Spanish blood bags. Some people say that Froome’s AAF isn’t technically a ‘positive’ but surely the fact that WADA sets a limit on how much salbutamol can be in a rider’s system means that if you go over that, it’s a violation, so how is that different? If he gets banned, his results will be stripped – so how is that fair to the other riders?

But most of all, Froome keeps talking about being an honest rider and a clean rider – so why didn’t he say, ‘I will not race until I clear this up’ and clear it up as fast as he could? If he goes on to win the maglia rosa on Sunday, how long will he keep it? How long will the officials let him drag out his defence – until after the Tour? The end of the year? Next year? I certainly hope this Giro makes the powers-that-be change the rules so that anyone in the shadow of a doping offence isn’t allowed to continue to race while spinning out their defence for months and months and months.

Stage results

1 Chris Froome (Team Sky) 5:12:26

2 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) +3.00

3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +3.07

4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +3.12

5 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +3.23

GC Top 10

1 Chris Froome (Sky) 80:21:59

2 Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) +0.40

3 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) +4:17

4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +4.57

5 Richard Carapaz (Movistar) +5.44

6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) +8.03

7 Pello Bilbao (Astana) +11.08

8 Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe) +12.19

9 George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) +12.35

10 Sam Oomen (Sunweb) +14.18

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey Chris Froome (Sky)

Points jersey Elia Viviani (QuickStep Floors)

KOM jersey Chris Froome (Sky)

Young rider’s jersey Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar)

For full results

Header image: ©GETTY/Velo/Tim de Waele 

One thought on “Giro 2018 Stage 19: Froome solos from 80km out to take pink

  1. Surely this is the feel good story of the year where a skinny white guy from South Africa with crippling asthma works hard and turns his life around by winning the Giro….? Hmmmmmm…. #takeanotherpuff

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