Giro d’Italia 2022 : Stage 19 – Bouwman aces the final corner for stage win number two.

Stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia saw Koen Bouwman take win number two and secure the maglia azzura from a breakaway of five riders. While the final corner left a lot to be desired, the flying Dutchman was first into it and first over the line. QuickStep-AlphaVinyl’s Mauro Schmid took a disappointed second, with Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) rounding out the podium. Behind the break, not even a trip into Slovenia, a proper summit finish nor a perplexing BORA-hansgrohe strategy could break the GC stalemate. Everything remains the same in the fight for pink as we go into the high mountains on stage 20.

Prosecco and plaudits for the break and the victor

For a climbing stage, the original 12-man break contained a strange mixture of sprinters, rouleurs and climbers, and as their gap ballooned out to 11 minutes it became apparent they would play for the win. Special mention has to go to Jumbo Bee Edoardo Affini, Clement Davy (Groupama-FdJ)  and Quickstepper Davide Ballerini who worked their socks off to give their climbers the best advantage going into the mountains.

The Kovrolat climb in Slovenia brought Bouwman, Schmid, Atilla Valter (Groupama-FDJ) and Tonelli to the front. Bouwman led them over the summit to secure his King of the Mountains jersey.

Onto the descent and Andrea Vendramme (AG2R Citroen) zoomed back into contention, whipping past the quartet and straight to the front.

With around eight minutes in hand, it all became cagey on the final climb of the Santuario di Castelmonte. Vendrame was the joker in the pack and the rider on paper with the quickest finish. They tried to get rid of him, but he kept coming back. Under the flamme rouge and the five spread across road and I thought for a moment we would get track stands. With 100m to go and Bouwman already accelerating, there was the most ill-placed, sharp left-hander I have seen.

Bouwman dived in to take the race line, Schmid got out of shape, Vendrame ran into the fabric barrier – and Koen was over the line with his arms in the air for win number two.

My favourite quote form the Jumbo Bee report?

Because I had already won once, I dared to gamble a bit

Who doesn’t love a rider who dares to gamble!

There is nothing that thrills me more than a rider that wants to win the KOM jersey.

I have to admit this first Dutch winner of the maglia azurra statistic surprised me. Fingers crossed he stays healthy for two more stages.

That controversial corner

Let’s have a closer look at the finish.

It is obvious from the clip that neither Schmid nor Vendrame were happy at the finish.

The twitter line abounded with hot takes.

Decisions based on rules in motor sports – spoiler Cycling is not a motor sport

It’s easy to understand that riders would be upset when adrenaline and disappointment are to the fore in the post race press scrum. But I don’t agree Bouwman did anything wrong. He got to the corner first, the racing line was his. Schmid just missed his line and left Vendrame with nowhere to go.

It’s not often I agree with Mr Bruyneel…

Let’s face it, the real controversy was why the Giro organisers had that corner with 100m to go.

The GC

I don’t know what to say about today. A summit finish. Three seconds between Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) and Carapaz, and just as importantly both Hindley and Bahrain Victorious’ Mikel Landa having a comfortable buffer to the rider below them on GC. I expected fireworks and risk taking, but the reality was more of a stalemate damp squib. My notes from today make sad reading:

Led into the climb by INEOS. Will anyone try anything?


still NO

1.6k to go  Sivakov attacks

and the BORA squad melts away , Hindley isolated.


aaaand nothing.

Yes, yes I know Landa and Pavel Sivakov (INEOS-Grenadiers) attacked on the last climb, and BORA-hansgrohe rode as if they were setting up for something (see more on that conundrum later). That the podium trio rode away from everyone else as they have done on so many occasions, but still… *deep sigh*

Perhaps it was wrong to expect attacks. Perhaps, the parcours wasn’t fierce enough. Perhaps it was a case of my expectations exceeding what fatigued riders are capable of. Yet, I can’t help but feel today was a missed opportunity to try. I also fear that putting everything into the high altitude basket of stage 20 is unlikely to be any different.

What were BORA doing?

The question everyone asked after the BORA boys muscled INEOS off the front of the GC group and proceeded pushed the pace for the rest of the day – before we even got to the climbs.

Were they making it hard so Hindley could pounce? Softening the legs of their rivals ahead of the showdown on stage 20? It was obvious they had plan, but no one was sure exactly what it was. Why BORA, why???

Then just as the final climb appeared they disappeared

Once the final climb started and attacks came, Hindley was isolated shockingly quickly, just as he needed a teammate. If their aim was to make it difficult today, it didn’t work well enough, and now they have loaded the fatigue higher with a mountain stage to come. I am still perplexed.

As for INEOS,…

Yep, a rest day is exactly what they had before tomorrow’s crucial stage

Oh Richie

It became clear that something was amiss with Richie Porte when he struggled on the first climb of the day. A few kilometres later and he had abandoned the race due to gastro-enteritis. Of course the loss of a key mountain lieutenant will be a huge loss for Carapaz and his maglia rosa dreams.

It was also sad to see him leave what is expected to be his last Grand Tour in that way.

Things that made me smile

Alessandro De Marchi with hs family

I do love it when a rider is allowed the freedom to ride off the front of the peloton  to greet friends a family. We don’t see it often enough

Richard Carapaz sharing the podium with his children

Embed from Getty Images

Juanpe Lopez gifting a maglia rosa to new father JJ Rojas

The Giro twitter account and NYVelocity

This dance by the Eurosport team

Last word

All the results

Stage results 

Embed from Getty Images

1 Ken Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 4:32:55

2 Mauro Schmid QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl) same time

3 Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF Faizane) +0:03

4 Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ) +0:06

5 Andrea Vendrame (AG2R Citroen) +0:10

GC Top 10 

1 Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) 81:18:12

2 Jai Hindley (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:03

3 Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +1:05

4 Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) +5:53

5 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +6:22

6 Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +7:15

7 Emanual Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe) +8:21

8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +12:55

9 Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) +15:29

10 Hugh Carthy (EF Education EasyPost)  +17:0310

All the jerseys


Leader’s jersey : Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers)

Points jersey : Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)

King of the Mountains: Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma)

Best young rider: Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo)

Team : Bahrain Victorious

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Giro d’Italia website is here

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