Stage 16 of Vuelta 2020 was 162km to get finished before the big final mountain stage tomorrow, that wasn’t supposed to have any surprises so the breakaway thought they had a real chance. They almost did, until Ineos decided to shred the peloton, in an effort to drop Primoz Roglic and get some precious time for Richard Carapaz. Remy Cavagna (Quickstep) fought valiantly to stay out front but he was caught with a heartbreaking two kilometres to go. Then, it was a knockdown drag-out fight of a sprint between UAE’s Rui Costa and Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde … that almost produced a winner, but Magnus Cort decided to rain on their parade, taking EF’s third Vuelta stage. So Valverde and Costa were second and third. Nope, a surprise second went to a stealth Roglic and third went to Mitchelton-Scott’s Dion Smith.
Stage 15 marked the longest stage of the 2020 Vuelta, fittingly during the longest week for us Americans, at a gruesome 231 kilometres. If the pure distance was not horrendous enough to send a shiver down your spine, then perhaps the weather conditions will be. Battling an aggressive headwind, dense fog, and eventual rain for the duration of the stage, Jasper Philipsen (UAE) prevailed in Puebla de Sanabria. The general classification remained unchanged after race organisers opted to neutralise the final 3 kilometres due to worsening weather conditions.
We’ve waited for more than two weeks but today, the GC finally caught fire at Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia. On a monster 207km-long stage packed with four categorised climbs, including the famed Passo dello Stelvio, INEOS and Sunweb brought the race to life. After masterful work by teammates, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jai Hindley were left to battle it out on the final climb for the stage. In the sprint to the line, Hindley sailed to victory. Behind, Hindley’s teammate Wilco Kelderman clawed his way to the finish with only 12 seconds in hand to claim the maglia rosa.