Stage 20 of the Giro d’Italia didn’t deliver any GC fireworks but we were treated to a win for Bahrain-Victorious’s Damiano Caruso. The man who came to support Mikel Landa swapped his bridesmaid’s dress for a full bridal gown (with bouquet!) and soloed to victory, cementing his podium place in the process. Some huge turns from Ineos’s super-domestiques ensured that Egan Bernal was safe and sound. It’s all but certain he’ll be on the top step of the podium when the Giro finishes tomorrow.
Coming into the last weekend of this year’s Giro d’Italia 2021, the rerouted Stage 19 with its summit finish was always going to be a tense affair with (we hoped) aggressive riding. And that is exactly what we got. With Deceuninck-QuickStep, all in for Joao Almeida, and Bike Exchange, all in for Simon Yates, alternating putting down the pain, it was definitely a day of reckoning. By the end of the stage, it was Yates who took the solo win, with Almeida coming second, and maglia rosa Egan Bernal rolled in third, limiting his losses to 28sec. Yates is now 2.29 behind Bernal, but only 20sec away from Bahrain’s Damiano Caruso‘s second step on the podium. The GC top 10 stays the same.
Let the records show that Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia was taken in fine style by Alberto Bettiol of EF Education-Nippo. The Italian on the US team made it into the 23-man break on the longest stage of the race, attacked with panache over the four climbs in the finale, and soloed over the line in pure, unadulterated joy to take his first victory on home soil. Rather fittingly, considering the race organisers might have laughingly labelled this is a sprint stage, Simone Consonni (Cofidis) revved it up to take second place from Team DSM’s indefatigable Nicolas Roche. The peloton were led over the line, and indeed for most of the 180km after the break went away, by Filippo Ganna (INEOS) some 23 minutes later. There is no change in podium positions with Egan Bernal (INEOS) still in pink and still facing the mountains in the next two stages.