A grand tour is always about more than just the final podium – there are battles within battles within battles. And there are always one or two heartwarming stories that restore your faith in whatever you’ve lost faith in … The 2019 Giro d’Italia was no exception. It had it all – including some horrific weather – and while it might not have been the most exciting Giro on record, it certainly had something interesting, confusing or astonishing every day.
Stage 20 – the last day in the mountains for this year’s Giro d’Italia and with time to gain and podium places to maintain, we were hoping for some real fireworks. Well, we got them, although not in the form that we had anticipated. Incidents with overzealous tifosi saw both Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) lose time (although not in the same way) and on the day that Mikel Landa (Movistar) was #free, Pello Bilbao (Astana) decided to take the inside corner to take his second stage win of the Grand Tour. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) kept his cool and the maglia rosa, with a hefty lead on the eve before the final, decisive time trial.
The final mountain stage – six categorised climbs including an HC summit finish – and only two riders in the top 10 finished in the place they had started the race in. Yes, Stage 20 was the Vuelta’s version of musical chairs and it was a fitting end to a surprising, spicy and most of all well-fought Grand Tour.