Spain’s Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team) claimed his second stage victory at the 102nd Giro d’Italia ahead of his compatriot Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) and King of the Mountains Giulio Ciccone (Trek – Segafredo) atop the Croce d’Aune – Monte Avena in the last mountain stage. He was a member of the early breakaway that got reeled in by the group of favourites with just 4km to go. But his team-mate Miguel Angel Lopez wasn’t part of it after being involved in an incident with a spectator. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) rode safely home with the same advantage of 1’54’’ over runner-up Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida). Third on GC, Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo – Visma) dropped down to fourth and received a 10’’ penalty for being pushed by a spectator. He’s 23’’ down on Landa ahead of the closing 17km Individual Time Trial in Verona.
Second stage win at the Giro this year for Pello Bilbao after Stage 7 to L’Aquila. It’s also the second stage win for a Spanish rider in this Giro.
It’s the 112th stage win for Spain in the history of the Corsa Rosa. Before Bilbao, the last Spanish stage winner was Mikel Nieve on stage 20 to Cervinia last year.
In three occasions out of 18 up to date, the Maglia Rosa has changed in the closing time trial of the Giro: in 1984, from Laurent Fignon to Francesco Moser (in the Verona Arena, like tomorrow); in 2012, from Joaquim Rodriguez to Ryder Hesjedal (in Milan); in 2017, from Nairo Quintana to Tom Dumoulin (in Milan). Never before has a deficit of 1’54’’ been recovered on a time trial on the last day – nor has it at the Tour de France.
1 – Pello Bilbao (Astana Pro Team) – 194km in 5h46’02”, average speed 33.638km/h
2 – Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) s.t.
3 – Giulio Ciccone (Trek – Segafredo) at 2″
Maglia Rosa (pink), general classification leader, sponsored by Enel – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team)
Maglia Ciclamino (cyclamen), sprinter classification leader, sponsored by Segafredo – Pascal Ackermann (Bora – Hansgrohe)
Maglia Azzurra (blue), King of the Mountains classification leader, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum – Giulio Ciccone (Trek – Segafredo)
Maglia Bianca (white), young rider general classification leader, sponsored by Eurospin – Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team)
1 – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team)
2 – Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida) at 1’54”
3 – Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) at 2’53”
4 – Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo – Visma) at 3’16”
5 – Bauke Mollema (Trek – Segafredo) at 5’51”
The stage winner Pello Bilbao said in the press conference: “I was up the road to help Miguel Angel Lopez later. We wanted him to be on the final podium. With 50km to go, I started thinking of the stage win as it would be difficult for the peloton to come across. Towards the end, I thought I’d be faster than the climbers and I knew that Carapaz would work for Mikel Landa to win the stage. When such an opportunity to win a stage occurs, it’s worth trying.”
The Maglia Rosa Richard Carapaz said in the press conference: “I’m super happy with the work of the team. Tomorrow, it’ll be mano-a-mano. Nibali’s hug at the finish today was a very beautiful gesture. I’ve seen him very strong today but Mikel [Landa] and I were strong too. I knew Mikel was able to make the final podium, that’s why we dropped Roglic. The other thing we could achieve was the stage win with Mikel. It’s been close.”
Stage 21 – Verona-Verona ITT 17.0km – total elevation 250m
The final stage is an Individual Time Trial on the Torricelle Circuit (the same as in the World Championships), covered counter-clockwise. The first part is on broad, straight boulevards, followed by an ascent sloping for 4.5km at 5% in a series of steps, on narrower roadway. Split time is taken at the summit, where mountain points are up for grabs. The route then descends for 4km, still on broad and straight roads. The last 3km along the city streets, including some sharp bends, lead all the way to the finish in Piazza Bra and the Verona Arena.
The final kilometres are on broad, straight urban avenues. The final time is taken in Piazza Bra, before entering the Arena. The home straight is 150m long, on 6.5m wide asphalt road.