Pre-race favourite Chris Froome (Team Sky) powered to his first ever Maglia Rosa as he dropped his fellow countryman Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and attacked with 80km to go on the Colle delle Finestre, the second iconic climb of the 101st Giro d’Italia, after he previously mastered Monte Zoncolan. He rode solo till the finish at the top of the Jafferau where he arrived more than three minutes before stage 8 winner, Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team). With one mountain stage to go, the Brit enjoys a 40-second lead over defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
1 – Chris Froome (Team Sky) – 185km in 5h12’26”, average speed 35.527km/h
2 – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) at 3’00”
3 – Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) at 3’07”
4 – Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) at 3’12”
5 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 3’23”
1 – Chris Froome (Team Sky)
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) at 40″
3 – Thibaut Pinot (Groupama – FDJ) at 4’17”
4 – Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) at 4’57”
5 – Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) at 5’44”
The stage winner and Maglia Rosa Chris Froome said: “I’ve had difficult moments in the Giro so I had to try something crazy. We took this tactical decision last night together with our nutritionists because there was a need for a good fuelling strategy for that and for how the guys would execute the orders. There were a lot of big attacks in the early part of the race. My team made a strong pace on the Finestre to set up the situation for me. It’s great to ride like this. That’s what bike racing is all about. If I was just gonna wait for the final climb, I would not have put three minutes on the Maglia Rosa. I knew the Finestre really well since I had a training camp in the area last year. I knew how to pace myself correctly. It was also a calculated risk. If there was not a big group behind me and other teams didn’t have domestiques, the GC riders had to make the same efforts as me. I was getting time checks from the motorbikes and via radio. I was 20 seconds from the Maglia Rosa for a long time. What I didn’t know was whether Tom Dumoulin still had good legs but I got the feeling that everyone was at the limit. It was raw bike racing.”
Stage 20 – Susa-Cervinia 214km – total elevation 4,000m
This queen stage across the Alps features a remarkable 4,000m rise and drop, tucked away in the last 90km, where the riders will tackle three climbs amounting to nearly 20km each. The route climbs steadily all the way from Susa towards Turin, and then follows the gentle undulations of the Canavese to reach the Dora Riparia valley. The route then heads from the outskirts of Ivrea to the Aosta Valley to tackle the last 90km. The stage takes in climbs up the Col Tsecore (16km with long stretches exceeding 12% over the last 4km), Col de St-Pantaléon (16.5km at 7.2%) and Cervinia (19km at 5%). The roads are quite wide and well surfaced throughout.