Nothing to do. Not even the queen stage with 5,000 metres of elevation gain and climbs of the calibre of Passo Crocedomini, Mortirolo, Teglio and Valico di Santa Cristina could tell us who is the strongest in this Giro d’Italia. Indeed, it made the ranking even shorter, with Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Jai Hindley (Bora-hansgrohe) separated by a mere three seconds in the general classification. A pittance after almost 2,800km of racing, and it is no coincidence that it is the second smallest gap in history on stage 16 since 1963, when maglia rosa Diego Ronchini had just 2″ on Vittorio Adorni.
One of the few certain things is that Carapaz and Hindley seem to have a little more than their rivals or, at least, are the most consistent, since Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Qazaqstan) pay duty every other day. Another thing that is certain is that Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) is die-hard: he always seems to be the first to raise the white flag and yet in the end he always gets there, just a handful of seconds behind the best. In the general classification he is 3rd at 44″; watch out if you leave him there, because in the final time trial in Verona he could teach everyone a lesson.