Pello Bilbao wins eventful stage in Giro d'Italia, Carapaz keeps GC lead
Jun 01 2019 11:20 pm CET

Pello Bilbao wins eventful stage in Giro d'Italia, Carapaz keeps GC lead
Pello Bilbao wins eventful stage in Giro d'Italia, Carapaz keeps GC lead

Astana's Pello Bilbao has taken the victory of the 20th stage of the Giro d'Italia. The rider crossed the finish line ahead of Mikel Landa while Richard Carapaz finished in the fourth position and remained in the lead of the General Classification ahead of the closing individual time trial.

It was time for the last mountain challenge for the GC riders in the 20th stage of the Corsa Rosa, which featured a 194-kilometre long route that included three climbs of the second category and two of the first category. The action of the stage started right away with an escape of 12 riders, that was broken down at the climb of the Passo Manghen until only Fausto Masnada was left on his own.

The Italian rider was the first one to conquer this climb and hence became the winner of the Cima Coppi of 2019. On that same climb, Astana set a high pace that created some gaps in the pack and left many of the favourites riding by themselves.

Miguel Angel Lopez attacked close to the top of the climb and took Mikel Landa and Richard Carapaz with him while Vincenzo Nibali and Primoz Roglic were dropped and formed a group with Ineos' Pavel Sivakov, and they managed to catch back the front men during the descent, where a big compact group was formed again in front.

At the start of the climb of Passo Rolle, a new breakaway was formed by riders like Mikel Nieve, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Eddie Dunbar, Valentin Madouas and Giulio Ciccone. Riders like Ciccone and Madouas tried their luck on the last climb of the race.

With 13 kilometres to go, Lopez launched a new attack and Carapaz stayed at his wheel, but soon they were reeled back in by the rest of the favourites. Bahrain-Merida tried to control the pace but soon the Colombian of Astana tried again but was again caught by the rest.

The next rider to try was Landa and he built a gap while the group was led by Roglic, whose position on the final podium was put at risk by the Spaniard. Madouas crossed the top of the Croce d'Aune by himself with Ciccone, Nieve and Ghebreigzabhier some seconds behind Landa reached the top around 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the favourites.

Bora-hansgrohe's Rafal Majka crashed on the descent and Sivakov and Bauke Mollema could only just dodge him. Nibali and Carapaz got to Landa at the last part of the descent. At the start of the climb, Lopez crashed seemingly due to a fan and after hitting him, he got back to the bike and started to chase the rest of the group.

At around three kilometres to go, the group of Carapaz-Nibali-Landa caught all the escapees, and two kilometres later Nibali attacked and took Landa and Carapaz with him. Soon the rest of the reduced group joined him, while the group of Roglic was around 45 seconds behind.

Landa launched the final sprint first but soon Bilbao caught him and overtook him to claim his second victory in the race. Landa, Ciccone, Carapaz and Nibali completed the top five of the day, while Roglic crossed the finish line 54 seconds behind the winner of the stage.

Carapaz remains at the top of the General Classification while Nibali is in the second position at one minute and 54 seconds from the Ecuadorian and Landa climbed to the third place and is two minutes and 53 seconds behind. The difference between Roglic and Landa ahead of the final time trial of the race is of 13 seconds.




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