Giro d’Italia 2018 – Stage 20 Preview

By David Hunter

Susa – Cervina 214km

A stage back loaded with hills. This should be lots of fun!

Expect a huge fight to join the morning break. With 130km of flat, it really does suit the power men of the bunch, but strange things can happen! Once we hit 130km, the mountains begin and we have zero kilometres of flat. This is perfect for those that want to attack from distance.

The opening climb is 16km at 7.7%, which includes a 3km stretch at over 10%. This is no easy climb! After a 23km descent, the peloton go straight into the next climb.

Another long climb, this time we have 16.5km at 7.2%. The opening 8km of the climb is very difficult, it then becomes easier, before a demanding finish. Once over the top, there is only 10km of descent.

The final climb of the day is the easiest, but fatigue will  play a large part. We have 19m at 5%, with the main difficulty being an 8km stretch, starting with 11km remaining. The final 6km includes two tunnels.

Weather

Another day with a risk of thunderstorms.

Tactics

Today was incredible. Team Sky destroyed the peloton and Froome took a huge risk, but it paid off. He now sits with a comfortable lead and it looks impossible for anyone to beat him. Dumoulin sits 40s behind Froome, but his team don’t seem capable of holding the race together, I think it looks like a good day for the break.

Behind them, Sky will control the GC group and ensure the pace is fast enough to stop anyone from attacking.

Contenders

Ben Hermans – has been active in a number of stages, but not really threatened. The start is good news for the Belgian, he can use his big engine to make the move. His big goal was to take a stage win, he has one more chance left.

Luis Leon Sanchez – one of the strongest riders in the race, but his breaks just haven’t stuck. We have seen him get very frustrated with this, giving the chasing bunch a one finger salute, when he was about to get closed down for the 100th time! It would be a real shame if he didn’t manage to take a stage win, he deserves something for all his hard work.

Giulio Ciccone – is he cooked? He’s been impressive, but Mitchelton-Scott have been happy to chase down his breaks. Winning a stage would be huge for Bardiani, but Ciccone could find it hard to make the morning move.

Jack Haig – now that Yates has blown, we should see freedom given to their riders. Haig has looked in good form throughout the race, it would be good to see him up the road. He took his first pro win in 2017, winning a stage of the Tour of Poland, is this a chance to take his first grand tour win?

Diego Ulissi – hasn’t been a good race for him. The Italian will be very disappointed, but he still has a chance to take a win.

Gianluca Brambilla – in the same boat as Ulissi.

Alessandro De Marchi – I’ve enjoyed watching him animate many stages, but without success. De Marchi is a tremendous breakaway rider and he is excellent at sniffing out the right moves. The Italian only has 3 career wins, but he only wins big races! He has two wins in the Vuelta and one in the Dauphine. It would be great to see him win on home roads.

Hugh Carthy – it’s been a good race for the young Englishman, but also frustrating. He is learning the art of the breakaway and this stage is a good one for him. EF Drapac have not enjoyed a great race, they’ll expect to make the break.

Chris Froome – if the break doesn’t win, Froome will.

Prediction Time

Given his form over the last three weeks, I have to go with Luis Leon Sanchez. I don’t think they’ll be any surprises back in the GC group, with Chris Froome taking the pink jersey and Miguel Angel Lopez winning white.

*Overall Preview

David Hunter

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7 comments for “Giro d’Italia 2018 – Stage 20 Preview

  1. VICTOR ALARCON
    25 May, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    And the winner is…Froome. Tomorrow will be the typical sky trail controlling every move with iron fist, then Froome attacks and puts more time on everyone else. And the he will go and also win the TDF. I mean, are you guys really buying that? Because I am not. Froome and sky are cheating!

    • 26 May, 2018 at 2:39 am

      Chris Froome may pull off the Giro win, but pulling off the double is not in the cards. As far as cheating, that remains to be seen.

    • Alan
      26 May, 2018 at 1:20 pm

      I didnt see you riding, perhaps the only cadence you can hold is with your mouth! Where did S.Y. go?

  2. John Cassidy
    25 May, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Froome suffers every day after a hard effort and tommorrow will be no different. Dumoulin has begotten stronger with steady efforts each day.
    Key here will be Pols and his ability to control the race for Froome.
    Drop Pols and Dumoulin can win.

  3. Alexis
    26 May, 2018 at 6:51 am

    It feels like been back in Armstrong times: Everybody, including journalists, fans and sponsors, knows the one on top of the sport is cheating, but no one say anything. It is also highly likely the one in second is doing the same, because I don’t see him saying anything too. A new low for cycling.

  4. Cyclonaut
    26 May, 2018 at 7:33 am

    @Alexis – I agree…. Yesterday reminded me of the USPS or Discovery days. 4 SKY riders and about a dozen of the rest? Yeah, right. That same old song and dance about superior training and preparation, blah blah… save it. The UK athletes have, across the spectrum, somehow rose above the competition to a notable level of disparity. Something is rotten, and in the interest of saving their own skins, it will get covered up, ignored, etc by the UCI/ASO. The very idea that Froome is allowed to compete is to me an indicator of how corrupt the sport is. Rules for you, but not for me. So long as the $$ flows, right? … so today will be the stranglehold of SKY, while the commentators talk of castles and other nonsense. People like Brailsford should be locked up.

    • Godfrey ross
      26 May, 2018 at 9:23 am

      I didn’t see any comments from you when he fell in the time trial recce, nor when he fell out on the road, or when he was having a mediocre time of it. He road his socks off yesterday, only a fool would take anything to help their performance.

      Sky clinical – yes – it gets results doesn’t it ? If Froome gets banned…. so be it….
      The powers that be let him race.

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