The Giro d’Italia will enjoy this Monday the third and last day of rest before facing the decisive week with four high mountain stages on the menu and the final Verona time trial.
Although the number one favorite is the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (Ineos)pink jersey of a general that compresses the first 5 in one minute, the forecasts are still open, and it will be the mountain stages, with Mortirolo and La Marmolada as stars, and the final time trial in Verona, which will dictate the sentence.
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But all doubts are not cleared regarding the cyclist from Carchen. Although his team dominated the race in the first week, in the second he showed serious cracks. Carapaz took on the most demanding mountain stages alone, in inferiority.
And there are another 4 with 5 runners in 1 minute. In second place is the Australian Jai Hindley (Bora), just 7 seconds behind Carapaz. The ultralight “aussie” is no stranger, he was second in the 2020 Giro and has just won the Blockhaus stage.
The Bora Hansgrohe team, which also has Buchmann as a double asset, seventh overall, It has been the most powerful team in the second week and aspires to the pink jersey for its leaders.
The third occupant on the provisional podium is the Portuguese Joao Almeida (UAE Emirates), half a minute behind. A runner by no means disposable, but in the ports he has suffered to keep up with the best. He lacks a team, but the Portuguese has the challenge of showing if he is really a man for the general classification of the grand tours.
Mikel Landa, from fourth place 59 seconds behind Carapaz, he knows that he is facing one of the last trains to hit the blow that many expect and that does not arrive.
Opportunities are running out, and Murgia has a theoretically favorable outlook, with 4 demanding mountain stages and affordable differences.
The Bahrain leader is clear that his Giro “starts on Tuesday.” So far he has left some doubts, especially due to the difficulties shown in the Superga stage to follow the best when one of them made a change of pace.
For Alava, it is now or never. Within the top 10, Pozzovivo stands out, fifth at 29 years old, Pello Bilbao is sixth at 1.52, a key piece for Landa in what remains. Buchmann at 1.58 does not throw in the towel and will also be fundamental for Hindley, the veteran Nibali eighth, ahead of Juan Pedro López, the Spanish already at 4.04 minutes. And the Frenchman Guillaume Martin closes the list, at 8.08, preceding Valverde, eleventh.
By tour it will not be. The most fearsome mountain stages await. Except for Thursday, even suitable for sprinters, the rest will be important. The queen day is disputed this Tuesday.
The `super stage´ includes in its menu the Goletto di Cadino (1st, 19 km at 6.2), Mortirolo (1st, 12.7 at 7.7) by Edolo, the Teglio, not scoring (5.1 to 8.7) and the Valico di Santa Cristina (1st, 12.7 km to 7.1).
Wednesday more wood: the Tonale, not scoring, to warm up from the start (8.6 km at 6.3)and then Giovo (3rd, 5.9 km to 6.8), Vetriolo (1st, 11.8 km to 7.7) and Monterovere (1st, 8.8 km to 9.6) with the summit just 8 km from the arrival in Lavarone.
On Thursday there will be a break with the stage between Borgo Valsugana and Treviso, of 152 km, without meaning that it is a pleasant walk, as it has leg-breaking sections.
The last weekend will be decisive. On Friday between Marano Lagunare and Santuario de Castelmonte there will be four ascents, including the passage through Slovenia, with the Kolovrat (1st, 10.4 km to 8th and the arrival at the top of the Sanctuary (2nd, 7.3 km to 6th).
On Saturday, a 167 km journey between Belluno and La Marmolada (Passo Fedaia) with three very serious climbs, the San Pellegrino (1st, 9.6 km to 8), the Pordoi (Special Category, Cima Coppi, 11.9 km to 6.6), with the summit at 2,236 meters, and the final in Marmolada (1st, 12, 9 km to 7.8).
The race will close on Sunday 29 with an individual time trial known by almost everyone, 17 kilometers in Verona with the climb to Torrecella Massimiliana and the final in the Arena, where Richard Carapaz entered victorious in 2019.
The Giro enters a week of strong emotions.
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