Santiago Buitrago of Bahrain-Victorious has won the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia from Longarone to the end of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo mountain over 183 km. Second, 51 seconds behind, was Derek Gee of Australia (Israel-Premier Tech). Behind them came Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) in third place (+1:26). All three were part of a large breakaway group that had formed in the first third of the race.
“It’s a big win on a good day. I’m very happy because I fought hard to get into the breakaway. To win in front of this crowd is something special. It was a good Giro for our team, with two stage wins. I’m very happy,” said the stage winner Santiago Buitrago.
Primoz Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) crossed the finish line at the same time as Cort from Denmark: Thomas followed three seconds behind. João Almeida (United Arab Emirates Team) finished 23 seconds behind Roglic.
Nothing has changed in the first three places in the overall standings. Thomas continues to lead ahead of Roglic (+0:26) and Almeida (+0:59).
“I think it was a difficult day, especially because of the altitude. I tried in the last kilometer but Roglic recovered well and I lost a few seconds on the track,” said Geraint Thomas a few minutes after the finish.
This is how the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia went
It took a long time until a real breakaway group was formed, which was also allowed to go. Teams Jumbo-Visma and Team United Arab Emirates were very careful at the start of the stage when large groups of riders tried to break away from the peloton.
The duo consisting of Larry Warbasse (AG2R Citroën Team) and Veljko Stojnic (Corratec-Selle Italia Team) managed to pull away after about 10 km, but everyone stayed at the front of the field for a long time.
Later, Alex Baudin (AG2R Citroën Team) and Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech) jumped to the pair. A little later, Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) also filled the gap. For the next few kilometers, Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious), Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R Citroën), Vadim Pronskiy (Astana Qazaqstan), Patrick Konrad (BORA-hansgrohe), Davide Gabburo (Green Project- Bardiani CSF Faizanè), Veljko Stojnic (Corratec), Michael Hepburn (Jayco-AlUla), Mattia Bais (EOLO-Kometa), José Joaquin Rojas and Carlos Verona (both Movistar).
On Passo Campolongo, the first classified climb, the breakaways had a lead of more than five and a half minutes over the peloton led by Team INEOS-Grenadier.
In Passo Falzarego, the isolated group is decreasing. Stojnic is the first to give up. At the top of the pass, Feld was 8 minutes behind.
INEOS Grenadiers picked up the pace as they climbed the first 2000 of the day. Not only did the gap decrease, the peloton also decreased in the first few kilometers of the Group 1 climb.
Something was also happening before the race. There were the first attacks: Verona, Gee and Buitrago were able to break easily. Cort and Hepburn followed. Behind them the group broke up and only a small group of five people crossed the Giau.
But things came together again on the descent, so these 11 riders faced the ascent of Tre Croci together: Stefano Oldani, Santiago Buitrago, Nicolas Prodhomme, Larry Warbasse, Vadim Pronskiy, Patrick Konrad, Davide Gabburo, Derek Gee, Magnus Cort, Michael Hepburn , Carlos Verona.
On the slope, Gee, Buitrago and Cort along with Hepburn were able to pull away when the rain started to fall. On the field, INEOS continued to control the Grenadier.
Down the final descent, Gee pulled away from a breakaway group. Only Buitrago could follow him at a distance.
With three kilometers to go, the group of GC riders was still complete.
Up front, Buitrago caught Gee a mile from the finish; and pull on it. Will Gee finish second again, as he has done three Giro stages before?
Only his assistant Thymen Arensmann (INEOS Grenadier), Primoz Roglič, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), João Almeida (United Arab Emirates), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Damiano were in the pink jersey group along with Geraint Thomas Caruso (Bahrain – Winner) and Eine Augusto Rubio (Movistar).
Then Almeida went ahead and increased the pace. Roglič attacked, but Thomas was able to follow. Almeida also returned. Then Thomas attacked – and only Roglic could follow. Together, the two went out with Santiago Buitero winning the queen stage ahead of Derek Gee.
Magnus Cort from the breakaway group was only third ahead of the two GC riders Thomas and Roglič. João Almeida (Team United Arab Emirates) finished 20 seconds behind Thomas as.
Photo: La Presse / RCS Sport, Photonews.be