Carapaz survives final Giro battle in the mountains as Bilbao claims stage 20


Richard Carapaz closed in on his first Giro d’Italia triumph on Saturday after keeping hold of the leader’s pink jersey in a tumultuous 20th and penultimate stage that saw Miguel Angel Lopez lashing out at a spectator who knocked him over.

Carapaz gave nothing to his rivals on the summit finish at Monte Avena after the 193km ride through the northern Dolomites mountains where Pello Bilbao (Astana) snatched the stage victory.

The Movistar rider even helped team-mate Mikel Landa in the final climb before the Spaniard lost out to compatriot Bilbao.

Carapaz leads former two-time winner Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) by 1min 54sec in the overall standings with Landa moving third 2min 53sec adrift at the expense of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), who is 3min 06sec adrift.

“Even if anything can happen in the final time trial I think that 1min 54sec on Nibali is sufficient,” said Carapaz ahead of Sunday’s 17km time-trial around Verona.

It was a heated final day in the mountains. Roglic picked up a 10-second penalty after a fan pushed him for over 15 seconds along the narrow roads at Croce d’Aune.

Miguel Angel Lopez lashed out at a spectator who made him crash as he headed into the final climb at Monte Avena.

Television images showed the man cowering on the ground as the furious Colombian, wearing the white jersey as the best young rider, hit him twice.

A clearly frustrated Lopez got back on another bicycle but finished in 18th position, 1min 49sec behind teammate Bilbao.

But Carapaz was in a generous mood up Monte Avena, the final climb of the Giro over 6.9 km and with a 7.3 percent gradient.

“We’ve tried to win the stage with Mikel Landa as well as myself to retain the Maglia Rosa but we’ve missed out by very little,” said Carapaz. “But we’re happy with how it went today.”

Carapaz, Landa and Lopez were the strongest in the main climb of the day, the Manghen Pass, where they gained up to 15 seconds on their rivals Nibali and Roglic.

A breakaway group of seven riders formed in the final two climbs with French rider Valentin Madouas attacking with 16km to go before being reeled in at the Croce d’Aune.

“I knew that Carapaz would try to give the win to Mikel Landa so I followed the best wheel,” said Bilbao.

Carapaz is now poised to become the second rider from South America to win the Giro after Nairo Quintana in 2014.

Giro d’Italia 2019 – stage 20 results (Feltre – Croce D’Aune-Monte Avena):

1Pello Bilbao (Astana)


2Mikel Landa (Movistar)


3Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)


4Richard Carapaz (Movistar)


5Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)


6Tanel Kangert (EF Education First)


7Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)


8Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ)


9Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


10Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)


11Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos)


12Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)


13Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)


14Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)


15Hugh Carthy (EF Education First)


16Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott)


17Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Dimension Data)


18Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


19Eddie Dunbar (Team Ineos)


20Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)



Giro d’Italia 2019 – general classification after stage 20:

1Richard Carapaz (Movistar)


2Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)


3Mikel Landa (Movistar)


4Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)


5Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)


6Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)


7Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)


8Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)


9Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos)


10Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin)


11Hugh Carthy (EF Education First)


12Joe Dombrowski (EF Education First)


13Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ)


14Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe)


15Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates)


16Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo)


17Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)


18Tanel Kangert (EF Education First)


19Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida)


20Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)



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