GIRO’21 Stage 19: Yates Claws Time On Climb To Alpe di Mera, But Is it Enough?


Giro d’Italia Stage 19: The battle for the 2021 giro d’Italia is far from over. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) attacked on the final climb of the Alpe di Mera for the stage win and took back time on overall leader, Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers). Yates is now 20 seconds from second placed Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) and 2:49 on Bernal.

Stage win for Simon Yates and he moves closer to the pink jersey

Simon Yates won Stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia after 166 kilometres from Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera (Valsesia). João Almeida (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Egan Bernal finished second and third. Egan Bernal retains his lead on the general classification.

Another tough day ahead for Egan Bernal

Giro stage 19 route: A mountain stage featuring a succession of climbs, with lengthy false-flat, drags in between. The route travels the lowland around river Ticino, reaching the foot of the Gignese. After a technical descent into Stresa, the route runs along the lake, passes Gravellona Toce and Omegna, and clears the Passo della Colma. Past Varallo, the route continues along the valley floor up to the foot of the closing climb in Scopello. The final climb rises steadily at 9-10% for 10 km, with pitches maxing out at 14%. The road is quite wide, with a number of hairpins. The home straight is on tarmac road.

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Maglia Rosa – Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), Maglia Ciclamino – Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe), Maglia Azzurra – Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) and Maglia Bianca – Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), worn by Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech)

Almost immediately after the flag was dropped, the battle for a place in the break started. AG2R Citroën, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert and Trek-Segafredo immediately had men attacking off the front. After 25 kilometres, two riders from Alpecin-Fenix, Dries De Bondt and Louis Vervaeke took a small lead together with Eduardo Sepúlveda, Fabio Felline and Andrea Pasqualon, but 5 kilometres further on, and everything came together again.

Simon Yates has to make a move – Today or tomorrow

The Giro starts stage 19

xpedo cxr pedalbanner with Brian McCullough

Teammates Max Walscheid and Łukasz Wiśniowski also tried unsuccessfully to escape. Only after 43 kilometres did the ‘break of the day’ come about. Quinten Hermans and Andrea Pasqualon, of the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert team, joined forces with Larry Warbasse, Nicola Venchiarutti, Giovanni Aleotti and Mark Christian. Oscar Riesebeek tried to cross to the leading group as did Samuele Zoccarato. However, it was too much and they were caught by the peloton.

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The peloton rolls out of Abbiategrasso

The escape of six riders took a 4 minute lead in the run-up to the Alpe Agogna, the first climb of the day. Christian was first over the top, ahead of Venchiarutti and Pasqualon. Behind, BikeExchange and Deceuninck – Quick-Step, the teams of Simon Yates and João Almeida, kept the race under control. Due to the pace set by Rémi Cavagna, Mikkel Honoré and Iljo Keisse, the gap to the leading group started to decrease and the peloton split on the run-in to the intermediate sprint for the Maglia Ciclamino jersey.

A fast start to the day

Pasqualon took the intermediate sprint for 12 points and jumped to 6th place in the points classification. Daniel Martínez, 7th overall, had some problem. Egan Bernal’s right-hand man was in trouble for a while, but with the help of Filippo Ganna, the Colombian climber was again able to take his place in the peloton. The peloton rode steadily in the run-up to the Passo della Colma.

BikeExchange had plans

The break of the day: Mark Christian (eolo-Kometa), Lawrence Warbasse (AG2R Citroën) and Nicola Venchiarutti (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec)

Venchiarutti was dropped from the leading group on the Passo della Colma. At the top, 38 kilometres from the finish, Warbasse was first ahead of Hermans. The lead of the remaining five attackers was only 1:20. In the peloton INEOS Grenadiers took control. The British team, together with Deceuninck – Quick-Step, led the thinned out chase group onto the descent.

The peloton was not hanging about

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Bernal has to watch Caruso and Yates

The leaders had 17 seconds when they started the climb to Alpe di Mera with 9.7 kilometres to go. Christian didn’t want to give up and rode away from his fellow escapees after the first kilometre of climbing. The eolo-Kometa rider form the Isle of Man wasn’t ahead of the peloton for much longer and the race was all together for the final climb. João Almeida opened the action with 6.8 kilometres to go, after which Yates counter-attacked together with George Bennett, Aleksandr Vlasov and Damiano Caruso.

Almeida was the first to make a move

Yates went solo

Bernal chose his own pace and sat on the wheels of his two teammates; Jonathan Castroviejo and Daniel Martínez. Yates then rode away the other off his wheel and continued solo. Yates quickly took a nice gap. Carthy made the jump to Almeida, Vlasov and Caruso, but Martínez managed to pull the four in again. Yates was still pushing on solo. With 2.5 kilometres to go, Bernal was on his own. The Colombian only had Almeida on his wheel, it was too much for the others.

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Bernal fought well, gained time on Caruso and didn’t loose much to Yates

Yates had a nice lead and, despite a late counterattack from Almeida, he won the stage. In the general classification Yates is now at 2:49 to Bernal, and the difference to second placed Caruso, who finished fourth, is only 20 seconds.

The stage win for Yates

Stage winner, Simon Yates (BikeExchange): “I’m really happy! The team did a great job right from the start of the stage, a fantastic team effort and I’m happy to have finished it off. I really wanted to win a stage in this Giro, I’m not sure where I am now in the general classification but I’m really happy about this win.”

Giro d’Italia Stage 19 Result:
1. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange in 4:02:55
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:11
3. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:28
4. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 0:32
5. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 0:42
7. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:49
8. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 1:25
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
10. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
11. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo
12. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 2:46
13. Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 3:20
14. Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 3:23
15. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
16. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 3:30
17. Matteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ at 3:34
18. Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe at 4:01
19. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 4:12
20. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:37
21. Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal at 4:48
22. Michael Storer (Aus) DSM at 4:56
23. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 5:14
24. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
25. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 19:
1. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers in 81:13:37
2. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 2:29
3. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange at 2:49
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:11
5. Hugh Carthy (GB) EF Education-Nippo at 7:10
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM at 7:32
7. Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 7:42
8. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 8:26
9. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 10:19
10. Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-up Nation at 13:55
11. George Bennett (NZ) Jumbo-Visma at 21:30
12. Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 28:44
13. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious at 32:20
14. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ at 38:18
15. Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 41:16
16. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa at 42:19
17. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 49:17
18. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 50:02
19. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 50:29
20. Tanel Kangert (Est) BikeExchange at 52:32
21. Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix at 55:31
22. Gianni Moscon (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:01:42
23. Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar at 1:03:19
24. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:10:11
25. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) BikeExchange at 1:12:36.

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