Giro 2021:- Stage 20: Verbania – Alpe Motta 165 km **Spoilers**
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Stage 20: Verbania – Alpe Motta 165 kmSaturday, May 29th, 12.20 CEST
From Verbania the peloton will head into Switzerland along Lake Maggiore (passing through the first intermediate sprint in Cannobio) and enter the Italian speaking Canton of Ticino.
After 80 kilometres of flat terrain, the route heads towards the Sky and a total of 4200 metres of elevation gain.
Stage 20 is the last chance for the climbers to move up the GC with only the ITT to follow. A colossal Alpine stage, crossing over the border at foot of the San Bernardino Pass and then the Splügen Pass, further into Switzerland. The 164 kilometres race has an elevation gain is 4,200 metres, almost all of which comes in the second half of the stage. First up is the Passo S.Bernardino (GPM1, 23.7 km at 6.2%) with the summit above 2,000 metres: a huge climb by any definition. After the technical descent, the riders will rise again to over 2,000 metres, to negotiate the Splügen Pass.(GPM1, 8.9 km at 7.3%) Another technical descent (passing through a few tunnels and an avalanche gallery) will lead all the way to the foot of the closing climb in Campodolcino.
Passo S.Bernardino: GPM1, 23.7 km at 6.2%
Splügenpass/Passo Spluga: GPM1, 8.9 km at 7.3%
Alpe Motta: GPM1, 7.3 km at 7.6%
The ramps are steep over the last 7 km. Past Campodolcino, the route ascends in hairpins, through a number of tunnels, up to Pianazzo, travelling the old, narrow road to Madesimo, with punishing gradients. After a relatively flat stretch in Madesimo, the route rises again with gradients nearing 10% over the last kilometres. The home straight is on tarmac road and on a slight incline.
What to expect:
Expect the battle of the breakaway to last, maybe even as far as the lower slopes of the San Bernardino. GC men looking for time will try to throw men up the road, as well as those teams desperate to salvage their GC with a stage win. this could result in a large, but dysfunctional breakaway. After that, expect the GC battle to begin, sooner, rather than later. Maybe not towards the top of the first climb, but probably the second. Carnage could still ensue and the GC turned upon it's head...............or maybe the result will be stalemate.
Favourites 20th stage 2021 Giro d’Italia
*** Egan Bernal, Simon Yates, João Almeida
** Daniel Martin, Aleksandr Vlasov, Daniel Felipe Martínez, Damiano Caruso
* Romain Bardet, Hugh Carthy, Tobias Foss, Koen Bouwman
Verbania is a municipality founded in 1939 when the two pre-existing municipalities of Pallanza and Intra were unified. The town has been the capital of the Province of Verbano Cusio Ossola since 1992. Verbania became the destination of an international élite tourism and the summer residence of the aristocracy and upper classes that led to the opening of the first hotels and the building of sumptuous villas with gardens.
For those who love lake fish, unmissable is the experience of a perch, served in exquisite fillets or added as a refined ingredient as in the picture below of carpione (fish cooked in vinegar)
In addition to the famous and valuable wines of the Piedmontese tradition (Barbera, Barolo, Nebbiolo), the territory of Verbano Cusio Ossola offers some local wines produced from the terraced vineyards of the Ossola Valley. Viticulture in Ossola Valley means traditionally Prünent'
Valle Spluga-Alpe Motta
Campodolcino, at an altitude of 1070m within the Valle Spluga, is a delightful mountain village above Valchiavenna and is located halfway between the historic town of Chiavenna and the Spluga Pass.
VIOLINO DI CAPRA
Violino di Capra from Valchiavenna is one of those products that are consumed above all in the cold season. It is a cured meat that you don’t find in slices¸ but purchase whole. Its name is essentially taken from the shape, reminiscent of that of a violin, with the leg serving as the neck and the muscle mass the main body. The way in which the meat is sliced, taking away curls of meat using narrow blade knives, is remarkably similar to the action performed by violinists whilst playing. Violino di Capra is a classic of Valchiavenna.
"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
I had my second week's skiing there in 1979 on a school ski trip organised by the county. Flew to Milan, drove up past Como, and then there was a didi cable car up to the hotel.
I did think he was keeping his powder dry yesterday but the last 500m suggested he was closer to his limit than he looked.
Obviously, it could be smoke and mirrors, but Bernal said after yesterday's stage that he wants to have good legs for the time trial.
Maybe he is just managing his efforts.
On that subject, Simon Yates doesn't have a great track record of riding great, successive mountain stages.
I think Yates probably hoped for more from yesterday.
There's 2 ways of looking at it aren't there - either Bernal was measuring his effort ahead of tomorrow and the TT, or his form is declining a lot, he was just holding it together, and he might crack badly today.
Caruso likely to just continue to be Mr Consistent and might benefit from other's struggling.
Just how you want the end of a GT to be.
I am not sure. You have no chance.
If Yates manages to get a teammate into the break then you know it's on like Donkey Kong.
The other question is whether Yates settles for trying to get a few seconds to step up to 2nd or whether he goes all in to try and break Bernal. I'd love to see him try the latter, he's got more than 3 minutes buffer down to Vlasov to protect himself from disaster.
Bardet could also be a wildcard, he lost a little time yesterday to Vlasov but came in with Carthy, who's just 22" ahead on GC. A long up and over onto a technical descent maybe?
I don't think the first climb will see proper attacks, it's too far out and despite being long and high doesn't seem to have the gradients to put people into serious trouble. Worth keeping an eye on who loses their domestiques there and who looks like their legs are suspect though. If Bernal has better legs than it's looked like then he gets the most benefit from the altitude and Ineos might ride it hard to see what happens. They don't need to make the race though, so if they do then it's mostly a theatrical flourish.
Last question is how hard Ganna is worked with the TT tomorrow. I know he's an absolute monster, but he's been putting in some heavy shifts and he'll want to have something left if possible.
The Vikings are coming!
Obviously I don't know how much the mountains take out of him.
He doesn't need to make the race, but if he's feeling good and others aren't then I imagine he'd be open to grabbing a little time anyway.
* About as likely as flying pigs
The Vikings are coming!
The Vikings are coming!
How do they rate in tomorrow's TT? Is Yates a lot better than Bernal, or they're both small guys who don't go very fast?
No threats or team mates at all
Final stage of Tirreno Bernal 4 seconds faster, around 55 seconds off top.
Wouldn't expect much between them tomorrow but depends how they are after 3 weeks and a big stage today.