Giro 2021:- Stage 20: Verbania – Alpe Motta 165 km **Spoilers**

blazing_saddles
blazing_saddles Posts: 21,811

Stage 20: Verbania – Alpe Motta 165 km

Saturday, 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.



Technical Info:
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.

The Climbs:
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%



Final kilometres

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.

Final Kilometres



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
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.
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Comments

  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 6,915
    If the finish is where I think it is, there is / used to be a Vatican owned hotel that was used as a retreat in the summer by priests etc, but in the winter was used as a hotel for school ski trips.

    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.
  • andyp
    andyp Posts: 10,096
    I did most of this stage back in 1998. I hope they've sorted the road between the bottom of the descent of the San Bernardino and the start of the Splugen, it was being rebuilt then and was basically gravel with large rocks thrown in to keep you on your toes.
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 16,776
    martinez still in the top 10 is pretty stunning given the work he has done
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    This is probably the first and only time I'll ever comment on the picks, but I can't see Bernal as a three-star pick after the last three days. I know Blazing puts these together a little in advance so this is not a criticism; it just goes to illustrate how quickly the ground is apparently shifting.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,441

    This is probably the first and only time I'll ever comment on the picks, but I can't see Bernal as a three-star pick after the last three days. I know Blazing puts these together a little in advance so this is not a criticism; it just goes to illustrate how quickly the ground is apparently shifting.

    Who do you think will finish ahead of him? He finished third yesterday. He may not be looking as good but other that Yates and Almeida is anyone looking better? Generally I would say Bernal is the stronger at the sorts of altitude they're doing today as well.

    I did think he was keeping his powder dry yesterday but the last 500m suggested he was closer to his limit than he looked.
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,811
    Pross said:

    This is probably the first and only time I'll ever comment on the picks, but I can't see Bernal as a three-star pick after the last three days. I know Blazing puts these together a little in advance so this is not a criticism; it just goes to illustrate how quickly the ground is apparently shifting.

    Who do you think will finish ahead of him? He finished third yesterday. He may not be looking as good but other that Yates and Almeida is anyone looking better? Generally I would say Bernal is the stronger at the sorts of altitude they're doing today as well.

    I did think he was keeping his powder dry yesterday but the last 500m suggested he was closer to his limit than he looked.
    This and also the fact than unlike previous stages, the race goes above 2000 metres for two of the three climbs.

    This is probably the first and only time I'll ever comment on the picks, but I can't see Bernal as a three-star pick after the last three days. I know Blazing puts these together a little in advance so this is not a criticism; it just goes to illustrate how quickly the ground is apparently shifting.

    It's not a positive bias thing, just a gut feeling, so I am probably wrong.
    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.

    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • gsk82
    gsk82 Posts: 3,461
    I thought Bernal was controlling things until the last 500m yesterday too. Yates has lost time to Almeida at the end of the last 2 MTF as well.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • bobmcstuff
    bobmcstuff Posts: 11,196
    Almeida kicked at the end though and Bernal maintained (possibly).

    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.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,441
    I suspect he was keeping things in check. Better to keep a measured effort and lose a few seconds than go deep and not recover in time for today. Yates could easily lose everything he gained yesterday and more if he put a lot into getting the stage win and Almeida certainly looked like he was feeling it yesterday.
  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 6,915
    It feels like a day when anything could happen. Any of Bernal, Yates or Almedia could crack, or could forge ahead.
    Caruso likely to just continue to be Mr Consistent and might benefit from other's struggling.
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,715
    edited May 2021

    It feels like a day when anything could happen. Any of Bernal, Yates or Almedia could crack, or could forge ahead.
    Caruso likely to just continue to be Mr Consistent and might benefit from other's struggling.

    Nice summary.
    Just how you want the end of a GT to be.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,283
    Fascinating possibilities in this stage, and some big questions to answer, especially for Bernal. We might see a QS - Bike Exchange alliance, but that in turn could make quite a few teams nervous (Bahrain, DSM, Astana, EF) about their top 10 positions.

    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.

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  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 6,915
    I know Ganna & Puccio have spent a lot of time on the front, but hasn't that been on the easy days when they've let the break get 15 minutes or more this week? So have those stages been much more than training rides?
    Obviously I don't know how much the mountains take out of him.
  • Lanterne_Rogue
    Lanterne_Rogue Posts: 4,091
    With Bernal, it's less the results than the body language. But if he was managing the gaps yesterday (which he probably was, for whichever reason) it's hard to see why he'd suddenly switch back to all out attack given tomorrow's TT. I don't expect him to crack, but I'd be very surprised if he won the stage.
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,283

    With Bernal, it's less the results than the body language. But if he was managing the gaps yesterday (which he probably was, for whichever reason) it's hard to see why he'd suddenly switch back to all out attack given tomorrow's TT. I don't expect him to crack, but I'd be very surprised if he won the stage.

    Unless it's all been a cunning ploy to set up a day of devastating dominance*

    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
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  • phreak
    phreak Posts: 2,905
    I'm not sure teams have really put the Ineos train under pressure yet. Guys like Moscon and Castroviejo shouldn't be really there half way up the final climb. They're time triallists with no real climbing pedigree. We saw last year at the Tour that once Jumbo put a high quality mountain train together the Ineos domestiques weren't a factor. I'm just not sure unless the other favourites work together a bit that there's sufficient depth in the field to do much. We've seen numerous examples of Astana, EF, and Bike Exchange trains sitting on the front and then evaporating as soon as the climb starts.
  • commuterlegs
    commuterlegs Posts: 268
    Has anybody seen the video of Bernal walking to sign a cap for a fan after yesterday’s stage, will only add fuel to the rumours about his back. #uncomfortable
  • No_Ta_Doctor
    No_Ta_Doctor Posts: 13,283

    Has anybody seen the video of Bernal walking to sign a cap for a fan after yesterday’s stage, will only add fuel to the rumours about his back. #uncomfortable

    Yes, but most didn't seem to notice he was walking up and down an uneven embankment and just watching where he put his feet
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  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,441

    Has anybody seen the video of Bernal walking to sign a cap for a fan after yesterday’s stage, will only add fuel to the rumours about his back. #uncomfortable

    I doubt he'd have been doing it if he was overly concerned about his back.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,441
    I'm not sure I get the talk of teams needing to isolate Bernal. Let's face it unless they club together how many of the teams have the firepower to drop the Ineos riders before shedding all their own riders?
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,441
    Gaviria has gone too early in his sprint again.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,441
    Verhoucke gets a gap and has that panicked look when realising no-one has gone with him and there's 150km to go
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,811
    Ineos having an easy time of it, as once again it's impossible to get away on a stage with this design.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,234
    Alpe Motta is not big enough for Yates to gain 2 minutes, me thinks...

    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?
    left the forum March 2023
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,811
    Looks as if we aren’t far off having the breakaway and it’s underwhelming.
    No threats or team mates at all
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,731

    Alpe Motta is not big enough for Yates to gain 2 minutes, me thinks...

    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?

    I think similar - Caruso slightly better
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • Alpe Motta is not big enough for Yates to gain 2 minutes, me thinks...

    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?

    Yates was 1 second faster on Stage 1, and were both about 40s off the top.
    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.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,731
    Bri Smith called the way the break would go - nobody significant getting riders up the road - hopefully he was right about the action starting on the first climb too
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • blazing_saddles
    blazing_saddles Posts: 21,811
    edited May 2021

    Bri Smith called the way the break would go - nobody significant getting riders up the road - hopefully he was right about the action starting on the first climb too

    I think it has to, tbh.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,441

    Bri Smith called the way the break would go - nobody significant getting riders up the road - hopefully he was right about the action starting on the first climb too

    I think it has to, tbh.
    It comes down to the usual question of who is prepared to risk their current position. Yates I think will, Caruso is less likely as I think he'll be happy with a GT podium.