- - Giro d'Italia 2023 Stage 19

Giro d’Italia 2023 Stage 19

photo credits @ WTF

Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) claimed today’s Queen Stage of the Giro d’Italia, after beating the irrepressible Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech), who was forced to swallow his fourth second-place finish in this year’s Italian Grand Tour, followed by Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), who clung on for third place.

Buitrago had been part of a 15-rider breakaway group that formed after a breathless start to today’s Dolomite-packed stage, using the double-digit gradients of the final climb to reel-in Gee and seize the stage honors.

Meanwhile, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) came around Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) in the final 400 meters to snatch three-seconds from the race leader atop the Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

The British rider continues to lead his Slovenian rival by 26 seconds in the GC ahead of tomorrow’s 18.6 kilometer individual mountain time trial from Tarvisio to Monte Lussari.

Race Highlights

Larry Warbasse (AG2R-Citroen) and Veljko Stojnic (Team Corratec-Selle Italia) formed the day’s first breakaway effort, who were quickly joined by Alex Baudin (AG2R-Citroen), Gee, Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R-Citroen), Vadim Pronskiy (Astana), Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), Davide Gabburo (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizane).

From there, Buitrago, Stefano Oldani (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Alessandro de Marchi (Jayco-Alula), Matti Bais (Eolo-Kometa) and Movistar’s Jose Joaquin Rojas bridged their way to the leaders as well.

With 113 kilometers left, Ben Healy (EF Education-EasyPost) launched the first of multiple attacks from the main peloton in an attempt to bridge the gap to the front group. However, Ineos-Grenadiers stymied all of the Irish rider’s surges. 

Up front, Verona attacked from the breakaway group on the Passo Giau, only to be joined by Cort, Buitrago, Gee and Hepburn, while Ineos-Grenadiers continued driving the pace back in the peloton. 

Cort was dropped from the front group shortly before the summit of the Passo Giau and played catch-up on the descent, while Prodhomme and Pronskiy joined the front group, which now featured seven riders. More riders later caught up, increasing the number to 11 at the front.

Warbasse attacked solo from the front group on the Passo Tre Croci, with Buitrago, Cort and later Gee keen to mark the American rider’s move.

Buitrago, Gee and Hepburn then upped the pace on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo climb, while Ineos-Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma lead the chase back in the peloton.

Shortly thereafter, Gee launched an attack from the front group, a move that was quickly marked by Buitrago.

In the meantime, Thymen Arensman increased the speed at the front of the general classification favorites group. Thomas followed along with Kuss, Roglic, Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious). Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) moved to the front.

Roglič launched an attack but was joined by Thomas. Almeida tried to close the gap and managed to do so with one kilometer left. Almeida moved to the front of the trio.

Back up front, Buitrago initiated his winning move with 1500 meters remaining, claiming a solo victory by almost a minute ahead of his Canadian challenger. 

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