- - Giro d'Italia 2024 Stage 20

Giro d’Italia 2024 Stage 20

photo credits @ Giro d’Italia 

This year’s Italian Grand Tour may as well have been called the Giro d’Pogačar, as the Slovenian rider once again trounced the competition in today’s stage 20, taking a solo victory atop the Monte Grappa to all but secure the maglia rosa ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.

r attacked with 36km remaining from a small group of climbers, who had managed to hold pace with the blistering speed set by his UAE Team Emirates until he jettisoned the group with 5.4km to go along the second ascent of the Monte Grappa, later catching and passing the remnants of the day’s breakaway to finish more than two minutes ahead of his closest rivals Valentin Paret-Peintre (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) and Dani Martínez (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Meanwhile, a battle for the podium ensued behind, with Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) losing pace with his fellow GC contenders on the lower slopes of the Monte Grappa to see his 22-second margin for second place drift far out of reach, forcing him to fend off a challenge for the podium from Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious).

Fortuanelty, Thomas’ descending skills enabled him to bridge back to Tiberi and Martínez on the descent to finish at the same time, thus holding onto his podium spot comfortably.

“Rui [Oliveira] and [Sebastian] Molano did a great job until the first climb then Vegard and Mikkel set a really good pace on the first part of the climb, which I was really happy with,” Pogačar said after the finish.

“We made a really good pace through the top and downhill we took no risks. Then the uphill we set as we said it in the meeting. It was perfect and I was so happy that I had a good gap on the top and I didn’t need to go full gas on the downhill.

“We wanted the pink jersey from stage 2 – a lot of obligations every day, a lot of things to do all day. It just goes to show today is another test before summer to see how it is. I wanted to finish the Giro with good mentality and good shape and I think I achieved that,” he said. “I cannot describe how it was feeling with all the fans on the climb.

“I never been in Rome before,” Pogačar finished, “but I’m going to enjoy it for sure.”

Pogačar’s margin of victory on the stage added to 10 seconds of time bonuses for the stage win, extending his lead in the overall standings to 9:56 – a stark contrast to a race which had not seen more than a three-minute winning margin for a decade.

Race Highlights

Neo-pro Giulio Pellizzari (VF Group-Bardiani CSF–Faizane) took the fight to Pogača in the mountains to hint at a thrilling finale.

The 20-year-old attacked from out of the peloton on the first of two ascents of Monte Grappa with 80km remaining, scooping up the three leaders – Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin–Deceuninck), Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar) and teammate Alessandro Tonelli before the summit.

A daring descent followed, which saw four become three as Janssens got dropped, while the leaders arrived at the foot of a mountain with around a 2:30 margin over the remnants of the peloton.

From there, Pellizzari attacked, ripping up the mountain with such vigor that Pogačar was soon spotted pulling alongside his UAE comrades demanding a faster tempo.

Pogačar got his wish when Rafal Majka took over domestique duties at the front, slowly bringing Pellizzari’s gap down, while Thomas began feeling the heat and fell back slightly.

With a little over 5km to the summit of Monte Grappa, Pogačar commenced his winning move, quickly making his way to Pellizzari before distancing him.

From that moment on, the biggest obstacles for Pogačar were spectators who overwrought with enthusiasm began pushing the race leader against his wishes, while one threw a pink flare in his pathway, causing him to make a quick move in order to avoid disaster.

Leave a reply
Share on