On a stage which featured 4 of the 10 hardest climbs in one stage in this year’s Giro, the action was rather subdued until the final 5km. it was then that Garmin surprisingly moved to the front to take control of the group and signal to everyone that Ryder was feeling good. Liquigas tried, in vain to take control and pace everyone of their wheel but the group had been nervous all day with their pacing.
On the penultimate climb, the Passo Lavaze, Roman Kreuziger was the first big name to be active as he was trying to make up time from his stage 17 disaster where he lost over 10 minutes. Kreuziger had two teammates up the road and then he launched Kevin Seeldreyers from the main group. After he had this support, he attacked the favorites and being over 11 minutes down and in 20th place, no one responded. Dario Cataldo was also impatient with the Liguigas pace as he tried his luck up the road working with Kreuziger.
As the favorites closed in on Kreuziger on the final climb, Garmin and Liquigas had been battling for control and finally Ivan Basso launched a attack that seemed to be testing the legs of the others. It went nowhere and quickly Scarponi responded seeming to be working with his compatriot against the top two riders. The group reformed and Scarponi attacked again. The same. Then Scarponi attacked again and it was Basso who came detached. In a quick turn of fate, Scarponi looked to his left and found an ally in Hesjedal and the two distanced the other favorites. However, Ryder wasn’t done there. Realizing that he had a gap and seeing Scarponi on the limit, Ryder almost reluctantly, attacked again, but Scaponi held. However, into the final km’s Ryder launched another passive dig and Scarponi couldn’t hold. The favorites where strung down the climb and Hesjadal rode away from them closing on Kreuziger.
As Kreuziger struggled to muster any remaining Watts from his exhausted legs Ryder was inching toward him while inching away from the others. Kreuziger made it to the line first, followed by Ryder 19 seconds later. Rodriguez clawed back to take third and protect the pink jersey. Basso came in 6th, 36 seconds behind Ryder to seemingly put a big question on his podium likelihood.
Tomorrow, we’ve got the biggest day of the race with both the insanely steep Motirolo and the finish on the Stelvio. Everything can change tomorrow depending on who has a good day and who a bad. Time gaps could potentially be in excess of 2 or 3 minutes.
Stage 19 Top 12
1. Roman Kreuziger (AST)_______6h18’03”
2. Ryder Hesjedal (GRM)________+19″
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)_____+32″
4. Michele Scarponi (LAM)______+35″
5. Domenico Pozzovivi (COG)____+43″
6. Ivan Basso (LIQ)____________+55″
7. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)________+57″
8. Mikel Nieve (EUS)___________+1’22”
9. Stefano Pirazzi (COG)
10. John Gadret (ALM)
11. Thomas De Gendt (VAC)______+1’34”
12. Damiano Cunego (LAM)
Complete Stage 19 results: Gazzetta Official
General Classification after 19 stages
1. Joaquim Rodriguez (KAT)____84h06’13”
2. Ryder Hesjedal (GRM)_____+17″
3. Michele Scarponi (LAM)_____+1’39”
4. Ivan Basso (LIQ)___________+1’45”
5. Rigoberto Uran (SKY)_______+3’21”
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (COG)___+3’30”
7. John Gadret (ALM)__________+5’36”
8. Thomas De Gendt (VAC)_____+5’40”
9. Sergio Luis Haeno (SKY)____+5’47”
10. Damiano Cunego (LAM)_____+6’09”
11. Johann Tschopp (BMC)______+6’18”
12. Dario Cataldo (OPQ)_______+6’19”
13. Mikel Nieve (EUS)__________+6’32”
14. Daniel Moreno (KAT)________+6’41”
17. Roman Kreuziger (AST)_____+12’53”
Complete General Classification: Gazzetta Official