Giro d’Italia | Stage 19



Mauro Schmid: 'Not a fair sprint'

Bernal to return to racing – just seven months after life-threatening crash
Today's runner up was livid at the finish, blaming Koen Bouwman for ruining his chances of victory...
"My opinion it was not a fair sprint. That’s pretty clear. Because my handlebars were in front and he [Bouwman] nearly crashed in the last corner. He knew that he was slower in the sprint so he pushed me away and I could do nothing. Second place is first loser so I’m not happy with that. I think I had it in the legs today so of course I’m disappointed."

‘It was not a fair sprint’ – Schmid after calamitous end saw him finish as ‘first loser’

The chaotic moment blue Bouwman doubled up

Here's the final sprint where Koen Bouwman took the racing line and closed the door on Mauro Schmid, who in turn barged Andrea Vendrame wide and into the barriers...

'Oh my word!' – Vendrame crashes at last corner in dramatic end to Stage 19 as Bouwman wins

16:02 - Nothing separates the top three

The fight for pink is going to come down to the wire! The top three are caught by a handful of riders before they open up the sprint to the line - and it's Carapaz who leads them round that comedy corner, which all three get through without any drama before crossing the line together: Carapaz, then Hindley, then Landa...

16:00 - Landa pegged back

Landa's lead didn't last long and he was caught by Carapaz and Hindley before the pink jersey put in an attack of his own. It came to nothing and it looks like the top three of this race will ride to the line together...

Victory for Koen Bouwman in Stage 19

That was a comedy of errors as the sprint finally kicked off before half the brak misjudged the final corner and went into the barriers. Koen Bouwman, who was leading it out, noticed the tight angle before anyone else and so could take evasive action on his way to a second victory on this Giro - but both Valter and Vendrame overcooked it and had egg on their faces...
Second place for Mauro Schmid and third for Alessandro Tonelli.

15:57 - Carapaz attacks! Then Landa!

Finally we see some action from the GC favourites as Carapaz puts in the first big attack to take Hindley and Landa with him. After a brief lull, Landa then puts in an even bigger attack - and this time the Spaniard distances both his rivals...

Final kilometre: Five leaders still together

It's like a track sprint between the breakaway riders none of whom have put in a decisive attack on this final climb...

Sivakov puts in a dig to put Ineos in driving seat

Back with the main peloton, Pavel Sivakov has just upped the tempo and that shake-up sees both Buchmann and Kelderman distanced - so all of a sudden Hindley finds himself isolated. Things are whittled down to a group of around 10 - with the likes of Carapaz, Landa, Hindley, Bilbao, Nibali and Hirt all still there... But Valverde and Pozzovivo have been dropped, ditto the white jersey Juanpe Lopez.

15:52 - Vendrame dropped, fights back

2km to go: Tonelli and then Valter put in digs - and while Bouwman and Schmid have those covered, Vendrame falls back. But as the pace eases again, the Italian returns.

15:50 - Bouwman with the first attack

3km to go: But it comes to nothing after Valter closes it down. They then slow again to an almost standstill. "It's like watching the gruppetto," says Sean Kelly.

15:45 - Tense and cagey in the break

4km to go: Probably because of their unassailable lead, the five riders in this move are taking no chances. They're riding this very cagily - playing and waiting and biding their time. And the further it stays like this, the further it plays into the hands of a guy like Vandrame, who is a fast finisher who will love the flatter final kilometre of this finish today...

15:37 - Leaders onto the final climb

7km to go: The breakaway has started the final climb to the Santuario di Castelmonte. It's the first time this has been used in the Giro's hustory and it's a 7.1km test at 7.8% and a maximum gradient of 14%.

15:34 - McEwen backs Bouwman to double up

10km to go: Alessandro Tonelli just won the intermediate sprint at Civitale del Friuli - not that any of these five riders are too bothered by such a trifle given the potential reward up the road. One of these five men will win today with Robbie McEwen choosing the obvious choice in the man in blue. The peloton has really knocked it off ahead of this final climb, letting the gap grow back to over eight minutes. Ineos Grenadiers are back on the front now for Carapaz ahead of the showdown.

15:26 - It's 4 v 4 v 5 for the GC favourites

15km to go: Bora-Hansgrpohe have four riders on the front, Ineos Grenadiers have four just behind, and then Bahrain Victorious have five behind them - as Hindley, Carapaz and Landa prepare for the final showdown. Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa) zips to the front and that sparks a reply from Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) but they're quickly pegged back by this pink jersey group, which only has around 30 riders left.

15:20 - Schmid takes on a can of coke

20km to go: Mauro Schmid asks for a can of coke from his team car then chastises his DS when he hands it over in a can - he wants it in a bottle, because the pace is high, and he can savour it for longer. His Quick-Step DS duly delivers and Schmid takes a sip then falls back in line. The five leaders have 6:40 over the pack with just the one climb coming up. They should hold on, but then again the GC battle has not yet ignited behind...

15:13 - Three stage winners in leading quintet

28km to go: Three of this five-man move are Giro stage winners either this year (Bouwman) or last year (Schmid and Vendrame). Valter has never won a pro race outside Hungary while Tonelli, whose only win came in the Tour of Croatia in 2018, is hoping to win a first Giro stage win for hsi Bardiani-CSF team in six years...
Their advantage is still 7:20 over the Bora-led peloton as they hit a ledge halfway down this long descent back into Italy after that foray into Slovenia. We then have the valley road and the second intermediate sprint ahead of today's final climb, where it will all kick off again.

15:00 - Vendrame comes back from nowhere!

36km to go: Wow! We have a race on our hands! On a slight ledge on the descent the four leaders are completely caught out by Andrea Vendrame, who soars past them on the inside - almost riding into a ditch as he found a tight gap between the wall by the road and Valter - and zips off ahead. That's a big wake-up call for the quartet, who have to rally to return back on the front. Five ahead.

14:53 - Bouwman keeps up perfect record

43km to go: For the third time today, Koen Bouwman crests the summit of a climb on the front of the race - and this time it's a whopping 40pts after the toughest ascent on today's menu, the Kolovrat. The man in blue goes onto 276 points and he's mathematically assured of becoming the first Dutchman to win the Giro's climbing classification. But can he add a second stage win to his haul? The four leaders still have eight minutes and so one of them will surely be raising their arms aloft in an hour or so...

14:50 - Tonelli back with the leaders

44km to go: The Italian has managed to claw his way back to the leaders, for whom Bouwman looks by far the strongest. Back in the pack, Zardini is about to be caught after his fruitless foray off the front. Ineos are down to four: Carapaz, Tulett, Castroviejo and Sivakov.

14:42 - Valter acceleration drops Tonelli

46km to go: The Hungarian puts in a big dig and it's enough to pop the Italian from Bardiani. So it's the three dangermen who are left on the front now: Valter, Bouwman and Schmid.
A reminder if you're just tuning in that Richie Porte was forced out of his last ever Grand Tour earlier after succumbing to sickness and being dropped on the first climb... Link and video below:

‘Oh dear! – Porte falls ill on Stage 19

14:38 - GC battle yet to kick off

48km to go: Bora and Ineos still front the main pack, which is shedding riders - Ulissi, Costa, Mollema all go off the back, one by one... Zardini, meanwhile, continues his suicide attack, which has left Sean Kelly baffled: "I have no idea what he's doing." The Italian has 30 seconds on the pack but still trails the leaders by 8:30.
Will any attacks from the likes of Carapaz, Hindley or Landa before the summit, or will they wait for the final climb once the race leaves Slovenia and returns to Italy? The local fans are clearly enjoying themselves..

14:27 - And then there were four...

51km to go: Bayer was doing his best to fight back on but then the elastic snapped. The next to fade is Magnus Cort - which is understandable given his active presence in the breakaway yesterday that went the distance. Vendrame also slips back and so it's just Tonelli, Valter, Bouwman and Schmid ahead.
Back with the peloton, there's an early attack from a Drone Hopper rider, Edoardo Zardini, who goes clear of the Bora-Hansgrohe fronted pack to open up a small gap. He has a lot of ground to cover to catch the leaders, who are still nine minutes up the road...

14:20 - 12 become six as break splits up

52km to go: It's no huge surprise to see Bayer, Davy, Affini, Ballerini, Theuns and Gaviria go out the back early on this climb. So we have six riders left on the front: Vendrame, Tonelli, Cort, Valter, Bouwman and Schmid. They have 9:20 on the main pack, which is about to hit the start of this climb.

14:15 - We're onto the brutal Kolovrat climb

54km to go: The break has hit the start of the Cat.1 Kolovrat (10.3km at 9.2%). It has two extended sections of 15% and it's going to cause chaos - both in the break and back in the peloton. It means "Spinning Wheel" in Slovenian - and spinning away in a low gear is the only way you're going to get up it... Most of us amateurs would need a compact, or "granny gear", for this monster.

14:05 - Ballerini and Affini burying themselves

62km to go: It's all Davide Ballerini (Quick-Step) and Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) on the front of this break as they pull hard to pave the way for their teammates Mauro Schmid and Koen Bouwman, who will be among the favourites for the stage win today. They're pushing hard to keep the gap above eight minutes ahead of this ascent of Kolovrat - aka the Slovenian Mortirolo - which is coming right up. Clement Davy is also putting in a shift for his Groupama-FDJ teammate Attila Valter.
A reminder of the 12 riders in this breakaway which is about to explode: Andrea Vendrame (Ag2R-Citroen), Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Clement Dacy and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), Edoardo Affini and Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), Davide Ballerini and Mauro Schmid (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates).

13:55 - The riders enter Slovenia

72km to go: You have to feel for the race organisers who, in an era dominated by two Slovenians Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic, decided to include a foray into Slovenia in this year's race, but still couldn't attract either of the nation's two superstars. They couldn't even get Matej Mohoric to join the party - although the Milan-Sanremo winner is apparently going to be watching today's stage from the side of the road on the next climb, the Kolovrat.
The race enters Slovenia with the break still holding a gap of 8:20 on the Bora-led peloton. After Jan Tratnik's withdrawal following his crash in the opening stage, the only Slovenian at the Giro is Tratnik's Bahrain Victorious teammate Domen Novak, who will no doubt relish these next 35-odd kilometres.

13:45 - Richie Porte abandons the Giro

80km to go: A huge setback for Richard Carapaz, Ineos Grenadiers and the man himself, for this was Porte's last ever Grand Tour and he intended to get all the way to the finish while helping his Ecuadorian leader win a second pink jersey.

Wiggins on Porte

Image credit: Eurosport

13:40 - Bouwman all but secures blue jersey

83km to go: The Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma goes over the top of the Passo di Tanamea on the front of the break to take another 9pts and stretch his lead over Guilio Ciccone in the KOM standings to 133pts. And given Ciccone is not in the break, and there are only 130pts up for grabs tomorrow, that all but secures the blue jersey for Bouwman, who just needs to get to Verona in one piece. Now he can focus on winning a second stage today... and with the gap still eight minutes, he'll be one of the big favourites.

13:36 - Pozzovivo back in main peloton

86km to go: The Italian is back in the main pack, albeit very far down the pecking order as Bora continue their metronomic drill on the front. Welcoming the riders on the other side of this climb will be Slovenia...

13:30 - Pozzovivo among those distanced

88km to go: The Italian veteran appears to have been caught out in this split. He was going so well in this Giro until he crashed on the descent of the Mortitolo when compatriot Vincenzo Nibali piled on the pressure. Having been as high as fifth, Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) was eighth this morning at 12:30 - giving him a 2:40 cushion over ninth place Juan Pedro Lopez of Trek-Segafredo, the white jersey.

13:26 - Big splits in pack ahead of second climb

90km to go: The 12 leaders are onto the Cat.3 Passo di Tanamea, which is 8.9km long at a gentle 5%. Behind, the tempo being set by Bora has caused a large split off the back of the peloton. None of the big GC favourites are involved but we will keep tabs on this. The advantage of the break, meanwhile, is down to 8:45.

13:22 - Porte confirms illness to Wiggins

92km to go: Apparently Richie Porte just shouted out "gastro" to his former teammate Bradley Wiggins, who is following the race for Eurosport on the back of a motorcycle and confirms in his latest report that Porte "has the two bob bits". He's battling on but it's going to be a world of pain today for the veteran if he wants to make it within the time limit.

13:15 - Wiggins: I imagine Richie will abandon

95km to go: Brad Wiggins just delivered one of his moto reports off the back of the gruppetto and near the struggling Richie Porte. Apparently he's been struggling with illness overnight. He's just downed a can of coke but he's well off the back and it doesn't look good. Wiggins reckons he will withdraw - and that would be a sad way for him to end his last ever Grand Tour. There's also the worry that this is not an isolated case and other riders at Ineos could be affected... namely the pink jersey.

13:06 - Richie Porte in trouble...

101km to go: Now this is interesting - Richie Porte is off the back of the peloton on this climb and he looks to be really struggling. He was joshing earlier when Bradley Wiggins passed him on his motorbike but he's clearly on a bad day or feeling ill because this is a very uncharacteristic ride from the Aussie veteran. Could this be a turning point for the race for pink? Richard Carapaz has lost his key mountain lieutenant at a time when Bora-Hansgrohe have six riders setting tempo on the front.

13:03 - Bouwman takes maximum 9pts over summit

103km to go: The Dutchman is looking to sew up the KOM competition today before tomorrow's showdown in the Dolomites. He leads the break over the top of this first climb to move onto 227pts in the blue jersey classification where his nearest challenger is Guilio Ciccone on 103pts. There's a maximum total of 163pts up for grabs today.

12:55 - Breakaway onto the first climb

107km to go: The race now enters its second phase - or the midgame, if you will - now that the opening flat 70km plus the intermediate sprint are both behind us. The 12 escapees start the first climb of the day, the Cat.3 Villanova Grotta, with an advantage of 9:33 over the pack. This is a 3.7km climb at 8% and with a maximum gradient of 13%.

12:45 - Alessandro De Marchi chez lui

115km to go: The local star Alessandro De Marchi rides though his home town of Buja to a hero's welcome - and the Italian veteran gives school children high-fives before stopping to greet friends and family on the side of the road. Perhaps this is why he didn't get in the break - knowing that he wouldn't be able to stop and lap up the atmospher.

‘We don't see it often’ – Watch De Marchi stop for ‘nice moment’ during race

12:33 - Gaviria wins intermediate sprint in Buja

122km to go: The Colombian kicks clear to take the maximum 12pts at the sprint in Buja, the home town of Alessandro De Marchi. You could have bet your bottom dollar that the Israel-Premier Tech rider would have wanted to be in the breakaway today, but he clearly missed the move or isn't feeling good. His team are having a shocker, in all fairness.
Those 12pts puts Gavaria back into second place and above Mark Cavendish in the maglia ciclamino standings. He has 136pts to Cav's 132pts - both well down pon Arnaud Demare's 254pts. Gaviria probably keeping his faint hopes alive in the event of the Frenchman missing the time cut or crashing out between now and Verona...

12:27 - Bora take it up behind

125km to go: The Bora-Hansgrohe team of Jai Hindley are not happy with this sluggest pace and have sent two riders to the front of the pack to up the tempo. While their priority is getting the Australian into pink, the won't say no to another stage win on top of previous wins from Hindley and Lennard Kamna. Given the make-up of the break - the only recognised climbers being Valter and Bouwman - they may think they can kill two birds with one stone: ride for both the GC and the stage win.
The peloton is now all strung out as the gap goes south for the first time - to 10:55 from 11:30 in a matter of a few kilometres.

12:18 - Almost nine minutes for dozen ahead

135km to go: There will be a bit battle today - for the stage spoils as well as the pink jersey and other places in the top 10 - but for now, the peloton is taking things very easy. And after yesterday's drama - with a prolonged chase that came to nought in Treviso - can you really blame them? Well over eight minutes now for the leaders as the peloton passes a graphic of Wolfi, the Giro's official mascot, painted across a field.

12:06 - Gap balloons to five minutes

143km to go: None of these 12 escapees are within one hour of the race lead and so it's no surprise that the peloton aren't too concerned by the state of play. That said, Ineos Grenadiers eventually come to the front to keep a lid on things once the gap hits five minutes - as if the duty of the team with the pink jersey in their possession. Just three seconds separate Richard Carapaz and his nearest challenger, Jai Hindley of Bora-Hansgrohe, while Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) is in third at 1:04. Those are the only three riders who can realistically win this Giro, with fourth place Vincenzo Nibali almost six minutes down on GC.

11:56 - Peloton sit up and let this move go

150km to go: It was touch and go for a while but the collective will has finally granted these 12 leaders their leave and the gap stretches up to 1:30 accordingly. It will be interesting to see how much time they give this move - whether they will contest for the spoils or if it will come down to those riders battling it out for pink.

11:46 - Just 20 seconds for the 12 leaders

158km to go: This is a strong group with a nice mix of rouleurs, climbers, engines and fast finishers. They have opened up a gap of 20 seconds on the pack but the likes of Astana, Team DSM, Israel-PremierTech, Drone Hopper and Eolo-Kometa aren't too happy to have missed the split. Two riders from yesterday's break in Affini and Cort, while the blue jersey of Bouwman. The Dutchman could wrap up the KOM classification today.

11:40 - A dozen go clear with a small gap

165km to go: Ballerini, Van der Poel, Cort and a Bardiani-CSF rider went clear but were then joined by a flurry of riders who bridged over and then brought the front of the peloton back in touch. But quite soon afterwards another split occurred and 12 went clear. The leaders are: Andrea Vendrame (Ag2R-Citroen), Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Clement Dacy and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ), Edoardo Affini and Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma), Davide Ballerini and Mauro Schmid (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates).

11:30 - Alpecin-Fenix trying to force a move

174km to go: Haven't they been amazing in this Giro? Mathieu van der Poel won the opening stage and wore pink until Mount Etna, Stefano Oldani took a win from the break in Genova, and then yesterday Dries De Bondt got in the act. It's that man De Bondt now who is trying to launch Van der Poel on the front as the peloton is all strung out from the high tempo. Pascal Eenkhoorn (Jumbo-Visma) tried his luck earlier, while sprinters Arnaud Demare and Mark Cavendish were also in a small move off the front. But as yet, nothing has stuck.

11:25 - Stage 19 under way

178km to go: The flag goes down and the race is on! There's a flurry of attacks from the start - and it looks like Mathieu van der Poel, after his day off yesterday, is sniffing around the front of the peloton. It's a fairly flat opening 65km ahead of the climb. Here's a reminder of the profile:

Remaining 151 riders in the neutral zone ahead of key Stage 19

The calm before the storm... although, meteorologically speaking, there shouldn't be one of those today: it's a warm and sunny day in northern Italy as the riders prepare to do battle in this penultimate stage of the Giro. There's over 3,000m of climbing on the menu and we can expect a fierce battle to get in the breakaway today given so many riders and teams have got nothing from this race.
Indeed, half of the 22 teams have not had a stage win so far - and with just three days to go, their chances are running out.
One overnight withdrawal: Jefferson Cepeda (Drone Hopper-Androni Giacattoli).

STAGE 18 RECAP: De Bondt joy

Dries De Bondt pulled off a surprise on Thursday as a plucky four-man break defied the peloton and the Belgian took a fine Stage 18 win in Treviso ahead of Italy’s Edoardo Affini, Denmark’s Magnus Cort and Italy’s Davide Gabburo. A thrilling finale saw the teams of the sprinters fail to make the catch as Arnaud Demare and Mark Cavendish were left empty-handed on the last flat finish of the Giro.
De Bondt went shoulder-to-shoulder with Italian time trial specialist Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) en route to taking a maiden Grand Tour stage win – and a third in the race for his Alpecin-Fenix team after earlier successes for Mathieu van der Poel and Stefano Oldani.
Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost) missed out on an opportunity to complete his set of Grand Tour stage wins, the moustachioed Dane settling for third place ahead of Italy’s Davide Gabburo (Bardiani-CSF).
Local rider Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) led home the remnants of a frustrated peloton 14 seconds in arrears ahead of Frenchman Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), while Britain’s Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) took eighth place ahead of Colombia’s Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates).
As the teams of the sprinters dug in to try and close a gaping gap of two minutes on the approach to Treviso, a split in the pack caught out over half the field – most notably the white jersey Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) and German sprinter Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious).
With fewer numbers committed to the chase behind, the leading quartet dug in and combined well over the one and a half laps of the finishing circuit in Treviso to ensure that the final flat finish of the Giro did not go to script.
Entering the last 5km of the 151km stage the escapees still had around 50 seconds to play with, paving the way for De Bondt’s stunning win. Extra drama came from a late puncture for the Australian Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) who crossed the line over a minute down on his pink jersey rival Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). But as the incident occurred within the final 3km, Hindley was given the same time as his GC rivals.
Carapaz therefore retained his three-second lead over Hindley ahead of back-to-back summit finishes as the 105th edition of La Corsa Rosa enters its final captivating phase. The only major change in the standings saw the former maglia rosa Lopez – the race’s white jersey following the earlier withdrawal of Portugal’s Joao Almeida following a positive test for Covid-19 – drop one place to ninth after losing almost three minutes at the finish.


Each and every stage will be broadcast in its entirety on Eurosport, discovery+ and GCN+, bookended by The Breakaway, presented by Orla Chennaoui and Dan Lloyd. Rob Hatch and Hannah Walker will be in the commentary box with regular contributions from pundits Robbie McEwen, Sean Kelly and Adam Blythe, with Bradley Wiggins doing his thing on the back of a motorbike.


Tune in from 10:50 BST to watch Stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia. Watch uninterrupted coverage on eurosport.co.uk and discovery+, or watch the action from 11:00 on Eurosport 2.


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