Giro d'Italia Stage 20 Preview - The Mountain Time Trial?
After the “Queen Stage,” Stage 19, the riders get the “race of truth” in their sights. Hey, this sounds easy, right? Wrong! Naturally, the General Classification could see one last shake-up on Saturday as this time trial is no ordinary one.
The big story is that almost 50 riders have now had to leave the race, giving us a better chance for GC races here. The three leading contenders create some predictable bets and maybe a twist with someone just outside contention.
However, there is some danger here. Why? Form still feels like it could be fleeting here. The GC riders have all lost time at some point to one another.
To prepare you for the weekend cycling betting, we look early at Saturday's Stage 20 time trial. The riders will be thankful for the final stage on Sunday.
Deconstructing Giro d'Italia Stage 20
When Giro creators looked at this final week, they wanted vengeance on the riders. It is the only way to explain what comes at these cyclists on Saturday. The time trial is only 18.6 kilometers, which translates to 11.6 miles. That sounds all right.
This stage features over 1,000 meters of total climbing. The last half of the stage feels like a forever ride up a never-ending mountain. The Monte Lussardi Tudor ride is a beast where the average kick slams in at 15% to start. After the first 11 kilometers, there are no more descents. A rider only goes up from here.
The stage philosophy will be survival and pace. Riders must take advantage of the few sections that drop to a 4-6% incline. These roads are also narrow (old cable car and trolley roads). Switchbacks only make this ascent more challenging. There are two intermediate time checks on the climb (14.3 and 17.8 kilometers).
For the final kilometer, the gradient jumps to a whopping 22%, drops to 8%, then a double bend greets the rider for 150 meters at a 16% incline. By the end, oxygen might be needed.
Check locally for those watching television in the United States. Bein Sports Extra will carry the stage starting at 9:15 a.m. ET. There are also GCN+ and Discovery + for-pay options if one is abroad.
Do keep an eye out for the weather. Riders may want to pray for plenty of sun.
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Some Riders To Watch at Giro d'Italia Stage 20
Unfortunately, losing almost a third of the riders in this event does take some of the sting out of this Stage 20. Imagine Remco Evenepoel trying to climb up this time trial finale. Sadly, that will not happen. However, Gerant Thomas, Joao Almeida, and Primoz Roglic are the main antagonists here.
Once more, does Jay Vine or Sepp Kuss have anything left in the tank? Those two guys can climb a nasty mountain like this if they do. It’s a beast!
Now, could riders like Ben Healy or Brandon McNulty be considered? That is possible too. Again, what do some of them have left after three weeks of racing? They are going into red zones the likes few have seen.
Thankfully, temperatures are a hair milder for Thursday on the forecast. Some riders are very much looking forward to this racing ending already.
Giro d'Italia Stage 20 Predictions
The books are starting to waver on Roglic. Again, the wild card is, did Roglic try to pace himself deliberately before realizing the damage was worsening? Roglic needs time, and that ending time trial does not suit him. There is danger and trouble.
Expect some numbers to shift. Our projections are made more arduous because of Stage 19. Consider this is the third day of “beyond category” racing, as cyclists call it.
Here is our projected early table of the favorites and where their sports betting odds lie.
Again, expect a battle like few can imagine. Those who pace themselves the best will thrive at this stage. It figures to be the Brit battling the Portuguese rider.
Thomas is our pick based on form and this third week so far. Good luck!
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