A final time trial and maybe a reward for Filippo Ganna for towing the peloton around Italy for three weeks but it’s this that could cost him today.
Caruso’s Opera: Team DSM attacked on the descent of the San Bernardino with Romain Bardet and two sherpas in Michael Storer and Chris Hamilton. This was a audacious move but Bardet and DSM could afford the risk, the Frenchman was a respectable sixth overall, decent but not what he’d have signed for at the start. Then Damiano Caruso and Pello Bilbao jumped across and this was a bolder move, Caruso in second overall and launching a move with 50km to go and what did he stand to gain? A stage win and a few seconds? That’s just what he got but it brought something more, it gives his Giro a flourish, this isn’t the story of domestique profiting from the exit of his leader to diesel his way to a podium by stealth, he’s now become a different rider who can win outright. Romain Bardet gained a few seconds and kudos for trying although he should get rinsed in today’s time trial. Otherwise Ineos did a solid job to shepherd Egan Bernal and he burned his other rivals away within the final two kilometres, including Simon Yates, and goes into today’s stage with almost two minute’s lead.
The Route: 30.3km, fast and flat around the northern suburbs if Milan before a finish in front of the cathedral. The course changes direction several times and there’s a breeze today so finding shelter and knowing where the head/tailwind sections helps.
The Contenders: Filippo Ganna (Ineos) is hard to look past, it’s tempting to give him three chainrings and leave the other fields blank, he was over a second per kilometre faster on his way to the win in Torino. But that was three weeks ago and he’s been working hard for weeks, accumulating fatigue while others have been spared such efforts. He’s off at 2.08pm CEST.
Starting just three minutes later at 2.11pm is Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) who almost caused an upset in Turin. He’ll be more rested but this is also his first grand tour (he started last year but left with his team a week later) and this matters he’s had see how it affects him and he’s worked at times too. Team mate Tobias Foss is worth watching too to see how he’s recovered from yesterday’s efforts.
Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep) is another specialist with an eye on this stage but he’s been working and stage hunting along the way. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) can do well but a win would be a shock. Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) isn’t really a TT specialist but can get a good result here.
As for the GC riders in the top-10 are wide, the most likely move is Romain Bardet slipping from 5th to 8th overall given the fatigue from yesterday and because Dani Martinez, João Almeida and Hugh Carthy all have better records in TTs with both Martinez and Almeida capable of a high finish today.
|Filippo Ganna, Edoardo Affini|
|Bettiol, Almeida, Foss|
Weather: a pleasant day, sunny and 24°C with an easterly wind of 15-20km/h.
TV: Filippo Ganna is off at 2.08, Affini minutes later. Egan Bernal should finish around 5.15pm CEST.
If there’s not much happening on the GC front towards the end, dip in and out of the Critérium du Dauphiné which features a hilly circuit race and a finish around 4.55pm CEST.