2022 Giro d’Italia – Stage 21 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2022 Giro d’Italia – Stage 21 Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The final mountain stage saw the riders go up the Dolomites, and it was another day for the breakaway as Alessandro Covi attacked up the Passo Pordoi, and grew his gap over the final kilometers and descent, managing to hold off the rest of his breakaway companions and take the biggest win of his career. In the peloton it was all to play for in the final kilometers, however big differences were made as Jai Hindley attacked Richard Carapaz and the Ecuadorian completely cracked in the final kilometers. 

Positive: Covi taking a strong win, Hindley taking the race lead and almost sealing the Giro d’Italia win. 

Negative: Carapaz seemed in control throughout the whole race, but he couldn’t sustain Hindley’s pace in the final kilometers and has lost it all on a single mountain. 

The Route

The final time-trial is a classic, heading into Verona. It’s 17.4 kilometers long, not long but there is some space to create differences. From 5 to 9.5Km of racing there is an ascent that averages a constant 5%, not a hard climb but it will affect the stage quite a lot as the pure time-trialists will be far from their preferred terrain.

The descent off it isn’t very technical, it will allow for some rest over the summit, and the final 3 kilometers will be flat into the center of Verona, where it will be an all-out effort for the line will be in the Arena di Verona.

The Weather

It is likely that there will be a modest breeze coming from the east. Will it be important though? I think not, as that will make for a crosswind in the climb, and outside of it it will be a covered route.  

The Favourites

Mathieu van der Poel – He’s shown in his last time trials that he’s capable of fighting for wins, and although not perfect this TT will be far from a constant effort, and should be something well suited for the Dutchman – with many corners, sharp efforts and gentle climbing. 

Edoardo Affini – The strongest pure time trialist in the race, and a man in form. The climbing won’t be good for him, but there will be several kilometers where can make time on his rivals and perhaps take the win that way. 

GC Fight – It’s sealed, Jai Hindley has dealt a killer blow in Fedaia and the gap is way too big to be shut down for anyone, he just has to stay safe on the road to be able to bring the Giro d’Italia home. Richard Carapaz will have 26 seconds over Mikel Landa which shouldn’t be hard to keep. 

It will be a tricky time-trial, where risks on the descent will matter a lot, and the same can be said over the final corners, seconds will be made. Besides the climb is neither steep or long enough to favour the climbers enough, so puncheurs and riders with a strong feeling on the day can really take it to their own hands. 

Matteo Sobrero, Lennard Kämna, Wilco Kelderman, Magnus Cort Nielsen, Pello Bilbao, Pavel Sivakov, Fabio Felline and Alessandro Covi are all riders who can surprise, who have some climbing power but also good time-trialing capabilities. 

Prediction Time

⭐⭐⭐van der Poel, Affini

⭐⭐Arensman, Bilbao

⭐Foss, Kämna, Kelderman, Carapaz, Cort Nielsen, Sobrero 

A win for Mathieu van der Poel I think. It’s not as chaotic as the first TT, however he’s got the form and this TT will very much be about climbing legs and risks to take in the second half of the route. An explosive affair, good for him. 

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