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Hello again, CyclingTips readers,
Sunday was the final day of double Grand Tour racing in this unusual 2020 season, and it delivered the action in a big way.
When all was said and done, one team had to be particularly happy with the way things went as different riders from the squad variously won a Grand Tour, took a Grand Tour stage victory, and rode into another Grand Tour lead all in the same day.
Read on for more …
| Tao Geoghegan Hart wins the Giro d’Italia
Tao Geoghegan Hart took his first career Grand Tour title after going faster than Jai Hindley in the stage 21 time trial at the Giro d’Italia.
On a day when an advantage of even a single second would have been enough to secure the victory in the tightly contested GC battle, Geoghegan Hart proved 39 seconds faster than Hindley, securing the pink jersey on the final day of the race. Hindley settled for second overall with Wilco Kelderman rounding out the final podium.
World time trial champ Filippo Ganna took the stage victory convincingly, completing a clean sweep of the three TTs at the Giro and taking his fourth total stage win at the race. Victor Campenaerts was the second fastest rider on the day, 32 seconds back, with Rohan Dennis in third, also 32 seconds back.
The final stage of the Giro took place on a flat, 15.7-kilometer course that favored the big engines, and they delivered in the battle for the stage.
Mathias Brändle, Alex Dowsett, and Miles Scotson were early occupants of the hot seat before world hour record holder Victor Campenaerts set the fastest time at 17:48. Before long, however, Ganna rolled down the ramp and delivered yet another big TT ride, besting Campenaerts by 32 seconds to take firm control of the lead. No one came particularly close to unseating him after that, with Dennis setting the third fastest mark just behind Campenaerts.
There was another battle brewing as the start times of the GC contenders approached. João Almeida finished fourth best on the day, which was good enough to move him into fourth overall ahead of Pello Bilbao in the final standings. Kelderman put in a solid performance to at least secure his spot on the podium but would not move up the leaderboard.
Geoghegan Hart was the penultimate rider off the ramp with Hindley following, and after a few minutes, live time gaps showed Geoghegan Hart leading. He maintained an advantage into the final kilometers of his ride and although Hindley pushed through to the finish, Geoghegan Hart would finish 39 seconds ahead of Hindley to secure the overall title.
Top 10, stage 21
1 GANNA Filippo (INEOS Grenadiers) 17:16
2 CAMPENAERTS Victor (NTT Pro Cycling) 0:32
3 DENNIS Rohan (INEOS Grenadiers)
4 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 0:41
5 SCOTSON Miles (Groupama – FDJ)
6 CERNY Josef (CCC Team) 0:44
7 HAGA Chad (Team Sunweb)
8 MCNULTY Brandon (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:46
9 GRADEK Kamil (CCC Team) 0:47
10 TRATNIK Jan (Bahrain – McLaren)
Top 10, GC
1 GEOGHEGAN HART Tao (INEOS Grenadiers) 85:40:21
2 HINDLEY Jai (Team Sunweb) 0:39
3 KELDERMAN Wilco (Team Sunweb) 1:29
4 ALMEIDA João (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 2:57
5 BILBAO Pello (Bahrain – McLaren) 3:09
6 FUGLSANG Jakob (Astana Pro Team) 7:02
7 NIBALI Vincenzo (Trek – Segafredo) 8:15
8 KONRAD Patrick (BORA – hansgrohe) 8:42
9 MASNADA Fausto (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 9:57
10 PERNSTEINER Hermann (Bahrain – McLaren) 11:05
| Izagirre wins stage 6 of the Vuelta as Carapaz rides into red
Ion Izagirre ascended to victory out of the breakaway on stage 6 of the Vuelta a España on Sunday while Richard Carapaz rode into the red jersey after picking up time in the GC battle.
Izagirre jumped out of the main breakaway on the final climb to Aramón Formigal after a setup attack by his brother and Astana teammate Gorka Izagirre, and he held on solo to win the stage by 25 seconds over Mike Woods and Rui Costa.
Carapaz arrived at the finish in a select group 55 seconds behind the winner but 43 seconds ahead of Roglic, whose proverbial armor showed cracks for the first time on the long Formigal finishing climb. Heading into the first rest day, Carapaz now leads the race with an 18-second advantage over Hugh Carthy, with Dan Martin sitting third overall at 20 seconds down and Roglic now in fourth, 30 seconds back.
The sixth stage of the Vuelta a España, which organizers announced on Thursday would finish at the Aramón Formigal ski area instead of on the Col du Tourmalet due to coronavirus restrictions in France, took place under wet, chilly conditions. A number of riders attacked early to form the day’s break, with Ion and Gorka Izagirre, Mike Woods, and Rui Costa in a group that also included the likes of Guillaume Martin, Sergio Henao, and Dylan van Baarle, to name just a few.
The escapees worked their gap up over three minutes before the first of the day’s three categorized climbs and it hovered between three and four minutes for much of the day. Gorka Izagirre fired off the front on the descent off the penultimate climb and took a small lead onto the slopes of the final ascent. A select group caught up to him inside the last 7km, and then Ion Izagirre made his move with 3km to go. From there, no one would catch him, with Woods and then Costa the next riders over the line 25 seconds later.
There was also action in the GC group behind. After a flurry of attacks, Carapaz, Carthy, Marc Soler, and David Gaudu had formed a quartet leaving the red jersey behind. They swept up breakaway riders as they continued up the climb and Carthy jumped away late to earn a small gap. Behind, Roglic rode with Dan Martin and Enric Mas, but then Martin left him behind. Roglic ultimately lost 43 seconds on the day to Carapaz, who took over the race lead.
Top 10, stage 6
1 IZAGIRRE Ion (Astana Pro Team) 3:41:00
2 WOODS Michael (EF Pro Cycling) 0:25
3 COSTA Rui (UAE-Team Emirates)
4 POWER Robert (Team Sunweb) 0:27
5 VALGREN Michael (NTT Pro Cycling)
6 MARTIN Guillaume (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits)
7 CATTANEO Mattia (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 0:38
8 CARTHY Hugh (EF Pro Cycling) 0:48
9 IZAGIRRE Gorka (Astana Pro Team) 0:53
10 HENAO Sergio (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:55
Top 10, GC
1 CARAPAZ Richard (INEOS Grenadiers) 24:34:39
2 CARTHY Hugh (EF Pro Cycling) 0:18
3 MARTIN Dan (Israel Start-Up Nation) 0:20
4 ROGLIC Primoz (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:30
5 MAS Enric (Movistar Team) 1:07
6 GROSSSCHARTNER Felix (BORA – hansgrohe) 1:30
7 SOLER Marc (Movistar Team) 1:42
8 CHAVES Esteban (Mitchelton-Scott) 2:02
9 DE LA CRUZ David (UAE-Team Emirates) 2:46
10 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar Team) 3:00
| Wellens extends with Lotto-Soudal
On the very Saturday he picked up his first Vuelta a España stage win, Tim Wellens also secured his future with the Lotto-Soudal team. The squad announced that the 29-year-old Belgian, who was already signed through 2021, would stay on through 2021.
“I became professional in this team in 2012,” Wellens said in a press release. “Lotto Soudal is part of my family. With them I won six stage races and nice one-day races. Why should I change? I feel good. The team trusts me and I have a lot of confidence in the team’s future. Our future looks good.”
| Bretagne Ladies Tour Ceratizit cancelled
Organizers announced on Friday that the five-day Bretagne Ladies Tour Ceratizit, which was slated to run from October 28 to November 1 as a UCI 2.1-rated event, has been cancelled for 2020.
The race was originally scheduled to run in May before being pushed back, but organizers ultimately had to call off the race altogether due to coronavirus restrictions in France.
| Socially Speaking
As Serge Pauwels reminded us after Tao Geoghegan Hart’s Giro d’Italia victory, we all start somewhere …
Today’s featured image of Sam Bennett winning stage 4 of the Vuelta a España comes from Cor Vos.