5 speaking factors from stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia 2020 – Biking Weekly

Five talking points from stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia 2020 - Cycling Weekly

Almeida strengthens grip on pink

João Almeida on stage 14 of the 2020 Giro d’Italia (Luca Bettini/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

When João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) first gained the pink jersey again in Sicily, the principle query being requested was when he would lose the pink jersey. Now, following one more distinctive efficiency, as an alternative what’s being requested is whether or not he’ll lose it in any respect.

The Portuguese rider was sixth on at this time’s stage, proving himself simply as adept at longer time trials as shorter programs and, consequently, positive factors vital time over the entire different GC riders – except for UAE Workforce Emirates’ Brandon McNulty.

Positive, he’s solely 22. Positive, that is his first-ever Grand Tour. And positive, he has been a bit of off the tempo in the entire earlier mountain prime finishes. However the sheer dimension of his lead on GC means his prospects of hanging on to the jersey all the way in which to Milan can’t be dismissed. At 56 seconds adrift, Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) is the one different rider inside two minutes of him.

The others have an enormous probability to make a dent in that lead tomorrow, which finishes atop a class one-ranked climb to Piancavallo. But when Almeida can nearly cling on and once more restrict his losses, they are going to start to panic heading into the ultimate week.

Ganna makes it a hat-trick of stage wins

Filippo Ganna on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia (Photograph by Tim de Waele/Getty Pictures)

Given his current kind, a Filippo Ganna win at this time appeared about as inevitable as dying and taxes, and the Italian duly delivered with one other scintillating time trial experience.

Regardless of a powerful benchmark set by his Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Rohan Dennis, Ganna as soon as once more was imperious, going 26 seconds faster than Dennis to set a time that no-one else was capable of come anyplace close to to.

The course at this time might need been longer than the opening stage time trial in Sicily that he received, and extra undulating than the course in Imola the place he was topped world champion, however the Italian was simply as dominant. It was additional proof of simply how versatile Ganna is — he can do it in longer time trials, shorter time trials, the velodrome, and, as confirmed by his stage victory in Calabria throughout the first week, even on climbs on highway levels.

The 24-year-old now has three stage wins at this yr’s Giro d’Italia, and isn’t carried out simply but. With one other time trial to return in Milan on the ultimate day, he may but add a fourth stage to cement what has already been one of many nice Grand Tour debuts of current years.

Daylight between Kelderman and the opposite contenders

Wilco Kelderman on the Giro d’Italia 2020 (Luca Bettini/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

When Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) made an assault on stage three whereas climbing Mount Etna, not one of the different GC favourites felt threatened sufficient to attempt to observe his wheel. The Dutchman gained twelve seconds over a small group of favourites that fashioned behind however didn’t entice a lot media consideration because the collapses of Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) dominated the headlines as an alternative.

Wanting again, nevertheless, that assault might need been a much more vital second within the GC race than it felt on the time. Since that stage the Dutchman has stayed out of bother and ridden persistently, gaining a handful of seconds right here and there till transferring as much as second on the general classification. Now, following a superb time trial at this time, he appears like he may very well be the person more than likely to take the pink jersey off Almeida’s shoulders.

Whereas earlier than at this time the remainder of the highest ten have been all only a handful of seconds behind the Kelderman, he now has daylight between himself and the remaining. His time was round one minute faster than all of them (in addition to Almeida and Brandon McNulty), which means he now lies 56 seconds behind the pink jersey, and a complete 1-15 forward of Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) in third.

Kelderman has picked up loads of general prime tens in previous Grand Excursions however by no means earlier than has he gone this deep right into a race nonetheless in rivalry for general victory. Like Almeida, that is uncharted territory for the 29-year-old, and will probably be fascinating to see what he can do within the closing week.

Brandon McNulty leaps up the rankings as different favourites stay deadlocked

Brandon McNulty on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia 2020 (Photograph by Stuart Franklin/Getty Pictures)

Apart from Almeida and Kelderman, the day’s huge winner within the GC race was Brandon McNulty (UAE Emirates). The 22-year-old put within the third-fastest time on the day, which means he catapults up the GC from eleventh to fourth general.

His UAE Workforce Emirates squad displayed religion in his talents as early as stage three, once they set the tempo on the entrance of the peloton seeking to set him up. Though the American was unable to ship that day, since then he’s quietly labored his method up the rankings and introduced himself as a severe GC contender along with his experience at this time.

Behind him, many of the different GC males have been fairly evenly matched. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) and Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) completed with virtually the very same time to stay third and fifth respectively on GC, a handful of seconds both facet of McNulty, whereas Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) was a bit of faster, and pint-sized climber Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Professional Biking) a bit of slower.

All 4 of those riders are actually separated by simply 22 seconds on GC and shall be glad to have gotten the very long time trial out of the way in which. As we enter the mountains of the race’s closing week, they are going to now start in earnest to actually assault Almeida and launch their bids for general victory, beginning with tomorrow’s mountain prime end at Piancavallo.

Rohan Dennis completes nice day for Inoes Grenadiers

Rohan Dennis on stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia 2020 (Luca Bettini/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

In what was an important day for Ineos Grenadiers throughout, Rohan Dennis completed second within the stage to finish a one-two for the crew.

For Dennis, it was an encouraging return to kind, and his greatest experience since successful the World Championships final yr in Yorkshire. He didn’t fairly look proper when defending that title in Imola final month and was unlucky to be out on the highway throughout the much less beneficial climate situations on the Giro’s opening stage time trial. However at this time, he appeared just like the Rohan Dennis of previous.

In the end, solely the supremacy of his on-fire teammate prevented him from amassing what would have been a second Giro d’Italia stage victory of his profession.

He turns into the most recent Ineos Grenadiers rider to complete within the prime two of a stage win at this yr’s Giro, following the wins by Ganna and Jhonatan Narvaez and runner-up finishes by Jonathan Castroviejo and Salvatore Puccio. Contemplating how quickly their plan-A of focusing on the pink jersey with Geraint Thomas unravelled, it’s been some comeback by Ineos Grenadiers, and about as a lot as they might have hoped for after his withdrawal.

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