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Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia: Going into final stage in pink would be a ‘dream scenario’ for Jai Hindley

Australian still sits three seconds back from the pink jersey Carapaz: 'We’ve got a tough day coming up tomorrow, I think that will be the big decider.'

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SANTUARIO DI CASTELMONTE, Italy (VN) — Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) says that going into the final Giro d’Italia stage with a good lead in the pink jersey would be a “dream scenario.”

The 26-year-old Australian has been firmly sat in second place since last weekend, just three seconds behind race leader Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). After losing out in the 2020 final time trial having gone into the last day in pink, he doesn’t want a repeat.

Hindley has just one day left to do it with Saturday’s stage from Belluno to the Marmolada. It features ascents up the Passo San Pellegrino and the Passo Pordoi, and takes in 4,490m of climbing before the final summit finish on the Marmolada.

Also read: Giro d’Italia stage 19: Koen Bouwman climbs out of break for mountaintop victory, GC top-3 hit stalemate

“Definitely, it would be a dream scenario to try and get some time tomorrow and try to get a buffer for the TT. It’s not going to be easy, but I reckon we’ll be up for it,” Hindley said just beyond the finish line of stage 19 at the Santuario di Castelmonte.

Hindley and his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates tried to put some time into Carapaz on stage 19, pushing a hard pace over the climb of the Kolovrat during the race’s brief sojourn into Slovenia. It managed to split the bunch briefly on the descent but the stage was not hard enough for the team to do further damage.

Once again, Hindley and Carapaz were joined at the hip up the final climb, taking Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) with them for the ride. All three of the riders tried attacking at some point but could not get a decisive gap on the others and they rolled into the final meters together.

There was a sprint for the line, but the race jury decided that there had been no gaps and the breakaway made sure that there were no bonus seconds to be had this time. The fight for the maglia rosa is going down to the wire.

“It was a pretty hard day. The guys rode really well, we tried to look for the opportunities, but it didn’t really work out the way we wanted it to,” Hindley said. “The guys rode really well into that final climb, and we knew it was going to be a punchier finish, which suits him a lot more than me, but I still tried to have a crack and it was a hard finish.

“It wasn’t really an ideal stage to put the hammer down but we knew this second last climb was a really steep one and the descent was going to be really technical and tricky, so we wanted to hit it on the front and stay out of trouble. It was a pretty strong breakaway and we just let the gap go out a bit too far. The plan today wasn’t to go chasing the break, but we just changed it out on the road. We’ve got a tough day coming up tomorrow and I think that will be the big decider.”