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The Marmolada summit finish has towered over the Giro d’Italia ever since the peloton pedaled out of Budapest at the start of this month, and the relentless summit didn’t disappoint Saturday.
The savage final five kilometers of the Dolomite pass saw Richard Carapaz crack in a crucial first show of weakness in three weeks, leaving Jai Hindley to dance clear and take a commanding lead of the pink jersey.
One final time trial Sunday will decide whether Hindley can hold on to pink or whether history will repeat on the Aussie ace.
Hindley lost the pink jersey to Tao Geoghegan Hart in a dramatic final TT in 2020. But with a 1:25 advantage over Carapaz to defend through a 17.4km test Sunday, Bora-Hansgrohe might already be clearing space in its trophy cabinet for the Trofeo Senza Fine.
Here’s how the GC looks ahead of the Sunday’s Verona TT:
- Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe): Pink jersey
- Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers): +1:25
- Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious): +1:51
- Vincenzo Nibali (Astana-Qazaqstan): +7:57
- Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious): +8:55
- Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert): +9.07
- Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe): +11:18
- Domenico Pozzovivo (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert): +16.04
- Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo): +17.29
- Hugh Carthy (EF Education EasyPost): +17.56
The Carapaz-Hindley overturn was the only must-know from the Marmolada.
Mikel Landa remains third overall and his top-3 is safe with his six-minute gap over Vincenzo Nibali. Crucially, the Basque now sits within range of second place after a defiant ride Sunday.
Landa has it all to race for in Verona on Sunday. At 26-seconds down on Carapaz, second overall and a career topping result is within reach.
Elsewhere, the Dolomite tappone didn’t totally shuffle the GC, it did stretch the gaps and consolidate standings.
Nibali lost a stack of time when there had been hope he may launch a characteristic all-out attack in the hunt for the podium finish.
At more than six minutes away from the top-3, Nibali will bow out of his final Giro empty-handed and wondering what could have been.
— Astana Qazaqstan Team (@AstanaQazTeam) May 28, 2022
At the bottom of the top-10, Hugh Carthy similarly reinforced his position.
A strong ride to eighth on the Marmolada leaves him a four-minute gap over 11th-place Alejandro Valverde and in range to move up to ninth Sunday. After crumbling out of GC contention early in the race, Carthy looks set to salvage his race with his final week comeback.
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert will be grinning even wider than Carthy after Saturday’s stage.
Jan Hirt and Domenico Pozzovivo are cemented into sixth and eighth place respectively, leaving the Czech on course for by far his best grand tour finish and within range of fifth. Meanwhile enduring veteran Pozzovivo scores a top grand tour result in a season where he was nearly without a contract.
— Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert (@IntermarcheWG) May 28, 2022
Perennial GC contenders Pello Bilbao and Emanuel Buchmann both lost time to Hindley on Saturday, but both look likely to land final results that will equal or top their previous Giro bests.
And the Giro’s young breakout star, Juan Pedro López?
The Spaniard will have to fend off Carthy in the final TT, but is a dead-cert for a breakout white jersey win with his six-minute lead over second-place Santiago Buitrago.
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) May 28, 2022