Down the stretch we come at the Giro d’Italia. Egan Bernal continues to lead, but showed weakness on Wednesday. Can Simon Yates seize the opportunity? There are more mountains on Friday and Saturday. Based on the odds should we consider Joao Almeida, Hugh Carthy or Bauke Mollema to win Stage 19?
- Stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia (Friday, May 27) has serious climbing at the end
- Last year the race turned on this second-to-last day in the mountains
- Will Egan Bernal put the Giro away, or was Wednesday’s ride a sign of chaos to come?
By the last few days of Grand Tours, the public usually has a pretty good feel for what the final outcome will look like. Recently, everyone has been deceived.
In last year’s Tour de France, Tadej Pogačar shockingly came from what seemed to be an enormous deficit to beat Primož Roglič. The race flipped during a mountain time trial on Stage 20. The 2020 Giro saw Wilco Kelderman crack in the mountains on the 19th stage. He went from the strong favorite to a third-place finish.
Egan Bernal is in control of the Giro entering Friday’s test in the mountains near the Swiss border. He looked untouchable until losing time Wednesday on the final climb. Will he reassert himself, hold on, or get passed?
Bernal is the reasonable favorite to win the pink jersey, but Simon Yates, who bested Bernal on Wednesday, is the mild favorite (+350) to take Stage 19 when things get going (6:20 ET) on Friday. There is no doubt Yates and Damiano Caruso need to challenge the leader now. Let’s look at the updated odds and consider where to place a wager.
Stage 19 Giro d’Italia Odds
|Rider||Odds to Win Stage||Top-3 Finish Odds at DraftKings|
|Daniel Felipe Martinez||+3300||+800|
Odds as of May 27th.
Bernal needs to survive three more stages to add a Giro title to his Tour de France triumph. He must navigate one large mountain climb on Friday, three serious uphills on Saturday, and Sunday’s individual time trial.
The 166 kilometres path from Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera on Friday had to be re-routed after an incident last weekend. The race is bypassing the Mottarone climb, where 14 people perished in a cable car accident on Sunday.
About halfway through the course riders will encounter a Category 4 climb. A little past the three-quarter mark of the day a Category 3 challenge presents itself. At the very end of the stage riders will tackle the Alpe di Mera, a nearly 10km task with an average gradient of 9%. The final three kilometres are at a unwavering 10.5%. The finish line is uphill.
It was unclear whether Thursday’s Stage 18 would end in a bunch sprint or if a breakaway could control the day. At this point the speedsters just don’t have the legs to keep up with those who bolt to the front at the start. Alberto Bettiol was a part of the break, and subsequently soloed to victory.
With a difficult day in the rear view mirror, and two tough afternoons coming up, there wasn’t a lot of activity among the GC on Thursday. Bernal remains 2:21 ahead of Caruso. Yates is in third place, 3:23 back of Bernal. Everybody else is at least six minutes behind.
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What have you done for me lately? Yates beat Bernal on the most recent mountain test, the first time Bernal has looked vulnerable. Yates needs to make his move, while just keeping up will do the trick for Bernal. Rightly or wrongly oddsmakers favor Yates, though that doesn’t mean he can pick up enough ground to take over or even seriously threaten the pink jersey.
Now let’s be clear, there is a reason Bernal built his substantial lead. In addition to being the best by a wide margin for most of the race thus far, Bernal has won a pair of stages.
While Bernal is a virtual lock for the podium, and Yates is extremely well positioned, Joao Almeida enters Friday 8:45 behind Bernal, and more than five minutes back of Yates. Though anything is possible, Almeida has to be thinking he can win one of the two remaining days in the mountains and salvage a solid race.
Almeida led the Giro for 15 stages last year. There is some thought that his team, Deceuninck-QuickStep, made a poor decision in 2021. They built their roster and support around Remco Evenepoel. The youngster is very talented, but inexperienced and coming off of a major injury. Given his chance to let loose, Almeida gained over a minute on Bernal Wednesday.
Hugh Carthy is currently in fifth place. At the age of 26, he has really come into his own. This is his fourth Giro, and he has improved his overall position each time. Carthy finished third at last year’s Vuelta a España.
Nicknamed “Huge,” Carthy has the ability to rise to the occasion. This year he finished third at the Classic Sud-Ardèche, and in the Top 10 at the Tour of the Alps, and Volta a Catalunya.
Bauke Mollema is nearly 75 minutes behind Bernal, and it is by design. For the first time in ages he opted out of being a GC contender, and to focus on winning a stage of the Giro, and getting ready for the Olympics.
So far Mollema has failed to reach the line first. He has another opportunity on Friday. Six times he has finished in the Top 10 at a Grand Tour, including a podium position at the Vuelta a España in 2011.
Dave Friedman has covered professional and college sports for two decades. From ESPN to the Associated Press, Regional Sports Networks, Metro Networks, and many local outlets, he has written about and broadcast major and minor events throughout the country.