PREVIEW | Giro d'Italia 2024 stage 19 - Will Tadej Pogacar want to spoil the fun on expected breakaway day?

Stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia is a day in the Alps, but not one that features high mountains. A day for a breakaway most likely, to be fought between climbers and classics specialist, that is if Tadej Pogacar doesn't want to spoil the fun. We preview an exciting day of racing.

Stage 19 is a mixed day. Most likely to the breakaway opportunists, it lacks serious climbing to make difference among the big GC riders. However, the combination of three climbs before the finish in Sappada will ensure that this remains a day for the climbers.

profile giroditalia2024stage19
Stage 19: Mortegliano - Sappada, 164 kilometers

However, many will be thankful that the first half of the stage is flat. The pace isn't expected to be crazy over the first hours of the race, allowing the riders to recover a bit from a very hard race. However in the second half of the day things get serious when it comes to deciding the outcome of the day.

The Passo Duron is the toughest climb of the day; 4.4Km at 9.6%... But it ends with 52 kilometers to go. Perhaps too early to go all-in for the stage contenders, both in the head of the race and peloton. It will split the race with no doubt. A quick descent then leads the riders into the Sella Valcalda which is 8.9Km at 3.7%, summitting with 35Km to go. A fast descent and then a gradual rise into the final climb follow.

This will all lead to the Cima Sappada, which is 8.5Km long at 4.7%, a climb of two halves but the final 2.8Km average 8.5%. This can create differences, meaningful ones, and the stage should be decided here. If not, there are still 6 kilometers to the finish - mostly flat - where riders can unite or be caught before what could be a flat sprint.

PREVIEW | Giro d'Italia 2024 stage 19 - Will Tadej Pogacar want to spoil the fun on expected breakaway day?
Cima Sappada: 8.5Km; 4.7%; 6Km to go
PREVIEW | Giro d'Italia 2024 stage 19 - Will Tadej Pogacar want to spoil the fun on expected breakaway day?

The Weather

PREVIEW | Giro d'Italia 2024 stage 19 - Will Tadej Pogacar want to spoil the fun on expected breakaway day?
Map Giro d'Italia 2024 stage 19

Perhaps the rain will not fall early in the day, but it will definitely come sooner or later. Most likely, later... The riders head into the mountains and once again find difficult weather that will make life quite hard in the peloton.

The Favourites

Tadej Pogacar - The daily and same old question. But the answer is no, I do not expect Pogacar to attack at any point or specially UAE working to try and control the breakaway. No rider threatens him, stage wins aplenty and the race lead is more than comfortable. Just a day to tick off for the race leader, who should have no problem with a breakaway taking the glory on the day.

GC Fight - Directly, I do not expect any meaningful differences on the day. Although rain will be present and we are inside the final week, the finale of the stage is not too hard and certainly the climbers will be eyeing stage 20 which does have the potential to make massive differences.

Daniel Martínez leads Geraint Thomas by 20 seconds... I don't expect either to try and do something. Ben O'Connor has 42 seconds on Antonio Tiberi and Bahrain may try something if O'Connor's illness gets worst. He and Thymen Arensman are ready to seize the occasion. DSM and Movistar, teams of Romain Bardet and Einer Rubio who are 7th and 8th at the moment, showed intent on the past two stages to make something happen. This flat start doesn't allow for early moves, but if they can get riders in the breakaway I wouldn't exclude the chance of attacks specially from Bardet who has little to lose in this position.

Simultaneously, the lack of expectation that this day can blow up can be used to try and surprise... Also, this will motivate riders outside the Top10 to try and benefit, make the jump. Michael Storer and Davide Piganzoli specially, the only ones who can realistically get away and also get in there - I wouldn't expect lightweight Lorenzo Fortunato who is also down to just three teammates.

The stage win is likely among those who manage to join the breakaway. A difficult task for lightweight riders to do on such a flat start... They can attack on the first main climb of the day which is very hard, but it's also quite late in the day.

Still we can expect the likes of of some pure climbers to give it a shot, although they realistically hold better chances on Saturday's stage. This does feature Nairo Quintana, Damiano Caruso, Valentin Paret-Peintre... But you never know if you are in that front group.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have a few puncheurs or classics riders who will hope the climbs aren't raced full out, or that they can tactically outsmart the rest with well timed attacks. Julian Alaphilippe will certainly try, but we've also got the likes of Aurélien Paret-Peintre, Nicola Conci, Mauri Vansevenant, Jan Tratnik, Pelayo Sánchez, Gijs Leemrize, Marco Frigo, Alessandro De Marchi, Ewen Costiou, Lilian Calmejane and who knows INEOS duo Jhonatan Narváez and Filippo Ganna (or even Magnus Sheffield finally) who may get the freedom to chase the stage win as in the peloton not many fireworks are expected.

We've got a few riders in the 'middle' who may in fact be the best suited to this day. Strong climbers, who are in good form and can do the short climbs quite well. They will still need to make the effort early in the day however and be in the right move... But you can't count out stage 17 Georg Steinhauser or KOM lead chaser Giulio Pellizzari... Or the likes of Attila Valter, Kevin Vermaerke and Amanuel Ghebregzabhier.

Prediction Giro d'italia 2024 stage 19:

*** Jan Tratnik, Jhonatan Narváez, Georg Steinhauser
** Tadej Pogacar, Julian Alaphilippe, Giulio Pellizzari
* Romain Bardet, Michael Storer, Nairo Quintana, Damiano Caruso, Nicola Conci, Pelayo Sánchez, Alessandro de Marchi, Ewen Costiou, Attila Valter

Pick: Jan Tratnik

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