Santiago Buitrago of Bahrain delivered what the overall leaders couldn’t muster in the highest mountains of the Giro d’Italia — a thrilling and majestic victory in the race’s 19th stage atop the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Buitrago reeled in Derek Gee of Israel-Premier Tech after the Canadian’s heroic effort reached the final slopes of the Queen Stage, a Dolomites feast of the highest order. But the Colombian had more to give at the high altitude, and ground away to Gee’s wheel, then past him, and alone to the win.
Behind the pair, and a few more stragglers from the break (like Magnus Cort of EF, who took third), the Race for Pink hit a stalemate, as overnight leader Geraint Thomas of INEOS and Primož Roglič of Jumbo shadowed each other all day long, except in the final 1500 meters when Roglič, having made the innovative choice to ride a 1x drivetrain on the final climb, sped past Thomas for a brief moment of action. Thomas looked up to the challenge though, and came around the Slovenian for a brief gap in the last 200 meters, only for Roglič to dig deep and reverse the gap for an apparent three second advantage. Third-placed João Almeida of UAE dropped more time in the final stretch, probably cementing his fate on the podium’s lowest step. Heading into tomorrow’s mountain time trial, Roglič now trails by 26 seconds and the Giro should be decided 24 hours from today’s finale.
For Buitrago, this is his second career Giro stage win after last year’s stage triumph in the Alps, and he has moved up to 12th place on general classification, raising questions about whether we will see the 23-year-old make a serious challenge for the maglia rosa in future years. Granted, winning out of the break isn’t the same as winning against the top competition, but his climbing prowess is undeniable. Gee, meanwhile, may be the revelation of the Giro as the 25-year-old Ottawan has shown tremendous fight and ability in his first-ever grand tour.
- BUITRAGO Santiago , Bahrain - Victorious, 5:28:07
- GEE Derek, Israel - Premier Tech, at 0:51
- CORT Magnus, EF Education-EasyPost, at 1:46
- ROGLIČ Primož, Jumbo-Visma, s.t.
- THOMAS Geraint, INEOS Grenadiers, at 1:49
- ALMEIDA João, UAE Team Emirates, at 2:09
- CARUSO Damiano, Bahrain - Victorious, s.t.
- ARENSMAN Thymen, INEOS Grenadiers
- PINOT Thibaut, Groupama - FDJ, at 2:16
- RUBIO Einer Augusto, Movistar Team, at 2:26
- THOMAS Geraint, INEOS Grenadiers, 81:55:47
- ROGLIČ Primož, Jumbo-Visma, at 0:26
- ALMEIDA João, UAE Team Emirates, at 0:59
- CARUSO Damiano, Bahrain - Victorious, at 4:11
- DUNBAR Eddie, Team Jayco AlUla, at 4:53
- PINOT Thibaut, Groupama - FDJ, at 5:10
- ARENSMAN Thymen, INEOS Grenadiers, at 5:13
- KÄMNA Lennard, BORA - hansgrohe, at 5:54
- LEKNESSUND Andreas, Team DSM, at 6:08
- DE PLUS Laurens, INEOS Grenadiers, at 7:30
Longarone - Tre Cime di Lavaredo 183 km
Friday, Dolomites, massive amounts of climbing. Yes you guessed right, welcome to the Queen Stage of the 2023 Giro d’Italia!
Expected finish time: 16:50-17:35 CEST
Threepeaker of the Day : Primož Roglič
This by no means feels like a sure thing which is brilliant at this point. All to play for.