- Stage 20 of the Giro (Saturday, October 24) is the final day of climbing in this year’s event
- Can Tao Geoghegan Hart or Jai Hindley make up their small deficit to Wilco Kelderman on the recently shortened course?
- See odds, analysis, and best bets for Stage 20 of the Giro d’Italia below
The Giro d’Italia has gotten downright bizarre.
At the end of Stage 17, one of three significant days in the mountains remaining, it was announced Saturday’s major climbing course would be altered because France did not want the race to cross the border. That creates a much simpler and muted path. After officials changed Friday’s course because of road closures, riders protested the longest day of the event and had the flat stage cut in half.
Regardless, with only a sized down mountain stage and individual time trial to go, Wilco Kelderman must hold off top climbers Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jai Hindley. If Kelderman is going to lose the Giro, it likely will happen on Saturday.
Will Kelderman put the race on ice, or can Hart or Jai Hindley get him to crack? Could a longshot win the stage? Let’s look at the top contenders.
Giro d’Italia Stage 20 Odds
|Tao Geoghegan Hart||+250|
Odds taken Oct. 23rd
The long flat course that was anticipated Thursday became a short easy stage. The expected sprint finish failed to develop because the breakaway had a lot less work to do covering only 124 kilometers.
Kelderman leads Hindley, and his Sunweb teammate, by 12 seconds. Hart is 15 ticks behind Kelderman. Pello Bilbao is in fourth place, 1:19 off the pace, and Joao Almeida is 2:16 behind.
Originally Stage 20 was to cover the Colle dell’Agnello, Col d’Izoard, and Colle del Monginevro, three serious mountains that would have given climbers a great opportunity. The revised 190 kilometers are flat for the first half of the day but feature a category two climb and two cat ones over the last third of the stage.
Kelderman is likely a stronger time trialist than Hart. That means Hart will attack on Saturday with all he has. Will he be successful? What is Hindley’s role, with his teammate in the lead? Let’s consider all of the Stage 20 options.
Hart and Hindley have proven themselves to be the top two climbers. While Hindley’s situation is complicated, since his teammate is the Giro leader, Hart has no limitations. He must pick the right time to leave Kelderman behind.
Hart knows Hindley’s situation is messy. That said, it wouldn’t be crazy to see Sunweb tell Hindley to match everything Hart does. That way if Kelderman can keep up, they win, and so long as Hindley doesn’t give up any time, he can be the champ too.
Hindley might be upstaged by Kelderman, but a scenario where the two climbers get away, and contest who leads the race headed to the final stage is very much in play.
The pressure was on Kelderman to put away João Almeida on the last mountain stage and he did so. However, he gave away over a minute to the climbers. It is very realistic that he can keep up, and if he does, he can win the stage too.
While Kelderman has been and continues to be in a great position, it is impossible to ignore that he has not won a race since 2015.
Last year Pello Bilbao won Stages 7 and 20 of the Giro. The victory on June 1 was not all that different than what he faces on Saturday.
Stage 20 last year, like this year, was a mountain stage before an individual time trial that concluded the event. Bilbao won the day and completed a strong Giro. He was 10th in the points classification and eighth in the mountains. This year he could still reach the podium with a big day on Saturday.
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