Tour of Italy. Buitrago wins under the Tre Cime di Lavaredo after the great illusion of the Dolomites
The Colombian climber won the 19th stage of the pink race. The time trial that leads to Monte Lussari will decide who between Geraint Thomas and Primoz Roglic will wear the pink jersey in Rome. Always that
When towards Passo di Campolongo – although officially the climb had not yet begun – Ben Healy he attacked more than one hundred and ten kilometers from the finish and Thibaut Pinot first chased him and then followed him and the team in the pink jersey quickened their pace and the group broke up. the nineteenth stage of the Giro d'Italia it had begun to take on the appearance of the large cork that we would remember for a long time, so long that it could become unforgettable. It would have been easy for us to remember where we were and what we were doing, who we loved, what other people's wrong we could not forget at that moment. It was a moment, a wonderful moment. Then everything fell apart. Ben Healy didn't insist, Thibaut Pinot didn't either, the group returned and the wait began.
Don't blame the runners. They have covered a lot of road, they have overcome a lot of altitude meters, not all of which are necessary by the way. Rain and cold made their teeth dance for a long time, Covid sent many home, even Remco Evenepoel. It's hard to think of going crazy with two days to go Tour of Italy. But it was beautiful, fascinating to believe in it, even if only for a few minutes.
A little bad. While the escape tried to take a future and not be caught again, animated for the umpteenth time by the Canadian Derek Gee – who today exceeded a thousand kilometers ahead of the peloton – while the peloton was chasing it, one of the most beautiful shows of peaks and woods and valleys that Italy and Europe can offer. The stages in the Dolomites are worth seeing, even just for the depths.
Under the Three Peaks of Lavaredo, in front of the Auronzo refuge, Santiago Buitrago arrived first, at the end of a long and patient chase to Derek Gee himself, planted on the pedals when there were fifteen hundred meters to go. They are a sledgehammer of fifteen hundred meters at a twelve-thirteen percent average gradient. First the two had freed themselves from all the other adventure companions: Magnus Cort Nielsen, Davide Gabburo, Vadim Pronskiy, Patrick Konrad, Carlos Verona, Michael Hepburn, Stefano Oldani, Nicolas Prodhomme and Larry Warbasse.
The group let it go, they waited a long time. There was little to do the arsonists. Partly because neither Primoz Roglic, nor João Almeida, nor Geraint Thomas are. Above all because few danced seconds among the top three, the Ineos Grenadiers are a squadron that intimidates and not everyone wants to risk not getting on the podium to get to the top of that podium. Especially with a timed uphill race that is as sharp as a knife from Spain or Maniago due to its geographical proximity for the calves.
Primoz Roglic tried. One thousand three hundred meters from the finish he got up on the pedals, gave a bump, saw behind him what he didn't want to see: Geraint Thomas' pink jersey. A little further back João Almeida was doing what he does best: being patient, not upset, chasing, returning.
Geraint Thomas has tried. And he succeeded. Even if it didn't seem like it. Above two thousand metres, with certain slopes, however, everything changes, becomes uncertain. And certainties crumble. Thomas had dropped Roglic, then Roglic pulled Thomas back. In total a few seconds, which postpone any definitive judgment until tomorrow. Also because João Almeida pulled away again today, but not by much and there are few seconds between them: Thomas is 26 seconds ahead of Roglic and 59 over Almeida.