Penultimate day brings to an end to the Giro d'Italia mountains

Sat 30 May 2015

To the delight of many, the penultimate day of the 2015 Giro d’Italia has presented the very last mountain of this year’s three-week Tour.

The 20th stage presented two late ascents, the first of which was the highest peak of the race at 2178m.

Colombian climber Esteban Chaves remained in contact partway up the challenging ascent, but lost touch as the attacks began. In the end, Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) took his second consecutive stage and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo) all but wrapped up the overall win.

For ORICA-GreenEDGE, is was about getting everyone to the finish to be able to celebrate the conclusion of the challenging race in tomorrow’s final stage to Milan.

“There were a few relieved boys after today’s stage,” sport director Matt White said. “After the first week we had, I am very very happy with how they have continued to ride right throughout the Tour.”

“Results are obviously the priority, but it’s nice to be able to get to the final day with seven riders.”

How it unfolded

The penultimate day of the 2015 Giro d’Italia also present the highest peak of the three-week Tour.

Nine riders broke away on the flat opening parts of the 199km stage but once again the general classification teams maintained a tight leash, and didn’t allow them much room to move.

As they started the Colle delle Finestre, the gap was less than a minute and a half and as Astana Pro Team took over the reigns at the head of the peloton from Tinkoff – Saxo, that advantage quickly reduced.

Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) went alone as his former breakaway companions were swallowed up behind.

As the attacks began, the already vastly reduced peloton split again to see under ten riders remain in contention for the stage. ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Chaves was amongst those who lost contact at this point.

Ahead, Mikel Landa (Astana Pro Team) attacked and joined Zakarin at the front, whilst race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo) lost touch.

Four chasers joined the duo and they rode together on the final climb. A double-attack by Aru in the final two kilometres was too much for the rest of the lead group, rewarding him with back-to-back victories.