There will be lots of tired bodies in the race at this stage, but the organisers seem to have little pity for them, hitting them with another monster of a stage on the second last day with over 5,000m of vertical gain again.
<div><p>It could be another day for the breakaway, but if any of the GC favourites want to take time ahead of the TT then they will have to make the stage hard and go all out for victory and time gaps. As such, with the race still on the line and so many riders needing to make up time, I think it will be all-out war from early in the stage and we might see a GC battle commence from possibly even the very first climb.</p><h2 style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://www.procyclingstats.com/images/profiles/ap/fa/giro-d-italia-2019-stage-20-profile-88dfcf02bc.jpg" style="width:900px;height:357px" /></h2><div> </div><h2>The Route</h2><p>A queen stage across the Dolomites, with over 5,000 m elevation gain. The route is flat for 14kms, then they hit the first big climb of the day, the Cima Campo, an 18km long climb at 6% average gradient. That's followed by a 28km descent, interrupted by a little bump in the middle on the way down, but once they hit the bottom it's straight on to the Passo Manghen.</p><p>This is another super-long climb at 24kms, averaging 7%, but getting steeper as they get closer to the top, averaging 10% for the last 6kms. Only a 16km descent off of the the Manghen though, on to a bit of a plateau for 15kms, then the 21km ascent to the Passo Rolle, which averages 4.7%, but flattens out for about 7kms in the middle, leaving the climbing parts actually closer to 6.4%.</p><p>40kms of a descent then on to the final mountain of the 2019 Giro, up to the finish at Croce d'Aune - Mont Avena. It averages 7.3% for 6.9kms, hitting 11% max towards the middle. Although the road weaves all over the place it keeps a pretty steady gradient all the way to the finish.</p><p> </p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/05/GettyImages-1152861120-920x613.jpg" style="width:600px;height:400px" /></p><h2>Contenders</h2><p>Richard Carapaz just has to mark.. but what does Mikel Landa do? Does he go out and try to blow the race up and try to ride himself on to a podium spot? I think he will, Movistar seem to be ok with him doing that, and if anyone is capable of it, I think it's Landa. He could well go on the steeper last 5kms of the Passo Rolle, kick on to pick up someone like Amador or Rojas who were in the break of the day and charge down the descent with maybe 30" on the chasing pack.</p><p>He can then take another minute or so by the finish, as behind Carapaz chases down attacks by Nibali, Lopez and Roglic and frustrates them. Carapaz will have Carratero and Pedrero with him to look after him. That's how I see it going, Landa could well win the stage and will come close to taking the 3rd spot on the podium, if Roglic collapses.</p><p>Hard to see Roglic collapse though, he has been strong, and he did throw in a little attack today in the last kilometre. He has not been able to go with the sharp accelerations, he has mostly just been able to follow in the last few days, but that was a bit more encouraging today. Will he have found some energy from somewhere to suddenly have him chasing the attacks down again and counter-attacking again himself? He will need to pull 40" or so back on Carapaz to give himself a chance of overhauling him in the TT.</p><p>Vincenzo Nibali just doesn't look capable of pulling anything spectacular off tomorrow, he tries attacks, but the others seem to be able to nullify them pretty easily. Miguel Angel Lopez was very impressive at the finish today though - a searing attack with 4kms to go saw him very quickly pull out 40" and held it all the way to the line. If he still is with the GC group on the final climb, Lopez probably wins the stage.</p><p>Bauke Mollema and Rafal Majka are farther down the GC and in the pecking order of climbers here. Mollema's 5th place is seriously under threat now from Lopez, he only has a 26" advantage over him now. Will he go on the attack himself to try to defend it? Unlikely, I think he'll be hanging in there and will probably be happy to finish 6th. Majka just doesn't look like he has the legs either.</p><p>Simon Yates lost a little time again today, it was only 4", but is showed once again that he was unable to go with the big attacks. I think he will ride defensively, he won't be able to go with the strong attacks, but will grind it out in order to preserve his position on the GC, possibly taking a place off of Majka.</p><p>It's hard to rule out the break seeing as the break have taken 7 out of the last 8 stages, but I just feel that the GC men will be looking to blow it up tomorrow, so the break won't get far and the speed they will climb the Manghen and Rolle at will reduce their lead to only a minute or two starting the final climb and they'll be passed at warp speed about 5kms from the finish.</p><p>I think we will get attacks on the last 5kms of the Rolle, with riders trying to get a head start ahead of the final climb. We might even see Nibali try to jump away and attack on the descent. The last 7kms of the Croce d'Aune are really hard though - averaging 7.3% - perfect Landa territory. He could put some serious time in to Nibali and Roglic in the last 5kms if they are not on a great day. We could even see a situation where Lopez goes with Landa, works with Landa and Landa gives him the stage, if he has helped him in to 3rd place..</p><h2>Recommendations:</h2><p>2pts win on Miguel Angel Lopez at 9/4 <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" target="_blank">with Bet365</a></p><p>1pt e/w on Mikel Landa at 6/1</p><p> </p><h2>Matchbets</h2><p>Carapaz to beat Nibali – 2pts at 11/10</p></div>