With a couple of weeks and plenty of racing having passed under our wheels since the Giro, it seems trite to call this piece a review so I have altered the title to reflect this!
The context of the race and its thrilling final days have been put into more perspective over recent days with the news that winner Egan Bernal has posted a positive Covid-19 test.
Its not especially clear as to whether this diagnosis could explain some of his late race trevails but it was certainly a more exciting Giro as a result of him slowing down in the run up to the final weekend.
The Columbian too the race leaders pink jersey on stage 9 and was seemingly cruising through the race with quiet dominance and backed up by a strong Ineos team.
He rode with calmness and composure on what could have been a tricky stage 11 over the Strade Bianche to Montalcino, a stage where Dan Martin unravelled and Remco Evenepoel started to show he was human.
The first week and a half had gone entirely to Sir Dave Brailsfords plan.
But as we got into the back end of the race, Simon Yates started to pick up pace and managed to distance the race leader on a couple of stages.
There was talk of a bad back for Bernal and in Dani Martinez he had a rider nursing him through and keeping him close to the other contenders.
If Bernal was the ultimate winner of the race, Martinez was man of the match, 100%.
The final road stage of the race was a mountainous one but Yates couldn’t take advantage and actually lost time to Bernal who was carefully managing his efforts despite being behind 2nd placed Damiano Caruso who won the stage.
The time trial was a formality and Bernal was able to get home and win his second grand tour.
This was a different beast to his yellow jersey with a vulnerability and reliance on his team that will stand him in good stead going forward.
Aside from the battle for the pink leaders jersey Peter Sagan won the points despite a fine for intimidation in the transitional part of the race.
Geoffrey Bouchard of Ag2R was the mountains winner after featuring in a number of key breakaways across the whole race.
There were notable stage wins from Taco van der Hoorn in week one when he kept the collective might of the peloton at bay in the closing stages to take an unlikely victory by only a handful of seconds.
Stage 13 saw the end of one of cyclings longest streaks of finishing top 3 in grand tour stage without winning with a popular sprint win for Giacomo Nizzolo who left it late to come over the top Edoardo Affini before breaking down in tears in the finishing zone.
This was a brilliant Giro for a whole number of reasons. The less than spring like weather made the racing harder and ensured that even on a “easy” day, it wasnt an easy day.
We had multiple breakaway winners, a trend that has carried on into the post Giro racing. This is great and for the first time since radios for the riders and mathmatical formulas to decide when to start the chase, the advantage is with the brave riders striking out off the front early in the stage.
So now we get into the build up races for the Tour de France, a race that will have to create some brilliant memories to be better than this one…
Over to you France!
|1||1||–||BERNAL Egan||INEOS Grenadiers||850||400||86:17:28|
|2||2||–||CARUSO Damiano||Bahrain – Victorious||680||290||1:29|
|3||3||–||YATES Simon||Team BikeExchange||575||240||4:15|
|4||4||–||VLASOV Aleksandr||Astana – Premier Tech||460||220||6:40|
|5||6||▲1||MARTÍNEZ Daniel Felipe||INEOS Grenadiers||380||200||7:24|
|6||8||▲2||ALMEIDA João||Deceuninck – Quick Step||320||190||,,|
|7||5||▼2||BARDET Romain||Team DSM||260||180||8:05|
|8||7||▼1||CARTHY Hugh||EF Education – Nippo||220||170||8:56|
|9||9||–||FOSS Tobias||Team Jumbo-Visma||180||160||11:44|
|10||10||–||MARTIN Dan||Israel Start-Up Nation||140||150||18:35|