30 May 2022

Landa finishes Giro d’Italia in 3rd place

While the conclusive four stages of the Giro d’Italia did not lack in action and suspense, there were only minor changes in the overall standings. Mikel Landa thus finishes the first Grand Tour of the season in 3rd place and Team Bahrain Victorious has won the team classification.

At the end of the 17th stage from Ponte di Legno to Lavarone, Team Bahrain Victorious did not only get to celebrate the stage win of Santiago Buitrago. On the same day the riders in red, orange and black took over the lead in the team classification of the Giro d’Italia for the first time, albeit by a scant margin of 14 seconds. And Mikel Landa moved up to 3rd place in the overall standings. Since Joao Almeida as his direct rival for this 3rd place could not take the start to next day’s stage due to a positive Covid test, this 3rd place looked to be as well as secured. But there were still a hilly stage, two really hard stages in the Dolomites and an individual time trial to be ridden before the Giro ended in Verona.

The hilly stage to Treviso had been generally considered to offer one last chance to the pure sprinters, but the peloton misjudged its efforts and could not get the breakaway back in time. As for the 19th stage that served up 3500 aggregate meters of ascending, the stage win again was contested by riders from the breakaway. On the steep slopes of the final ascent to Santuario di Castelmonte, Mikel Landa seemed to able to drop his rivals Richard Carapaz and Jai Hindley for a short moment, but in the end these three riders crossed the finish line at the same time. Thanks to strong climbing performances from both Pello Bilbao and Santiago Buitrago on the final ascent, Team Bahrain Victorious managed to extend its lead in the team classification to two and a half minutes.

With the Passo Pordoi as this year’s Cima Coppi and the brutally steep Passo Fedaia to cap things off, the final mountain stage of the race did not lack in difficulty. Early on a group of 15 riders went up the road and Domen Novak was part of this group. Further back Team Bahrain Victorious took charge of things in the peloton, with first Phil Bauhaus and Jasha Sütterlin and then Wout Poels setting the pace for hours. But the breakaway remained out of reach, and Domen Novak managed to finish the stage in 2nd thanks to a strong performance on the final climb. The fight for the general classification really got serious when Jai Hindley accelerated with 2.5 kilometers to go, dropping first Mikel Landa and then Richard Carapaz. Landa decided to continue at his own pace, caught up with Carapaz and dropped him on the way to the finish.

Capping off the Giro d’Italia was an individual time trial in Verona featuring one steady climb along its 17.4 kilometer course. From the perspective of Team Bahrain Victorious, the main questions were if the gap of more than 5 minutes would be sufficient to win the team classification and if Pello Bilbao could maybe move up to 4th in the overall standings. While Bilbao clocked the fastest time of all riders in red, orange and black, he missed out on 4th place in GC by 12 seconds. Mikel Landa’s 3rd place had already been secured before the final stage, and thanks to good efforts from Jasha Sütterlin and Santiago Buitrago, the lead in the team classification never got in danger on the last day. Last but not least Buitrago added to the success with his 2nd place in the young riders’ classification.

1. Alessandro Covi, ITA, in 4:46.34 hours
3. Giulio Ciccone, ITA, + 0.37

1. Jai Hindley, AUS, in 86:31.14 hours
2. Richard Carapaz, ECU, + 1.18

1. Juan Pedro Lopez, ESP, in 86:49.54 hours
2. Santiago Buitrago, COL/TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, + 5.43
3. Pavel Sivakov, FRA, + 23.03

1. TEAM BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS, BHR, in 259:48.12 hours
2. Bora-Hansgrohe, GER, + 4.07
3. Ineos Grenadiers, GBR, + 1:22.29