Favorites for stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024 | Penultima tappa, two runs up Monte Grappa! Cycling

Favorites for stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024 | Penultima tappa, two runs up Monte Grappa!

Favorites for stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024 | Penultima tappa, two runs up Monte Grappa!

One more all-out uphill effort and then all that is left is the big parade in Rome. The Giro d'Italia 2024 is almost at an end, but not before we face a final tough mountain stage on the last Saturday to wrap it up. IDLProCycling.com explains what to watch out for in the penultimate stage of this Giro!

Course stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024

Favorites for stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024 | Penultima tappa, two runs up Monte Grappa!

The riders start on Saturday in Alpago, near Lake Santa Croce. From this starting point, they immediately need to tackle some elevation heading towards Sella di Fadalto, followed by a descent leading to the base of the Muri di Ca'del Poggio. This steep climb appears after thirty kilometers of racing and could be crucial in forming the day's breakaway.

On the 1.3-kilometer climb, the road rises at an average of 11.3 percent, making this a serious challenge in the final weekend of the Giro d'Italia. Hopefully for the riders, a breakaway group will have formed by then, as there is some time to enjoy the scenery in the Prosecco region and near the Piave River.

But then, we soon reach the last serious climb of this Giro d'Italia: Monte Grappa, which must be conquered twice, starting from Semonzo del Grappa. At 18.1 kilometers long with an average gradient of 8.1 percent, it is one of the toughest climbs of this Tour of Italy, especially considering we're at the end of the third week. The last time we tackled this climb was in 2014 during an individual time trial, won by Nairo Quintana.

Favorites for stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024 | Penultima tappa, two runs up Monte Grappa!

What does Monte Grappa look like exactly? Tough! In the first nine kilometers, the road consistently climbs steeply, followed by a short descent and then several kilometers at nine percent. Toward the end of the 18.1-kilometer climb, the hardest kilometers begin, ascending at eleven or even twelve percent.

The peloton does not have to tackle this climb just once, but twice. Additionally, the Pianaro climb, located in the descent from Grappa, at 1.5 kilometers at nine percent, will also increase the overall difficulty of the stage. The last three kilometers towards Bassano del Grappa are flat, after a tricky, fairly narrow descent of several kilometers.

30.3 km: Muro di Ca' del OPoggio (1.3 km at 11.3%)
106.1 km: Monte Grappa (18.1 km at 8.1%)
153.3 km: Monte Grappa (18.1 km at 8.1%)

Start: 11:50 AM
Finish: around 5:15 PM

Weather stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024

Some rainfall is expected in the morning in the region where the race is held, but if all goes well, the riders should be spared this. The temperature will hover around 20 degrees Celsius, and it is not expected to be very windy.

Favorites stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024

For the entire peloton, this is the penultimate chance in this Giro d'Italia, but really there is only one man who stands a real chance to win this stage: Tadej Pogacar. As the wearer of the pink jersey, he can do whatever he wants in this Giro d'Italia, and he has hinted several times in the past days that this stage appeals to him. If that's the case, we're calling it now: jackpot for Pogacar.

The other GC riders have not really been able to challenge the Slovenian of UAE-Team Emirates, making it hard to imagine how riders like Daniel Felipe Martínez (BORA-hansgrohe), Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious), Romain Bardet (DSM-firmenich PostNL), Ben O'Connor (Decathlon AG2R), Thymen Arensman and Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) could threaten Pogacar here.

In theory, Pogacar could give them some space to break away with his lead, but in reality, that is not a likely scenario. Therefore, the field narrows significantly when considering contenders for a stage win, and we should especially watch the strong climbers from a potential breakaway group.

tadej pogacar

Consider riders like Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious), Giulio Pellizzari (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizané), Nicola Conci (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Attila Valter (Visma | Lease a Bike), Aurélien and Valentin Paret-Peintre (Decathlon AG2R), but they too have a problem: the approach to Monte Grappa is quite easy, which means it's well-controllable for UAE-Team Emirates.

Riders trying to battle their way into the GC top ten, like Michael Storer (Tudor), Jan Hirt (Soudal Quick-Step) and Einer Rubio (Movistar). face the same issue. Filippo Zana (Jayco AlUla), Lorenzo Fortunato (Astana) and Davide Piganzoli (Polti-Kometa) are also part of that group.

For punchy riders like Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) and Jhonatan Narváez (INEOS Grenadiers), the Grappa is likely too much, which also goes for time trial specialists like Luke Plapp (Jayco AlUla). The last name we'd like to mention is Rafal Majka, Pogacar's UAE lieutenant, who could grab the stage victory here to complete his grand tour trilogy.

Favorites stage 20 Giro d'Italia 2024, according to IDLProCycling.com

Top favorite: Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates)
Outsiders: Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) and Valentin Paret-Peintre (Decathlon AG2R)
Long shots: Daniel Felipe Martínez (BORA-hansgrohe), Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain Victorious), Romain Bardet (dsm-firmenich PostNL), Thymen Arensman, Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers), Michael Storer (Tudor), Jan Hirt (Soudal Quick-Step), Einer Rubio (Movistar), Aurélien Paret-Peintre and Ben O'Connor (Decathlon AG2R)


Who will win stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia?

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