Sunday’s final round of the 2022 Giro d’Italia, the time trial around Verona looks set to be a battle of every second between Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Jay Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) after 20 stages close, tight and controlled. race. But everything changed dramatically in the final 3.5km of Stage 20 to the summit of the Marmolada, and now the 17.4km time trial should be Hindley’s crowning glory.
In 2020, the Australian lost the Giro d’Italia to Tao Geoghegan Hart in the Milan time trial, with the Brit 39 seconds behind in 15.7km. This time, Hindley will still have to race hard and carefully, but he is ahead of Carapaz by a significant margin of 1:25.
After a heartbreaking defeat in 2020, Hindley is logically cautious.
His head-to-head results with Carapaz are not very good, the Ecuadorian won 7-1. During their first meeting four years ago at the 2018 Vuelta a España, both were in second-rate racing and neither driver had much motivation to work hard on active days. Overall, their time trials matter more as Hindley became a Grand Tour contender at the 2020 Giro. At the 2021 Volta a Catalunya, Carapaz lost 31 seconds to Hindley in the 18.5 km race, roughly the equivalent of Sunday’s time trial.
Depending on Carapace’s state of mind and the strength left in his legs, he may try to scare Hindley by starting quickly. However, of course, only a crash and a moment of total panic can prevent Hindley from becoming the first Australian to win the Giro d’Italia.
“How it will turn out. It’s always hard to tell how the time trial will go on the last day of a three-week race, but tomorrow I’ll die for the jersey,” Hindley promised, pulling on his first maglia rosa and kissing the legendary leader jersey affectionately.
“It’s nice to have a little more lead than two years ago, but it’s definitely not going to be an easy time trial. The race is not over.”
Carapaz worries Hindley, but he will also have to defend his second place overall against the latest attack from Mikel Landa (Bahrain winner). The Spaniard is only 26 seconds behind and could be a threat.
“There is still a big gap between us, but if Karapaz is ill, who knows? OK, try. This is not finished until the last kilometer,” Landa promised.
The Verona time trial will be the last chance to win a stage for time trialists such as Eduardo Affini and Jos van Emden (Jumbo-Visma), Alex Dowsett (Israel-Premier Tech) and maybe even Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix). ). Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero (BikeExchange-Jayco) is another name to remember.
The time trial circuit in Verona is very different from the time trial circuit in the center of Milan. It covers a test loop of 17.4 km north of the city, with technical streets and turns at the beginning and end, a gradual 4.5 km climb to Torrisell in the middle of the stage, and then a descent back into the city for the finish in the Roman arena. A similar track has been used several times in the road racing world championships.
The timing will be filmed outside the arena and the riders will properly ride into the stone amphitheater to be celebrated by the crowded crowd.
Verona hosted the final stage of the Giro for the first time in 1981, when the 42 km time trial was won by Knut Knudsen and local hero Giovanni Battaglin won the pink rose. The legendary 42km clash between Laurent Figon and Francesco Moser took place in 1984 when the Italian made up 1:21 to win 1:03. The television helicopters’ claims of assistance have never been proven or strongly refuted.
In 2019, Chad Haga beat Victor Kampenaerts and Thomas De Gendt in a stage victory with a time of 22:07, while Richard Carapaz sealed the overall victory and entered the arena in triumph.
Affini and van Emden are the big favourites, but climbing Torricella will be a real test for real time trialists and perhaps give Sobrero the edge. In recent days, Affini has also put in a lot of effort to help Cohen Bowman win the King of the Mountains blue jersey.
Van der Poel also went on the attack, even going on the attack in stage 20, but he still seemed to have the energy left for the last dance before enjoying the pineapple pizza.
Climbing to the top of the Marmolada on the Maglia Rosa route, Hindley is the last to start from the Verona Exhibition Center. He is expected to finish and most certainly win the 2022 Giro d’Italia in about twenty minutes.