Mikel Landa must have one last card up his sleeve to carry out his assault on the Giro. Both he and the leader Carapaz and Hindley, the three great candidates, opted for caution, because a fall or the slightest mishap can destroy weeks of work. They looked at each other but did not attack each other, at least not definitively, and the trio chose to decide their fate in the tough mountain stage on Saturday, in which Landa must have his fang sharpened, since the Giro closes with a time trial, where in theory Carapaz is superior. He won the Dutch Bowman in the penultimate stage after a close final.

The peloton heads, tired, towards the Italian border with Slovenia, land of champions and cannibals like Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar.

There are no big stars in this Giro, which Richar Carapaz dominates with an iron fist, pursued tirelessly, yes, by the Australian Jai Hindley and the Spanish Mikel Landa, who once again tried to shake the Ecuadorian, firm in his aspirations. despite pressure from his enemies. A stage for brave men who no longer have anything to lose, like Simon Yates, who wove numerous attacks between Marano Lagunare and the Sanctuary of Castelmonte, 178 kilometers of roller coaster, with three climbs and a high finish.

Vendrame, Valter, Schmid, Topnelli and Bouwman waged a tremendous war for victory in the 19th stage, but the real friction was in the group for the pink jersey. Carapaz, Hindley and Landa looked each other directly in the eye. A kind of Cold War, more scary than live action, but very attractive in any case. It was not until one of the last climbs that Landa unsheathed. The Basque, more to measure the leader’s pulse than anything else, pedaled hard on the slope, a kind of preview of what awaits tomorrow, the final battle. Carapaz and Hindley kept up with him, and things did not go any further.

The rock and roll was played at the finish line, preceded by a series of most harrowing curves. Vendrame, after the occasional brushing of the handlebars, could not turn and went against the publicity while Bouwman, who had already shown his intention to succeed on the day with several breakaway attempts, finally uncorked to leave all his rivals behind . The Dutchman secures the Mountain Grand Prix and the triumph that precedes the storm. Tomorrow, the Giro faces its end.