What's Cool In Road Cycling

GIRO’22 BREAKDOWN: Into The Final Weekend of Torture!

Giro Takeaways

Giro Breakdown: As we enter the final three stages of the 2022 Giro d’Italia, Spencer Martin gives us his ‘Takeaways’ as the Italian Grand Tour winds-up with the final time trial in Verona. Who’s hot for the last pink jersey and the endless trophy?

Carapaz. Hindley or Landa?

– This article is an excerpt from the Beyond the Peloton newsletter. Sign up here for full access. –

Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

The last chance stage went to a break

As the 2022 Giro d’Italia leaves its final sprint stage and heads into two brutally difficult mountain stages before a final stage time trial in Verona, Jai Hindley and Richard Carapaz are locked together at the top of the leaderboard, separated by only three seconds, which should give us a wide open race from here to Verona. And if you haven’t been watching or following the race up until this point, you are in luck since the organizers have built an extremely back-loaded course, which means we will likely see a highly tactical and interesting between the two favorites, plus Landa, as they race to Verona.

GC Current Top Five:
1) Richard Carapaz +0
2) Jai Hindley +7
3) Mikel Landa +1’05
4) Vincenzo Nibali +5’48
5) Pello Bilbao +6’19

No chance Nibali

Where Time Has Been Won/Lost So Far
An exercise I find immensely helpful to figure out what we will see as we head into a more difficult section of a grand tour is to examine where each potential winner (the current top 3) has taken or lost time relative to one another.

Stage 1
Carapaz +0
Hindley +4
Landa +4

Stage 2
Carapaz +0
Landa +5
Hindley +6

Stage 9
Hindley +0
Carapaz +5
Landa +10

Stage 11
Carapaz +0
Hindley +3
Landa +3

Stage 14
Hindley +0
Carapaz +1
Landa +43

Stage 16
Hindley +0
Carapaz +4
Landa +4

Stage 17
Hindley +0
Carapaz +0
Landa +6

Where Time Was Won/Lost Relative to Carapaz
Uphill Finish:

Hindley +4
Landa +4

Time Trial
Landa +5
Hindley +6

Time Bonuses
Hindley -7
Landa +14

Still time for Landa to come unglued


Every second counts

  • Outside of Landa coming unglued towards the end of stage 14, the time gaps produced from decisive stages so far are all relatively razor thin. But considering the average margin of victory over the last five editions has been 64-seconds, this isn’t unusual and shows why leaking time via time bonuses and the sharp end of uphill finishes is so lethal to a GC campaign.

More attacks? Probably not

Don’t expect major GC attacks in the remaining mountains

  • There will be a lot of talk about long-range attacks and mountain raids as we enter the brutally difficult two mountain stages of this Giro, but with such a difficult course facing the peloton, I would caution against expecting fireworks.
  • With the two main favorites within 3-seconds each other, there will almost certainly be far more defensive riding, especially on climbs early in stages, than most expect.

The drinks will be on Richard

Richard Carapaz has looked shaky at times, but it is becoming more and more difficult to imagine him losing this race

  • Food for thought: Would Ineos be better off if they had simply retained Wout Poels?
  • But ultimately, while we still have two difficult mountain stages remaining, the mix of Carapaz’s ability to hang with the race’s best climbers and his two biggest rivals, Landa and Hindley, being incredibly happy with podium places makes it difficult to imagine him being put under serious pressure between now and Verona on Sunday.

Will Hindley be chasing Carapaz all the way to Verona?

The past few mountain stages didn’t tell us who would win but narrowed it down to two contenders

  • The past two stages might have featured little GC action, but they did tell us that Jai Hindley and Richard Carapaz are the two strongest riders in the race while Mikel Landa is likely just riding for the podium.
  • And with João Almeida leaving the race this morning due to a positive COVID test, any threat of a rider coming from behind to overtake these three for the podium in the final TT is all but gone.
  • While I’ve thought race leader Richard Carapaz has looked slightly roughed up through these mountain stages, he appeared to have some pop in his legs in the sprint finish. In fact, this was the first time he’s beaten Hindley in a competitive sprint at this Giro.
  • Another potential weakness has been his Ineos team, which has left him isolated while Hindley and Landa have had teammates with them. But this will only matter if Landa or Hindley can leverage this advantage, and so far, they have all been so equal on the climbs that they haven’t been able to.

A repeat of 2019

The final time trial will be a toss up

  • But when it comes to picking between Hindley and Carapaz, things are still up in the air since while Carapaz is traditionally the better time trialist, as we saw at the 2020 Tour de France, we should throw that data out the window when we get to a hilly end-of-grand tour TT.
  • The main takeaway we should all have walked away from these recent stages with is that Hindley and Carapaz are struggling to wedge open any time on each other in the mountains and that this race is likely to come down to the final time trial.

giro podium
Ecuador on the pink podium again

# Stay PEZ for all the Giro d’Italia news: Stage Reports, EUROTRASH, Rest Day Rants and BREAKDOWN. #

Watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of the Giro d’Italia 2022 on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

# Spencer Martin is the author of the cycling-analysis newsletter Beyond the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of each race and answers big picture questions surrounding team and rider performance. Sign up now to get full access to all the available content and race breakdowns. #

Like PEZ? Why not subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive updates and reminders on what's cool in road cycling?

Comments are closed.