Maglia Nera Stage 21

By: Gavin Gould Jun 4

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Stage 21 Gemona – Trieste 172km

After three weeks, a lot of kilometers, and a lot of rain, this Giro has ended. As for the Maglia Nera, there hasn’t been much doubt for the last week that Jetse Bol would hang on. Granted, Svein (2013 TdF Lanterne Rouge!) and Michael Hepburn were giving him a good run at points – they were the last two riders still in the race for Orica-GreenEdge, just trying to make it the rest of the way to Trieste.

We can imagine that Jetse may have gone into survival mode in this debut Grand Tour, but from his Twitter posts it looks like he’s remained in good spirits throughout. On Instagram he’s been popping wheelies for roadside supporters, which we’ve been known to enjoy as well.

Well done Jetse and all 155 others who completed the 97th Giro d’Italia!

Perhaps we’ll return in July with some Lanterne Rouge reporting. We’re not finding much evidence of an equivalent for the Vuelta a España, but maybe we’ll work on that…

 

Maglia Nera Stage 20

By: Gavin Gould May 31

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Stage 20 Maniago – Monte Zoncolan 167km

This is it, the penultimate stage and final climb. Another big break, but nothing to worry the main GC contenders. Typical idiotic fan interference on the Zoncolan, always achieves the opposite of what’s intended. If you want to give a guy a push, maybe it’s not such a good idea to push him directly into the leading rider’s back wheel. I haven’t watched the replay yet but I’ve read of several incidents with spectators.

None of this was of any consequence to Maglia Nera Jetse Bol, who topped the Zoncolan at +27:17.

We at Embro HQ have conducted intense analysis of hundreds of possibilities and have agreed that barring an absolute catastrophe on tomorrow’s flat parade of a finale, Jetse’s ten-minute+ gap over the closest challenger will hold.

 

Maglia Nera Stage 18 and 19

By: Gavin Gould May 31

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Stage 18 Belluno – Rifugio Panarotta 171km

This was a pretty bonkers stage, heavy on the climbing. Some skinny dudes went uphill really fast, it was cool. Trek Factory Racing’s Julián Arredondo got the stage win he’d been hunting for and padded the hell out of his KOM lead by being first to the top of all three climbs.

Our man Jetse in the Maglia Nera rolled in with the grupetto at +31:58.

Stage 19 Bassano del Grappa – Cima Grappa TT 26.8km

Individual time trials are sometimes boring, but this one was actually pretty interesting to watch since it consisted of about 7km of flat and then 20km of steep climb. Some riders opted to just ride their regular bike the whole route, some took a full TT bike for the flat section then got a bike change for the remainder. Europcar’s Pierre Rolland had the combination of his regular road bike with clip-on TT bars. I didn’t actually see this happen, but I’m guessing cyclocross star Francis Mourey did a flying remount… Mourey finished 15th on the stage, very impressive. Jetse Bol came in 141st at +13:43, and now lies almost 5 hours in arrears.

Congrats to Jetse’s Belkin teammate Jos Van Emden who stopped in the middle of the TT to propose to his girlfriend, and she said yes!

 

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