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Giro d’Italia 2024: Pogacar underlines dominance on end of chaotic day
Cycling Sport

Giro d’Italia 2024: Pogacar underlines dominance on end of chaotic day

Tadej Pogacar emerged from a chaotic day to underline his dominance of this Giro d’Italia with victory on a weather-shortened stage 16 on the Monte Pana as Geraint Thomas dropped to third overall.

Two days after his stunning victory on the queen stage all but wrapped up overall victory barring incident, Team Emirates’ Pogacar was celebrating again, this time in miserable conditions as he took his fifth victory of this race with a late attack, winning by 16 seconds from Giulio Pellizzari (VF Group-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè).

Daniel Martínez (Bora-Hansgrohe) came home with Pellizzari to pick up 37 secs on Ineos’ Thomas, who is 7min 40secs down on Pogacar and 22 secs off the second step of the podium.

“The day started really on and off, we didn’t know what to do but when we started racing it was fine,” Pogacar said. “In the final 2km we tried to control it, [teammate] Rafal Majka had enough and then we pushed on and tried to make some gaps. I’m super-happy.”

There was confusion as the day began in Livigno, where riders refused to take to the start in snowy conditions in a dispute with organisers as to whether or not the race should go over the Umbrail pass – already a diversion from the original route over the Stelvio due to the risk of avalanches.

With riders shivering under makeshift tents, the message eventually came that a shortened stage would cut out the mountain pass and start further down the valley. Even that plan was amended before racing began from a petrol station in Laas, with 119km to be tackled to the summit finish.

Stage 12 winner Julian Alaphilippe tried to go solo again as they began the climbing packed into the final 35km of the stage, but the Soudal–Quick-Step rider’s two-minute advantage never looked like being enough given the terrain remaining and he was caught by a counterattack 5km from the finish.

Pogacar attacked with 1.5km left, quickly distancing Thomas and Martínez before hoovering up the rest of the attackers and going clear, while Thomas could not hang on to the wheel of Martínez to drop back behind him in the standings.

Source: theguardian.com