Nairo Quintana held on to the pink jersey in the penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia yesterday but is not yet sure of victory. The 100th race will be decided on the last stage, writes Jean Lafond in Asiago.
Thibaut Pinot of France won the 20th stage in a sprint finish ahead of Ilnur Zakarin of Russia and defending champion Vincenzo Nibali. Entering the concluding time trial today, Quintana, pictured, leads Nibali by 39 seconds, and Pinot by 43 seconds.
Tom Dumoulin dropped from second to fourth, 53 seconds back, although he still remains the favourite considering his time trialling skills. The last stage is a flat 29-kilometre (18-mile) individual time trial from Monza’s Formula One race track to Milan.
Dutchman Dumoulin dominated the race’s first time trial.
Quintana regained the maglia rosa on Friday and entered yesterday’s stage with a 38-second lead over Dumoulin. “I’m happy. We have had a good fight with the other rivals. It was important not to lose any time on them but I also wanted to gain some,” Quintana said last night.
“I didn’t gain as much as I wanted on Tom (Dumoulin) but there was nothing more we could do. Now we’ll play all our cards flat out tomorrow.”