Bouwman wins Giro stage; Carapaz still leads overall

SANTUARIO DI CASTELMONTE, Italy (AP) — Dutch cyclist Koen Bouwman won the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday and Richard Carapaz kept hold of the leader’s pink jersey heading into the final two days of the race.

Bouwman, who rides for Team Jumbo–Visma, edged Mauro Schmid and Alessandro Tonelli in a sprint to the line at the end of the penultimate day in the mountains after a bizarre incident on the final corner.

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SANTUARIO DI CASTELMONTE, Italy (AP) — Dutch cyclist Koen Bouwman won the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday and Richard Carapaz kept hold of the leader’s pink jersey heading into the final two days of the race.

Bouwman, who rides for Team Jumbo–Visma, edged Mauro Schmid and Alessandro Tonelli in a sprint to the line at the end of the penultimate day in the mountains after a bizarre incident on the final corner.

Schmid complained that Bouwman had cut him off around the final corner, causing him to put Andrea Vendrame and Attila Valter wide when they were also vying for the stage win.

The 178-kilometer (111-mile) route from Marano Lagunare had four classified climbs, including the second-category ascent up to the summit finish at Santuario di Castelmonte. The stage also crossed briefly into Slovenia.

A breakaway of 12 riders had gone early in the day and they were allowed to build a large advantage of about 10 minutes. That broke up on the top-category Kolovrat climb and there were only five escapees remaining on the descent.

There were attacks behind in the general classification group, towards the top of the final climb, but nothing stuck and the main rivals crossed together, nearly four minutes behind Bouwman.

Carapaz, the 2019 champion and Olympic gold medalist in Tokyo, remained three seconds ahead of 2020 runner-up Jai Hindley and 1:05 ahead of Mikel Landa in third.

There was bad news for Carapaz, however, as Ineos Grenadiers teammate Richie Porte — his main support rider in the mountains — had to pull out of the Giro with sickness early in the stage.

All could be decided on the race’s penultimate leg on Saturday. The 20th stage has been given the maximum difficulty rating of five stars and features three grueling climbs: the Passo San Pellegrino, the Passo Pordoi — which is the race’s highest point — and the final Passo Fedaia to the foot of the Marmolada glacier at the end of the 168-kilometer (104-mile) route from Belluno.

The Giro ends on Sunday in Verona with an individual time trial.

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