Giro d'Italia stage 19 as it happened: Andrea Vendrame wins from the breakaway

Geraint Thomas overcomes late crash to finish among GC contenders

Giro d'Italia stage 19 profile

(Image credit: RCS)

Hello and welcome to another one of our Giro d'Italia live blogs. There are now just three stages left at the race, with two more climbing tests before Sunday's final day in Rome.


Key stage details (all times in BST): 

Here's how the general classification stands heading into today. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has a pretty much unassailable lead, but there's set to be a good battle for second place, with Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadeirs) just 22 seconds off Dani Martínez (Bora-Hansgrohe). 

There's a feeling that today's stage is one for the breakaway. 

The riders have signed on in Mortegliano, and are now poised for the neutral roll-out. 

Stage 19 begins

157km to go: Mattia Bais (Polti-Kometa) tries to kickstart proceedings with an immediate move off the front. Tim van Dijke (Visma-Lease a Bike) latches onto his wheel, followed by another handful of riders. 

154km to go: The fight for the breakaway is still going on. Now Ryan Mullen (Bora-Hansgrohe) is off the front, waiting for companions. 

152km to go: There's a nine-rider group off the front, with an advantage of 11 seconds. Mullen's present, as is Magnus Sheffield (Ineos Grenadiers) and Attila Valter (Visma-Lease a Bike). 

149km to go: A few teams have missed the breakaway, namely Jayco AlUla. They have Alessandro De Marchi trying to bridge across.  

147km to go: This has been a very quick start to the stage. The riders have covered the first 10km at 48km/h. 

144km to go: The gap is now 30 seconds. Luke Plapp is burying himself to help drag De Marchi (Jayco AlUla) to the breakaway. The duo are barely off the front of the peloton.

137km to go: Afternoon! it's James Shrubsall taking over from Tom for a bit while he does the lunch thing.

133km to go: The break has pulled out just two further seconds in the past four kilometres. It now sits 15sec ahead of a hard charging bunch that looks like it's attempting to set up a leadout.

132km to go: Eduardo Affini (Visma-Lease A Bike) puts in a big turn on the front of the break and ends up dropping all his companions bar Ryan Mullen. The pair sit up and wait. The gap is still 14sec. This is hard riding.

130km to go: Some nasty looking storm clouds on the horizon.

124km to go: As the bunch closes on the break, Julian Alaphilippe attacks! Jonathan Narvaez is out there too. The race has changed now.

122km to go: This looks like a strong little break. Alaphilippe, Narvaez, Nicola Conci (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Andrea Vendrame (Decathlon-AG2R), Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar Team), and Luke Plapp (Jayco-Alula) is trying to bridge now. 

120km to go: The gap is small though. A handful of seconds right now.

119km to go: Three riders in this group already have a stage win under their belts – Sanchez (stage 6 to Rapolano Terme); Alaphilippe (stage 12 to Fano); and Narvaez (stage 1 to Turin).

117km to go: It looks like the Alpecin rider is actually Belgian Quinten Hermans, not Conci. Both Hermans and Plapp have taken third places on stages – Hermans behind Alaphilippe on stage 12; Plapp behind Sanchez on stage 6.

115km to go: This six rider break has 17 seconds now. It looks like they're away now, after a touch and go initial period. 

111km to go: The bunch has eased right back. Suddenly the gap is 43 seconds.

110km to go: There are still riders active on the front though, including ciclamino jersey Jonathan Milan (Lidl-Trek), who currently seems to be trying to bridge across.

110km to go: The bunch is all over the shop, fragmenting over and over at the front. A small group is currently riding just off the front. Suddenly, that gap is back down to 20 seconds.

109km to go: There are two teams represented in the break that are yet to win a stage – Alpecin-Deceuninck and Jayco-AlUla. They're going to be determined to make a break work today.

108km to go: Narvaez crashes on a shallow right-hand hairpin as they tackle a descent. He springs up like a jack in the box and is back on.

106km to go: The riders are back on long, flat, straight roads now, and the gap is down to 12sec now, with the bunch strung out.

99km to go: The gap back down to 15 seconds, with the bunch still active. This has been such a hard first 60-odd km in the Giro d'Italia.

97km to go: A small group of four has splintered off the front of the bunch in an attempt to bridge to the break.

96km to go: And now they're back. This is how fast this race is changing.

95km to go: The break is still out there, now 33 seconds ahead of a chaotic bunch.

94km to go: It looks like a chase group of four has joined the break. That happened a couple of K's ago.

Handing you back to Tom Davidson now. Enjoy the rest of this stage – it's been a corker so far!

87km to go: Right, time for me to get up-to-date on the race situation. Here's how things stand on the road: 

I'll be honest, I did not expect it to take until the halfway point for the breakaway to finally be allowed loose. 

72km to go: The mood now has calmed down and the breakaway has a six-and-a-half-minute advantage. The two groups have now formed, meaning there are 19 riders at the front of the race. 

68km to go: The gap is now almost eight minutes. I'm calling it now – this stage is going to the breakaway. 

65km to go: We're less than 10km from the start of the first categorised climb, and it's a real kicker. Here's what to expect from the cat-two Passo Duron – just 4.4km long, but with an average gradient of almost 10%. 

64km to go: UAE Team Emirates are patrolling the peloton behind. Race leader Tadej Pogačar said previously that he'd like to target the stage tomorrow, so his team seems content to take things at an easier pace today. 

61km to go: Luke Plapp (Jayco AlUla) appears to have dropped out of the breakaway group. The Australian put in a mammoth effort to bridge across earlier in the day. There are now 18 riders up the road. 

57km to go: Manuele Tarozzi (VF Group - Bardiani CSF - Faizanè) peels off the front of the breakaway, through the Intergiro sprint, and heads solo onto the Passo Duron. 

56km to go: Luke Plapp is now back in the breakaway, restoring the group at 19. Alaphilippe and Steinhauser have closed the gap to Tarozzi on the climb. Narváez joins moments later.  

55km to go: The riders are really grinding up the Passo Duron. Tarozzi has fallen back from the front of the race, which now counts the quartet of Alaphilippe, Narváez, Steinhauser and Sánchez. 

51km to go: The breakaway is split up in small groups heading onto the descent. There won't be much recovery in the valley before they're climbing again. The next one's a cat-three. 

50km to go: The gap to the peloton is now a whopping 10 minutes. That's, by far, the biggest it has been all race. 

48km to go: There are reports of heavy rain at the finish line in Sappada. The forecasts are saying it should clear up in the next hour, but the roads could still be wet when the riders arrive. 

42km to go: Quinten Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Andrea Vendrame (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) have joined the leading quartet. They have a 40-second lead on the rest of the breakaway. 

39km to go: Luke Plapp has diarrhea, the race broadcast has announced. Fortunately he is not wearing white shorts today. 

38km to go: Alaphilippe attacks. There's still a long way to go, but the double world champion fancies his chances. 

38km to go: Narváez and Steinhauser have latched onto Alaphilippe's wheel. The trio has a gap of about five seconds on the rest of the leading sextet. 

38km to go: Sánchez has bridged across to the trio at the front of the race. The four stage winners are together once again. 

37km to go: Luke Plapp, despite his reported ailment, has flown across the gap and is now just behind the leading quartet.   

36km to go: There are now seven riders at the front of the race: Alaphilippe, Narváez, Sánchez, Steinhauser, Plapp, Vendrame and Hermans. They've got a 35-second lead over the remainder of the breakaway, and their heading onto a wet downhill. 

Spare a thought for Luke Plapp. Nobody wants their name to be used in the same sentence as the poo emoji. 

30km to go: Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost) has had to abandon the race after crashing on a descent. He's conscious, but looked to have picked up a serious helping of road rash. 

29km to go: The gap from the front of the race to the peloton is now 13 minutes. 13 minutes! 

26km to go: Vendrame has gone on the attack now. The Italian has 20 seconds to play with, but there's also 20km to the top of the final climb in Sappada. Plenty can, and most likely will, happen. 

23km to go: Vendrame is still on his own out front. Alaphilippe, Steinhauser, Narváez, Plapp, Sánchez and Steinhauser are in pursuit behind. 

19km to go: Vendrame has been slowly nudging out his advantage, which now stands at 45 seconds. The final climb starts officially in 4km. 

16km to go: There's a lot at stake for Quinten Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Luke Plapp (Jayco AlUla) in the chasing group. Both of their teams are yet to taste victory at the race, and with the chances to do so running out, this might be their best chance. 

15km to go: We'd be foolish to turn our noses up at this attack from Vendrame. The Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale rider how has more than a one minute advantage. Sensing the race getting away from them, there's movement behind – Steinhauser is looking to close the gap. 

12km to go: Vendrame's advantage is growing. It now stands at 1:12, but he's got a two-time world champion in Julian Alaphilippe chasing him. 

11.5km to go: Steinhauser has launched himself out of the chasing group. He's pushing a big gear, trying to keep his speed up, so he can close the gap to Vendrame. 

9km to go: Steinhauser has only managed to take a few seconds out of Vendrame's lead. It's still over a minute. The Italian is flying. 

8km to go: There's only 1.5km to the top of this climb, and Vendrame's advantage is 1:18. Steinhauser and Sánchez are in pursuit, but they look like they're tiring. 

Here's, Andrea Vendrame, the lone leader on the road. The 29-year-old last won a race almost three years ago, but looks set to change that today. 

6km to go: Vendrame crests the final climb solo with an advantage of 1:05. He'll face a short downhill now, before a little kick-up to the line. Barring major incident, this stage has his name written on it. 

3km to go: Sánchez has gapped Steinhauser in the battle for second. Alaphilippe, Narváez and Plapp won't be on the podium today. 

1km to go: Vendrame is still pushing on the pedals as he goes under the flamme rouge. He affords himself a small smile, but he's pressing on, taking no risks. 


With a 30km solo attack, Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale's Italian brings his team its 22 victory of the season. He wafts his arms to the crowds in celebration as he crosses the line. 

Pelayo Sánchez (Movistar) takes second place, shortly followed by Georg Steinhauser (EF Education-EasyPost) in third. 

Crash! Geraint Thomas has gone down in the GC group. There's still 6km to go. 

Thomas is back up, but he's had to swap bikes. The speed in the pink jersey group has slowed up to let him rejoin. 

Thomas is now back with Pogačar and co. There's no urgency in this group as it approaches the finish line in Sappada. 

The GC group rolls across the finish line almost 16 minutes down. There will be no time gaps in the top 10, despite a scare for Thomas. 

I'm off to write a full race report. Hold tight, I'll have it up shortly. 

Here's today's report

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