Add "scalatore" (climber) in addition to "time trialist" to describe Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Barracuda). Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) in the Maglia Rosa, Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), and Michele Scarponi, were hoping and trying to drop Hesjedal today but instead it was Hesjedal that was doing the dropping on the final climb to the finish in Alpe di Pampeago.
Hesjedal, who was in the the GC group, almost caught stage winner Roman Kreuziger (Astana) who had gone in a break earlier. Hesjedal was 2nd at 19" and Joaquin Rodriguez 3rd at 32". Rodriguez kept the Maglia Rosa by a slim margin of 17" over Hesjedal.
The top 10 GC after today:
1 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 84:06:13
2 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Barracuda 0:00:17
3 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:01:39
4 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:01:45
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:03:21
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox 0:03:30
7 John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:36
8 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:05:40
9 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:05:47
10 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD 0:06:09
Kreuziger: "The time loss I suffered to the GC contenders on Wednesday in the stage to Cortina is a wound that this stage victory will not remove. I had prepared to try to win this Giro and to be dropped on the Giau was really bad. Today, I started believing that I could only win in the last 200 meters and at that point I really gave it all."
Rodriguez: "Today was a day to gain time on Hesjedal but instead it was the reverse, hats off to him, he was really strong. When Scarponi started his attacks I suffered, however, I said to myself that it was normal. When Hesjedal started to go he was really strong, too strong for me. I decided I could not follow him because I would have risked going beyond my limit. Tomorrow is a very important day, today I have suffered much, though, as I have said, the Giro is played day by day. Tomorrow we tackle the Mortirolo which is a climb that I really like, many have won the Giro on those ramps, many others have lost, I hope it's a great day ..."
Highlights of Stage 19:
Tonale, 15.1 km, average 6.1%, max 8%
Aprica, 15.9 km, average 3.1%, max 9%
Teglio, 5.9 km, average 8%, max 15%
Mortirolo, 11.4 km, average 10,5%, max 22%
Stelvio, 22.4 km, average 6.9, max 12%.
Daniel Lloyd's recon of tomorrow's stage: