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Giro d’Italia: Andrea Vendrame powers to stage 19 win as Geraint Thomas crashes

Andrea Vendrame showed his staying power as he stormed to victory on stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia for Decathlon–AG2R La Mondiale.

The 29-year-old Italian slipped away from survivors of a long breakaway with 30km left of a hilly 157km run from Mortegliano to Sappada.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas suffered a scare in his bid to finish third overall when he crashed after a clipping another rider’s rear wheel with 6km to go.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider needed a quick bike change but overall leader Tadej Pogacar and the other top contenders slowed down and waited for Thomas to recover, ensuring he did not lose any time on his rivals.

Pogacar told Eurosport: “I think it showed that everyone has respect. Nobody in the group wanted to pass Thomas in that kind of way.

“I hope he’s OK after the crash. After all the control, it’s a stupid moment, I hope he’s OK and we can have a great show tomorrow.”

Vendrame crossed the finish line 55 seconds ahead of Spain’s Pelayo Sanchez (Movistar) with Georg Steinhauser of Germany (EF Education-EasyPost) in third place, a further seven seconds behind.

Slovenian Pogacar finished 15 minutes behind Vendrame with the rest of the peloton but still has a comfortable advantage with two stages left.

“I had been aiming for this stage since the start of the Giro. It was important to get into the day’s breakaway and I tried to save energies the whole day,” Vendrame said.

“I attacked on the descent, taking a risk, saw that I had a good lead and kept pushing. It’s a special emotion because I won close to my home.”

Saturday’s mountainous 184km run south from Alpago to Bassano del Grappa gives Pogacar’s rivals one last chance to attack him before the race ends on Sunday with a flat circuit, starting and ending in Rome.

SOURCE: BBC Sport RSS   (go to source)
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