Race director warns of ‘consequences’ for ‘shambolic’ rider protest as Tao Geoghegan Hart gets set for Giro d’Italia finale

After one of the most dramatic grand tour stages in recent memory on Thursday, when the race exploded on the Stelvio, the Giro d’Italia descended into complete farce 24 hours later as a rider revolt forced organisers to slash the 251km stage 19 in half, with the riders spending the first 118km on a bus. The protest, against the conditions riders are being asked to endure in late October in the middle of a pandemic, led to plenty of confusion and no little bad blood, with the Giro’s race director Mauro Vegni warning that “someone would pay” for the insubordination. However, it ultimately had no effect on the race itself, with Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart [Ineos Grenadiers] finishing safely in the bunch to maintain his third place position on GC ahead of what should be a fascinating final weekend.

Cerny wins 19th Giro stage shortened after riders’ protest, Kelderman retains overall lead

SHOWS: MORBEGNO TO ASTI, ITALY (OCTOBER 23, 2020) (IMG - SEE RESTRICTIONS) 1. START OF 19TH STAGE IN MORBEGNO, OVERALL LEADER WILCO KELDERMAN (181, PINK JERSEY, TEAM SUNWEB) IN THE CENTRE (2 SHOTS) 2. MOTORBIKE RIDER INDICATING TO RIDER THAT THE STAGE HAS BEEN STOPPED 3. CYCLISTS SLOWED RIGHT DOWN TALKING TO OFFICIALS 4. VARIOUS OF RIDERS STOPPED STANDING IN THE RAIN AND TALKING (3 SHOTS) 5. KELDERMAN SITTING IN A CAR 6. CONVOY OF BUSES AND CARS HEADING TO THE NEW STARTING POINT OF THE STAGE AT ABBIATEGRASSO (3 SHOTS) 7. RIDERS GATHERED FOR THE RESTART 8. KELDERMAN TALKING 9. RESTART OF STAGE (2 SHOTS) 10. JOSEF CERNY (62, CCC TEAM) MAKING A BREAKAWAY FOR THE LEAD 11. CERNY IN THE LEAD 12. VICTOR CAMPENAERTS (152, DARK BLUE, NTT PRO CYCLING) IN SECOND PLACE 13. CERNY WINNING THE STAGE (5 SHOTS) 14. CAMPENAERTS FINISHES SECOND (2 SHOTS) 15. CERNY CELEBRATING 16. OVERALL LEADER WILCO KELDERMAN (181, PINK JERSEY, TEAM SUNWEB) FINISHING IN THE PELOTON (3 SHOTS) 17. CERNY ON PODIUM (2 SHOTS) 18. OVERALL LEADER KELDERMAN ON PODIUM (4 SHOTS) STORY: Czech Josef Cerny won the Giro d'Italia's 19th stage which started amid chaos and was halved in length on Friday (October 23) following a protest by the riders against the conditions. Cerny (CCC) broke away from the leading group around 22 kilometres from the end of the 123-kilometre stage and managed to hold onto his lead until the finishing line in the town of Asti to claim the biggest win of his career. Victor Campenaerts' late attack was in vain as he finished second. The stage was scheduled to run 258 kilometres from Morbegno to Asti but, shortly before the start, the riders protested about racing so far in wet conditions one day after a brutal mountain stage. After organisers agreed to their demands, the race started as planned but, after eight kilometres, the riders got on their team buses and were taken to a new starting point at Abbiategrasso. Dutchman Wilco Keldermen kept the maglia rosa after finishing with the peloton which crossed the line nearly 12 minutes behind Cerny. There are two stages to go in the race which finishes in Milan on Sunday (October 25). (Production: Mike Brock)

Cycling: Giro director furious as stage shortened following protest

After organisers agreed to shorten the route due to bad weather, the competitors lined up as planned in the town of Morbegno for the marathon 258 kilometre stage to Asti but, after riding a leisurely eight kilometres, hopped on team buses. Adam Hansen, one of the riders, said the request to shorten the stage was made on Thursday evening and a protest was organised at the start when it was turned down. "I heard about the protest of some riders less than an hour before the start from Morbegno," he said.

Tao Geoghegan Hart ‘can almost smell Milan’ after closing to within 15 seconds of Giro d’Italia lead

Tao Geoghegan Hart said he could “almost smell Milan” after closing to within 15 seconds of the lead of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday, setting up a thrilling finish to the race this weekend. The 25-year-old Londoner, who surged into overall contention with his stage win in the Dolomites last Sunday, this time lost out to Sunweb’s Australian rider Jai Hindley in a two-up sprint at the end of the Queen stage of the race, which took in the iconic Stelvio Pass. Geoghegan Hart looked slightly disappointed after crossing the line. But he has a wonderful opportunity this weekend to become only the second British rider to win the race after what was one of the most compelling grand tour stages in years; a stage that ebbed and flowed and ultimately left Geoghegan Hart within tantalising reach of the maglia rosa. Joao Almeida, Deceuninck-QuickStep’s long-time race leader, had begun the day in pink, with a lead of nearly three minutes over Geoghegan Hart. But the 22 year-old Portuguese was unable to live with the searing tempo set by Ineos Grenadiers on the fabled Stelvio, which is among the longest and highest climbs in cycling, rising to an altitude of 2,757m. The route had to be cleared of snow to allow the race to pass. Geoghegan Hart had team-mate Rohan Dennis to thank, in particular, with the Australian producing a sensational performance in support of his team leader. One by one Geoghegan Hart’s rivals were dropped as Dennis rode tempo on the front; first Domenico Pozzovivo [NTT], then Almeida, then the great Vincenzo Nibali [Trek-Segafredo].

Cyclist tackles 205m challenge with no brakes or gears

Biking with no brakes or gears Location: Swiss Alps Patrick Seabase took on the hardest challenge of his career cycling 205 miles and climbing 8,500 meters in a day with one fixed gear For his latest stunt titled "UnBRAKEable" he crossed five mountains and faced unpredictable temperatures, steep descents, and harsh headwinds (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK SEABASE, SAYING: "The main difference between a road bike and a track bike is, there's only one gear, on the track bike there's no brakes, no physical handbrakes and as soon as the wheel turns, the pedal turns as well. So you're basically constantly pedaling. // But will power is the most important thing."

Cycling: Pinot abandons Vuelta before stage three

Pinot has not recovered from the back injury that scuppered his chances at the Tour de France last month. "Despite the rest period he observed, the two first stages of the Vuelta have shown Thibaut Pinot continues to suffer from the back pain he experienced after his crash on the first day of the Tour de France in Nice," Groupama-FDJ said in a statement. "With regard to the next season, priority is given to his complete recovery: he will not take the start of the third stage this Thursday and will no longer compete in 2020."

Giro d’Italia 2020, stage 18 — live updates

Stelvio Pass will offer no hiding place for Tao Geoghegan Hart Giro finale boils down to battle of youth against experience Comment: The kids are alright: British cycling is in rude health Full results as Ben O'Connor land massive stage win at Giro How to watch on TV and follow online with Telegraph Sport Full details of teams and remaining riders at the Giro d'Italia

Vuelta a Espana 2020, stage two — full results and standings: Marc Soler ends Movistar drought as Primoz Roglic retains lead

Just hours after his team-mates threw away a golden opportunity to win a stage at the Giro d'Italia, Marc Soler hit out before winning the 151.6km second stage at the Vuelta a España from Pamplona to Lekunberri. The victory, which was achieved on the home roads of Movistar, will have been a huge relief for the Spanish team who have had a disappointing season having taken only one win all year back in February. Soler's win came after he attacked on the descent off the final climb of the day, perhaps taking advantage of local knowledge as careered around the corners at speed, gaining on a select group. Soler completed the stage in 3hrs 47min 4sec, 19sec ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) who retained his overall leader's jersey. Dan Martin (Israel Start-up Nation) again impressed, finishing third to gain some bonus seconds that propelled him to second on general classification. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) dropped to third overall after finishing fourth on the day, but took hold of the mountains jersey. The Vuelta continues on Thursday with the 163km run from Lodosa to La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa and concludes on November 8 in Madrid.

Cyclist tackles 330km in Swiss Alps with no brakes or gears

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: CYCLIST PATRICK SEABASE CYCLING IN SWISS ALPS ON A BIKE WITH NO BRAKES AND ONLY ONE GEAR / SOUNDBITES FROM SEABASE TALKING ABOUT THE CHALLENGE SHOWS: INNERTKIRCHEN, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 1, 2020) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 1. PATRICK SEABASE TAKING SELFIE VIDEO EXPLAINING HE WILL BE CYCLING IN SWITZERLAND 2. SEBASE UNLOADING BIKE FROM CAR IN THE DARK 3. SEABASE CYCLING IN THE DARK 4. SEABASE CYCLING IN A TUNNEL UNKNOWN LOCATIONS, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 1, 2020) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 5. VARIOUS OF SEABASE CYCLING IN THE SWISS ALPS 6. SEABASE CYCLING INTO A TUNNEL 7. SEABASE IN THE RAIN BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD 8. SEABASE CYCLING / SOUND OF COW BELLS 9. SEABASE CYCLING BY COWS 10. CLOSE OF BIKE CHAIN WHILE SEABASE PEDALS 11. SEABASE GOING DOWNHILL INNERTKIRCHEN, SWITZERLAND (RECENT) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK SEABASE, SAYING: "This route represents to me, my little Switzerland. My favourite climbs, my favourite locations to be at, and it has a very personal aspect to it. It represents sort of my youth as well, where I went all the time with my parents." 13. WHITE FLASH 14. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK SEABASE, SAYING: "So I tried to create a route, sort of the mini Switzerland, how I like Switzerland, what I like about Switzerland. It's very representative in terms of the beauty and also the diversity of Switzerland you know." UNKNOWN LOCATIONS, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 1, 2020) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) (MUTE) 15. VARIOUS DRONE FOOTAGE OF SEABASE ON ROUTE INNERTKIRCHEN, SWITZERLAND (RECENT) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 16. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK SEABASE, SAYING: "The main difference between a road bike and a track bike is, there's only one gear, on the track bike there's no brakes, no physical handbrakes and as soon as the wheel turns, the pedal turns as well. So you're basically constantly pedalling." VARIOUS LOCATIONS, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 1, 2020) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 17. VARIOUS OF SEABASE CYCLING 18. VIEW OF SEABASE CYCLING IN ROADSIDE MIRROR INNERTKIRCHEN, SWITZERLAND (RECENT) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 19. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK SEABASE, SAYING: "But will power is the most important thing." 20. WHITE FLASH 21. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK SEABASE, SAYING: "Do I wanna do it? If I chose to do it, yes, I'm gonna do it. Try my best." 22. WHITE FLASH 23. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PATRICK SEABASE, SAYING: "The biggest challenge to me is always before the actual challenge, it's the day approaching the Day X, the day before is crazy, because you sort of, you're in doubt, and you're always biased, ok yes I prepared I can do it, but on the other hand there's still doubt. But I think that is the healthiest thing to have doubt." GRIMSEL PASS, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 1, 2020) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) (MUTE) 24. DRONE SHOT OF SEABASE CYCLING DOWNHILL IN DARK ON HAIRPIN BENDS 25. DRONE SHOT OF SEABASE WRITTEN ON ROADSIDE OBERAARSEE, SWITZERLAND (SEPTEMBER 1, 2020) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE) 26. SEABASE CYCLING IN DARK 27. SEABASE ARRIVING AT FINISH 28. SEABASE EATING PRETZEL-TYPE SNACK STORY: Cycling 330 kilometres (205 miles) in a day, including climbing 8,500 metres, is hard enough, let alone doing it in just one fixed gear. But Swiss rider Patrick Seabase did just that in the Swiss Alps, setting off in the darkness at three o'clock in the morning in early September for the toughest challenge of his career. Seabase is no stranger to doing things the hard way, from the steep unpaved roads of Eritrea to experiencing how Tour de France contenders in 1910 had to cope with very basic bikes. For his latest stunt, unBRAKEable, he chose roads closer to home on a bike designed to race counter-clockwise around a velodrome and with only one gear. In all, he crossed five Swiss mountain passes with the temperature fluctuating between 28-degrees and near freezing, and faced both steep descents and harsh headwinds. As for the route chosen for unBRAKEable, it was selected to go past landmarks - both natural and manmade - that meant a lot to him. "This route is 100% based on memories, on the beauty of the landscape and architecture," he said. "I get a lot of energy out of the cultural milestones I pass by, like the Ganter Bridge for example." He set off from Innertkirchen and then went across the Grimsel and Simplon Passes on his way to Locarno by Lago Maggiore. From there, he crossed the Gotthard Pass, Furka Pass and the back part of the Grimsel Pass before his finishing point in Oberaarsee. (Production: Iain Axon)

Cycling: O’Connor takes 17th stage as top contenders stay quiet

Australian Ben O'Connor won the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia, a 203-km mountain trek from Bassano del Grappa as Joao Almeida retained the overall lead at the end of a quiet day for the top contenders on Wednesday. O'Connor gave the NTT team, who are looking for a sponsor for next year, a much-needed win as he prevailed from the day's 18-man breakaway ahead of Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner and Belgian Thomas de Gendt. Portuguese Almeida faced only one brief attack from Australian Jai Hindley in the final climb up to Madonna di Campiglio as he stayed 17 seconds ahead of Dutch Wilco Kelderman in the overall standings.

Giro d’Italia 2020, stage 18: What time does the race start, how do I watch it on TV and what is the stage profile?

When is stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia? Stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia is on Thursday October 22, 2020. What time does the stage start? Racing at stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia, the 207km run from Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano, gets under way at 9.20am (BST). What time will Thursday's stage end? According to the scheduled timings issued by the organisers, the stage will conclude at around 3.30pm, depending on the speed of the race. And when does the race finish? The second grand tour of the season concludes on Sunday October 25 with the 15.7km individual time trial from Cernusco sul Naviglio to Milan. What TV channel can I watch the race on? Eurosport and S4C will be broadcasting every stage live each day — click here for full stage-by-stage details of broadcast times — while Telegraph Sport will provide live blogs to keep you up to speed with the latest news. Bookmark this page for all of Thusrday's action. And what time is the live coverage? Stage 18: Pinzolo to Laghi di Cancano, 207km Telegraph Sport liveblog: From 12.30pm Live TV details: Eurosport2 11.25am-3.45pm, S4C 1pm-end of stage What does the stage profile look like?

Giro d’Italia finale boils down to battle of youth against experience

When Fausto Coppi purportedly said "age and treachery would always overcome youth and skill" one assumes he was at the tailend of his career. If not the greatest Italian rider of all time, then with five Giro d'Italia titles, along with three from Milan-Sanremo, five at Giro di Lombardia and a hatful of Italian one-day classics on his palmarès, few would be able to argue convincingly that Coppi should not be named in the top one. Little wonder he was nicknamed Il Campionissimo, the Champion of Champions. Like Eddy Merckx, it is doubtful the likes of Coppi will ever be seen again. Although his palmarès falls some distance short of Coppi's, just one rider in the current peloton carries the sort of clout that despite trailing race leader Joao Almeida by 3min 31sec can be considered a danger: Vincenzo Nibali, the 35-year-old Italian who has won all three grand tours. While it is simply impossible not to be impressed by Almeida, 22, and his brilliantly organised Deceuninck-Quick Step team-mates, the grand tour debutant is about to enter uncharted territory. And he knows it. On Tuesday, Almeida said he was "expecting the worst" before adding "anything" could go wrong this week. It was far from inspiring stuff. Sunweb leader Wilco Kelderman and his relatively inexperienced team-mate Jai Hindley, riding his third grand tour, are looking good in second and third respectively. Tao Geoghegan Hart, the de facto leader at Ineos Grenadiers following Geraint Thomas's premature departure, meanwhile, has ridden a particularly impressive Giro, growing into his new role and looking increasingly mature as each stage clicks on by. It is difficult, though, to dismiss the feeling that something dramatic is about to happen. This is the Giro and this race does drama like no other. With the race scheduled to go over the Stelvio Pass — 2,757 metres above sea level — on Thursday and with temperatures plummeting, it is highly possible that the stages will be re-routed. Although the snow-capped pass is perfectly navigable on a bike as it is regularly done in the Giro's regular slot in late May, the cooler October climate means the windchill factor on descents would potentially bring temperatures down to as low as -40°C. Whether or not Wednesday and Thursday's stages in the high mountains go ahead as originally planned, along with Saturday's penultimate stage — scheduled to crest the Colle dell'Agnello (2,744m) — remains to be seen. If they do then Almeida, Kelderman, Hindley, Geoghegan Hart and whoever else is hoping to finish on the podium in Milan on Sunday may want to ride with one eye focused on the wily old campaigner Nibali. In fact, Geoghegan Hart alluded to this after his stage win on Sunday. With reference to team-mate Chris Froome's sensational turnaround on the Sestriere in 2018, Geoghegan Hart said: "I would expect some of the big names didn't come here for 11th or 12th on GC [general classification], so maybe they will try something spectacular, Froomey style." The Italian may have lost three key team-mates — Gianluca Brambilla, Giulio Ciccone and Pieter Weening — and he may have looked out of sorts of late, but not until Nibali has hung up his wheels should he ever be dismissed. He is one of the greatest bike racers of a generation. Lest we forget, Nibali has form when it comes to these situations at the Giro. Four years ago Nibali trailed race leader Steven Kruijswijk by almost five minutes with three stages remaining. After the Dutchman crashed on the descent of the Colle dell'Agnello, Nibali went on to win the stage and climb to second overall on general classification. The following day Nibali took pink and all but sewed up his second maglia rosa. It was peak Nibali. Coppi, though, did not only win bike races by virtue of age and treachery. In 1940, through a combination of youth — aged 20 years and 268 days — and skill he became the youngest winner of the Giro. A record that, quite remarkably given the advancements in sports science, still stands. Whether or not age and treachery will win this most unpredictable of Giri, or youth and skill prevails remains to be seen. But if there is one thing we have learned this year it is this: the dogmas of cycling mean little to the new generation. Just like a young Coppi would have wanted it.

Chris Froome’s Vuelta a Espana hopes look to be over on stage one as Primoz Roglic powers to victory

Chris Froome admitted earlier this week that he was not sure what to expect from himself at this year’s Vuelta a Espana, adding that he planned to “take the first few days to see exactly where his form was at” given his stop-start return from a life-threatening accident last year. The seven-time grand tour champion was not extended that courtesy on Tuesday as a brutal first stage in the Basque Country saw him shelled from the back of the bunch on the penultimate climb, eventually losing over 11 minutes to stage winner Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma). Froome’s Vuelta hopes are over already. It was always unlikely that the 35-year-old, who is competing in his final race for Ineos Grenadiers after 11 years at the team, would be in contention for the overall. Despite the confidence he expressed early on in lockdown that he was training at his old levels and that he could pick up where he left off at the Criterium du Dauphine last summer, Froome was clearly a long way short of his best when racing resumed in August. After leaving Froome out of the Tour de France lineup, Dave Brailsford said that it made sense to give the four-time Tour winner a few more weeks to build some form and have a crack at the Vuelta, a race he has twice won, instead. But Froome lost contact with the main group on the short, sharp Elgata climb, around 16km from the finish atop the Alto de Arrate. He fought hard, briefly regaining contact before his team-mates ramped up the pace to try and set up Richard Carapaz for the stage. The Ecuadorean eventually finished second behind Roglic, who takes the first red jersey of the race, as they led home a select group which included Britain’s Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling).