O’Connor moved in an initially nineteen-member group of refugees, which gradually thinned out. About eight kilometers before the finish, he attacked and reached the top 31 seconds ahead of the Austrian Hermannen Pernsteiner, who followed him on a chase. Thomas De Gent from Belgium finished third with a gap of 70 seconds.
“Yesterday’s second place left me with a rather bitter taste. But today I was able to knock it out and make it to this success. It’s like a dream to win the Grand Tour,” O’Connor rejoiced.
O’Connor’s main favorites lost more than five minutes and controlled each other during the stage with three heavy first category peaks. Almeida eliminated all signs of onset without any problems. The 22-year-old Portuguese, who wore a pink jersey after the 3rd stage, is still 17 seconds ahead of Wilce Kelderman from the Netherlands at the top of the standings.
“It was a hard day today, a lot of climbing, but I had the perfect team with me,” Almeida said. “The Sunweb team tried to attack, but I felt good. The next day in pink is waiting for us, I’m already looking forward to it,” he added.
Perhaps the last difficult test of Almeid awaits on Thursday, when another challenging mountain stage is on the program, culminating in an iconic climb to Stelvio. At an altitude of 2756 meters, cyclists can also be bothered by the weather and the temperature around zero.
Another planned rigorous inspection was to come on Saturday’s penultimate, 20th stage, which was to take the peloton across the border into France and offer difficult crossings of Col d’Agnel and Col d’Izoard. However, due to the coronavirus situation in the region, the Giro must remain on Italian territory and the organizers must change the itinerary. The exact form of the route is not yet clear, but the difficulty will probably be lower.