GIRO’23 Last Stage 21 Breakdown: How ‘Cav’ Confirmed his Outdated Sprinting Model


Key Takeaways: Giro d’Italia Stage 21: Spencer Martin breaks down how the ultimate stage of the 2023 Giro d’Italia was gained by retiring ‘Dash King’ Mark Cavendish in his final Giro d’Italia stage. And what does it inform us about July’s Tour de France?

– This text is an excerpt from the Past the Peloton publication. Join right here for full entry. –

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The ultimate dash of his ultimate Giro d’Italia – Mark Cavendish

In the present day’s put up will focus simply on the ultimate stage, with a full GC breakdown coming later this week. The tip to yet one more grand tour is each a welcome and melancholy occasion, however I’m already excited and looking out ahead to what I anticipate to be an excellent run of stage races in June, and the Tour de France in July, which can characteristic an extremely thrilling GC showdown.

Congratulations all spherical for Cav

Mark Cavendish powered away from the sector inside the ultimate few hundred meters to take his 54th profession grand tour stage win within the shadow of the Colosseum on a sunbaked afternoon in Rome. The win, which was made doable attributable to knowledgeable positioning and a little bit of leadout assist in a key second from his previous buddy Geraint Thomas, signaled that regardless of being 38 years previous and and not using a win up to now in 2023, Cavendish can nonetheless trip like a top-tier sprinter when issues go his approach and that he has a really actual likelihood of difficult for the all-time Tour de France stage win document in July.

The ultimate Giro’23 podium

Primož Roglič, with only a slim 14-second margin over Geraint Thomas within the GC, didn’t face any challenges from his GC rivals on the stage, which appeared extra like a procession via Rome than a full-on day of racing. Nevertheless, Roglič appeared to not take any possibilities and rolled over the road pretty near the entrance after his Jumbo-Visma teammates had executed vital work to maintain him well-positioned and forward of any splits within the bunch. The excessive stress of the end meant that he was solely capable of rejoice essentially the most dramatic of his 4 profession grand tour total victories after crossing the end line.

Stage Prime Three
1) Mark Cavendish +0
2) Alex Kirsch +0
3) Filippo Fiorelli +0

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One other Grand Tour win for Primoz Roglič

Last GC Prime Ten:
1) Primož Roglič (Jumbo) +0
2) Geraint Thomas (Ineos) +14
3) João Almeida (UAE) +1’15
4) Damiano Caruso (Bahrain) +4’40
5) Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +5’43
6) Thymen Arensman (Ineos) +6’05
7) Eddie Dunbar (Jayco) +7’30
8) Andreas Leknessund (DSM) +7’31
9) Lennard Kämna (Bora) +7’46
10) Laurens De Plus (Ineos) +9’08

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Thibaut Pinot in his final Giro – KOM

KOM Jersey
1) Thibaut Pinot – 237pts
2) Derek Gee – 200pts
3) Ben Healy – 164pts

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There’s a huge future for Jonathan Milan

Factors Jersey
1) Jonathan Milan – 217pts
2) Derek Gee – 164pts
3) Michael Matthews – 101pts

Cavendish was invisible till the ultimate meters

Stage 21 Race Pocket book

5.1km: Ineos is on the entrance controlling the peloton with race-leader Primož Roglič tucked shut by with two Jumbo-Visma teammates. It’s attention-grabbing Ineos, not Jumbo, or sprinters’ groups, are controlling the race right here. I’d guess this implies they’re making an attempt to maintain Thomas in the direction of the entrance to guard their 2nd place total, and reap the benefits of any splits within the group that will catch out Roglič.

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4.9km: Derek Gee assaults whereas an Eolo rider follows. This can be a harmful transfer for the reason that sprinters’ groups don’t have the power to regulate them, however, as an alternative of becoming a member of in an effort to place Roglič, who’s all the way down to a single Jumbo teammate, underneath stress, Ineos retains their tempo excessive on the entrance.

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4km: On a slight hill that will be excellent for an assault, Ineos continues to drag and finally brings the escapees again.

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2.2km: Mark Cavendish is in the direction of the entrance with a single Astana teammate whereas Movistar takes over on the entrance for Fernando Gaviria. Cavendish doesn’t have the group horsepower to stay right here, however his previous teammate and buddy, Geraint Thomas, strikes up and tells Cavendish to get on his wheel.

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1.5km: Thomas proceeds to uncork a strong leadout for Cavendish, who’s slotted comfortably in fifth wheel. That is key because it retains Cavendish in the direction of the entrance within the a part of the dash the place he has been struggling all through this Giro.

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1km: Nevertheless, after Thomas peels off, which causes the tempo to lower barely and permits others to maneuver up, Cavendish is shuffled backward within the group, the place he slots in subsequent to Jonathan Milan.


900m: This positioning subsequent to Milan proves key when the stage favourite makes a large acceleration to maneuver up within the discipline, which permits Cavendish to latch onto his wheel and get a free trip again into place.

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700m: In the middle of a number of hundred meters, Cavendish has ridden the Milan practice into fifth wheel and is completely positioned for the dash.

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300m: Cavendish’s luck continues when Fernando Gaviria launches his patented absurdly early dash. Cavendish doesn’t hesitate and latches onto the wheel, which provides him the proper leadout. Oddly, as an alternative of following, Milan goes to the opposite aspect of the highway.

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150m: Cavendish follows Gaviria till he feels the tempo coming off after which launches a dash when he will get inside the magic 10-second window (that means he solely has to dash all-out for 10 seconds). Milan fully falls aside and is pressured to sit down up.

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End: As soon as Cavendish goes, he’s clearly stronger than the others and powers over the road with a demonstrative margin. Behind, Pascal Ackermann drifts over till he crashes into the boundaries, which causes a mini-pile up. Thomas is within the 1st group, and will, in idea, be counted forward of Roglič if a niche had been to happen behind attributable to regular racing. However, this crash, which neutralizes the time gaps, all however secures total victory for Roglič.

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Key Takeaways

1) Mark Cavendish’s positioning struggles had been cured by the excessive degree of fatigue within the peloton

  • The 38-year-old sprinting legend will get his first victory of 2023 and indicators that his quest for the Tour de France stage win document (he wants another stage win to take the all-time document) isn’t but over.
    • Exterior of his win, which exhibits a formidable psychological fortitude since crashes, sickness, and a brutal route, made his journey to Rome troublesome, the dominant approach by which he gained the stage was the most important indicator that Cavendish continues to be an extremely sturdy rider.
      • And, with the win giving Cavendish his 54th profession grand tour stage win unfold over 15 seasons, there can not be any query of whether or not he’s the very best sprinter of all time.
  • The large distinction between this dash and those that got here earlier than it’s that the fatigue ranges had been increased and the sprinters’ groups had been much more fatigued.
    • This dynamic actually helped Cavendish, who has been battling positioning all season lengthy since he doesn’t have a group to assist him and he lacks the uncooked energy of a rider like Wout van Aert to maneuver himself up within the group.
    • Additionally, the truth that Cavendish appeared so sturdy, whereas Milan, who dominated the early sprints, pale so early right this moment, probably tells us that as he has gotten older and misplaced top-end velocity, he has really gained endurance-based energy.
      • This might come in useful on the ultimate stage of the Tour de France, the place the high-powered leadouts are sometimes lacking key gamers and the famous person sprinters have misplaced a step or two because of the grind of the three-week race.
  • One other factor that performed into Cavendish’s hand was that the complete peloton appeared to be on a mission to ship him to victory.
    • Geraint Thomas’ pleasant pull saved him on the entrance throughout a crucial time, whereas Jonathan Milan’s transfer to the entrance positioned him completely for the dash, and Fernando Gaviria’s leadout sealed the win.
      • Exterior of Thomas, these strikes actually weren’t intentional and had been a large stroke of luck, however, typically, that’s all you want on the finish of a motorcycle race.

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The early bounce from Gaviria doesn’t appear to work any extra

2) Fernando Gaviria’s early-sprint points maintain costing him and can be extraordinarily arduous to appropriate

  • The Colombian, who was as soon as a top-tier grand tour stage winner, however who’s now on a four-year grand tour stage winless streak, appeared the very best he had appeared up to now at this Giro. However, his horrible behavior of opening up the dash from far too from the end line as soon as once more made him uncompetitive within the dash.
    • Whereas one may think this behavior is coachable and {that a} Movistar video coordinator may merely stroll him via his errors and inform him to attend to dash till he sees 100ms as an alternative of 300ms on the roadside indicators, however, oftentimes a rider opening up from too removed from the end line is because of a type of self-sabotage (usually attributable to a insecurity) and is rather more troublesome to treatment.

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No ‘actual’ GC racing within the final stage

3) Any concept of ‘actual’ GC racing occurring on a ultimate grand tour stage ought to formally be thought-about lifeless after right this moment

  • It probably wouldn’t have been in style, however with the margin between Primož Roglič and Geraint Thomas so tight, there was a not insignificant likelihood for Thomas to drag again sufficient time on Roglič to take total victory.
    • Had he joined the Gee assault, as an alternative of reeling it in, it might have been troublesome for the group behind to nail them again, particularly with the slight hill with 4km to go and the difficult finale.
    • It may need been powerful to get a full 14-second hole, however with time bonuses on provide, he may need solely wanted a niche of 4 seconds to finish the upset.
  • Nevertheless, the truth that he didn’t try it, even with the hole between 1st and 2nd at a traditionally tight margin, probably tells us that we’re unlikely to see GC riders duking it out on the ultimate stage anytime quickly.
    • The tight time hole and the truth that there aren’t conventional norms across the ultimate stage of the Giro made this the proper storm for a last-day GC overturn. If we didn’t see it right this moment, we gained’t see it for an extended, very long time.
    • Whereas he bought to leadout an previous buddy for a stage win, a part of his logic for positioning in the direction of the entrance within the dash was that since gaps are calculated from the time of the stage winner to the entrance wheel of the primary rider who’s gapped, if Roglič was shuffled too far again and a small hole occurred within the discipline, the 2 riders may have been awarded on separate instances, which may have given him a dramatic total victory.

Will the Cavendish fairy story finish in Paris?


# Keep PEZ for Spencer Martin’s Last Giro breakdown and takeaways coming quickly. #


# Spencer Martin is the creator of the cycling-analysis publication Past the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of every race and solutions huge image questions surrounding group and rider efficiency. Join now to get full entry to all of the accessible content material and race breakdowns. #


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