Carapaz on brink of Giro glory, Lopez involved in fan altercation
Richard Carapaz took a huge step towards Giro d'Italia glory, retaining a healthy lead over Vincenzo Nibali on the penultimate stage as Miguel Angel Lopez was involved in a dramatic altercation with a spectator.
Movistar rider Carapaz was able to answer a series of attacks from Nibali in the closing stages of a demanding 194-kilometre route from Feltre to Croce D'Aune-Monte Avena, which culminated in Pello Bilbao outsprinting Mikel Landa to claim his second stage win of this year's race.
Carapaz retains an advantage of one minute and 54 seconds over Nibali at the top of the general classification standings, the pair having come home fourth and fifth on the stage behind Bilbao, Landa and King of the Mountains winner Giulio Ciccone.
Landa (+2:53) is up to third after overhauling Primoz Roglic (+3:06) on Saturday, although the latter will fancy his chances of regaining a place on the podium in the final day's time trial.
#Giro— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) June 1, 2019
In the overall @rogla has lost a place and is now in 4th overall ahead of tomorrow's concluding ITT in Verona.
But with only 13 seconds behind Landa the podium is still possible. pic.twitter.com/lhcjFK4NDY
Roglic lost 50 seconds on Carapaz and Nibali as he finished 14th, while Lopez, the leader of the young rider classification, gave up even more time and was left furious after a stunning incident towards the end of a 20th stage featuring five climbs.
In dramatic scenes, the Colombian could be seen repeatedly striking a spectator who had seemingly caused him to crash with around 11km remaining.
CARAPAZ SO CLOSE TO GRAND TOUR BREAKTHROUGH
Only a nightmare finale will prevent Carapaz - fourth in last year's Giro - from claiming his first Grand Tour victory.
He was repeatedly tested on Saturday in a stage full of attacks, but remained strong to deny Nibali an advantage, before Movistar team-mate Landa kicked for glory only to be pipped by Astana's Bilbao.
1. Pello Bibao (Astana) 5:46:02
2. Mikel Landa (Movistar) +0:00
3. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +0:02
4. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) +0:04
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +0:04
1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) 89:38:28
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +1:54
3. Mikel Landa (Movistar) +2:53
1. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) 226
2. Arnaud Demare (Groupama) 213
3. Damiano Cima (Nippo-Vini Fantini) 104
King of the Mountains
1. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 267
2. Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec) 115
3. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Merida) 84
A 17km time trial will determine the final standings, with Carapaz's GC lead surely safe.