This article originally appeared on VeloNews.com
Josef Černý (CCC Team) won a shortened stage 19 of the 2020 Giro d’Italia riding off the front of a strong break.
Getting into the breakaway established from the re-start of the day’s racing, Černý at first worked with the 13 others to keep away from a chasing peloton that contained the maglia rosa and maglia chiclomeno of Wilco Kelderman (Team Subweb) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ).
This is Černý’s first grand tour victory, and the first stage win for CCC Team at this year’s Giro.
Just 8km into the stage, the action was then stopped due to the deteriorating weather, and organizers scrambled to redesign the stage. The stage had already been lengthened by 5km on Thursday following the collapse of a bridge.
Riders piled into team cars and buses and drove down the route. The race was restarted in Abbiategrasso, with 124.5km to go, after an extended delay.
How stage 19 unfolded
After the raced was restarted, a 200-meter long neutral rollout launched a three-man break of Victor Campenaerts (NTT Pro Cycling), Simon Pellaud (Simon Pellaud (Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec), and Josef Černý (CCC Team).
The break never got more than about 22 seconds and was caught by the chasing bunch within 10 kilometers due to the efforts of Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe).
The following 40km saw the break hovering between 30 and 45 seconds advantage before the group finally stretched out to a minute advantage, and then continued to pile on the time gap to the peloton.
Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Campenaerts, both previous holders of the world hour record went to the front of the break to animate, getting the small group an additional gap.
At 60km to go, the break had a 1:45 gap. The margin shot up to 2:10 at 55km, and just 5km later, they had 4:20 advantage and continued to grow this lead.
Back in the bunch, Jai Hindley (Team Subweb) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) were seen together, laughing, just a day after their one-on-one battle on the Stelvio.
Campenaerts attacked break several times near 32km to go, just to push the pace.
Černý, the time trial champion of the Czech Republic, used Campenaerts’ attacks as a springboard to get away.
He quickly got 30 seconds on Ilijo Keisse (Deceuninck–Quick-Step), Sander Armee (Lotto-Soudal), Jacopo Mosca (Trek-Segafredo), Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling), and Campenaerts.
In the remains of the break, Campenaerts went off the front with 1km to go and held on for second place, while Mosca came through in third, just 26 seconds back of the stage winner.
“It’s a really special day. I really enjoyed every minute of it,” said the new race leader Kelderman about the weather-delayed stage start.