Jai Hindley is set to become the first Australian winner of the Giro d’Italia after taking the lead from Richard Carapaz in the penultimate stage.
Italian Alessendro Covi won the 167km stage in the Dolomites, but the key moment came behind him.
Hindley, from Bora-Hansgrohe, attacked leader Carapaz with 3 km to go, and the Ecuadorian collapsed.
Hindley, who was three seconds behind Carapaz, now leads by one minute and 25 seconds with a short time trial to go.
Sunday’s 21st and final stage is a 17.4km individual race against the clock in Verona and Hindley must have built up enough of a lead to clinch the title.
“I knew this was going to be the crucial stage of the race, with the brutal finish,” he said.
“We’ve had patience until today, and it’s amazing. We couldn’t have timed it better. When I heard Carapaz was going down, I just gave it my all. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow, it’s always hard to say how the time trial goes.”
Spaniard Mikel Landa, third overall, led the pack with his Bahrain Victorious teammates as he climbed the highest point of the Giro, Passo Pordoi.
Result of step 20
1. Alessandro Covi (Ita/UAE Team Emirates), 4 hours 46 minutes 34 seconds
2. Domen Novak (Slo/Bahrain Victorious) + 32 seconds
3. Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) + 37 seconds
4. Antonio Pedrero (Spa/Movistar) + 1 min 36 sec
5. Thymen Arensman (Ned/DSM Team) + 1 min 50 seconds
6. Jai Hindley (Aus/Bora-Hansgrohe) + 2 minutes and 30 seconds
7. Gijs Leemreize (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) + 3 minutes and 4 seconds
8. Hugh Carthy (GB/EF Education-EasyPost) + 3 minutes and 19 seconds
9. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) + 3 minutes and 19 seconds
10. Lennard Kämna (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) + 3 minutes and 39 seconds
11. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenedier) + 3 min 58 sec
Overall ranking after stage 20
1. Jai Hindley (Aus/Bora-Hansgrohe 86 hours 7 minutes 19 seconds
2. Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenedier) +1 min 25 sec
3. Mikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) +1min 51s
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana-Qazaqstan) +7 minutes and 57 seconds
5. Pello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) +8 min 55 sec
6. Jan Hirt (Cze/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) +9mins 7s
7. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora Hansgrohe) +11 min 18 sec
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux) +16 minutes 4 seconds
9. Juan Pedro Lopez (Spa/Trek-Segafredo) +17 min 29sec
10. Hugh Carthy (GB/EF Education-EasyPost) +17 minutes and 56 seconds