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Story of the day: Seven Giro stages to put on your calendar
This year’s Giro has two individual time trials and seven stages that could be considered summit finishes (the final climb of stage 20 peaks just a few kilometres from the finish line). Stage 15 has four nasty climbs and could also be decisive. There are clearly plenty of opportunties for incredible racing, but here are the six stages you absolutely should not miss.
Stage 6: The race’s first uphill finish to Mt. Etna (15km at 6.5%) and the first real indication of who’s climbing well. Plus, the scenery is impressive.
Stage 8: The second uphill finish, to Montevergine di Mercogliano (17.1km at 5%). Hopefully the GC riders come out to play.
Stage 9: The second straight uphill finish and the third in four days. The last climb is a 26.5km effort which gets steeper towards the end (4.5km at 8.2%). Hopefully the GC contenders will stretch their legs here before the second rest day.
Stage 14: Monte Zoncolan, a true monster of a climb and an iconic test for the riders.
Stage 15:: A lumpy stage across the dolomites finishes with a tricky finish into Sappada. This stage doesn’t have the grandiosity of others, but will be sneaky difficult.
Stage 18: It’s probably safe to tune into this one as the final climb starts. It’s flat until that point, but should heat up as the riders hit the 15km rise to Prato Nevoso (7% average).
Stage 19: Three words: Colle delle Finestre. This 18km ascent is half tarmac, half gravel, and all charm. This climb last featured in 2015 when Mikel Landa won the stage. It’s actually the Cima Coppi this year (highest climb of the Giro with more KOM points on offer) but doesn’t end the stage — the final ascent is a 7km effort at 9.1%. A tough day with four climbs in all.
So what sort of rider suits this year’s course?
It’s worth noting that both time trials are relatively flat in the grand scheme of things. This tilts the race slightly in favour of the stronger time-trialists among the GC contenders (think Tom Dumoulin or Chris Froome), rather than those who are more at home when the road tilts up (e.g. Esteban Chaves or Fabio Aru). There’s still plenty of climbing, though, including this monster:
Click through to read our complete guide to the Giro.
Gigante’s worlds goal
Sarah Gigante has a road world championships to look forward to as she recovers. The year 12 student, who is recovering from multiple breaks after a run in with a pothole on the weekend, was among those named in Australia’s U19 Worlds team. She’ll join Anya Louw,
Luke Plapp, Carter Turnbull, and Tyler Lindorff.
Pozzato out of the Giro
Filippo Pozzato won’t start his 8th Giro d’Italia on Friday because his father is in ill health. Pozzatto was already in Jerusalem but flew back following the news. He will be replaced by Alex Turrin. Our thoughts are with Pozzatto and his family.
The Tour de Yorkshire sets off tomorrow with a sprint stage from Beverly to Doncaster.
Quote of the day
“It will be hard for everyone, even if it’s a little easier compared to my time. In my era, they claimed a big Giro would have 4,000 kilometres, and at the end, there were 200 more. They measured them with the rubber band.”
Franceso Moser reminiscing to La Gazzetta dello Sport about his years racing the Giro, when they had to ride uphill both ways.
It’s Giro d’Italia time, which means it’s also time for companies to roll out pink versions of seemingly everything. CeramicSpeed gets the ball rolling with limited-edition pink-anodized derailleur pulley wheels, in both standard and oversized varieties, which will be ridden by the AG2R La Mondiale team as they take a lap of Italy. Standard versions will cost US$269 / €199 per pair, and the complete Oversized Pulley Wheel (OSPW) derailleur upgrade kit will cost US$499 / €459. Both will be available beginning May 4 via CeramicSpeed’s online store.
3T’s new Forno crankset isn’t pink, but it might make some riders green with envy. The new carbon fiber crankset — developed with legendary sister company THM-Carbones — is purpose-built for single-chainring drivetrains, and features an aerodynamic design. The crankarms are unusually narrow at just 12mm-thick (which also allows for an extra-slim 142mm Q-factor), the interface between the proprietary carbon fiber spider and custom-made Wolf Tooth Components chainring is especially sleek, and the chainring itself is “separated spatially from the drive-side crank arm (not one blended shape) to avoid aerodynamic blockage.”
The carbon fiber arms, bottom bracket spindle, and chainring spider make the new 3T Torno insanely light at just 330g (without bottom bracket or chainring). Retail price is US$1,260, and more information is available at 3tcycling.com.
Tome Software, Ford Motor Company, and Trek Bicycle Corporation announced a partnership earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show to develop a bicycle-to-vehicle (B2V) real-time communication network, which would theoretically reduce the number cyclists hit on the road. According to Tome, the system works by making cyclists inherently more “visible” to cars — potentially even older ones that aren’t equipped with advanced sensors — and then could possibly activate automatic braking functions already built into many vehicles.
A growing number of bicycle companies have since signed on to push the project forward, with a new B2V Executive Advisory Board formed to “leverage the expertise of cycling and automotive leaders to bridge the gaps between groups by creating cross-industry safety standards.” In addition to Trek, Tome, and Ford, the new board now also includes Accell North America (the parent company of DiamondBack, Haibike, Raleigh, Lapierre, and several other brands), Dorel Sports (the parent company of Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, Mongoose, and others), Giant Bicycle, Orbea, Shimano, Specialized, SRAM, and Stages Cycling.
Granted, this still doesn’t mean that a safe utopia for cyclists will exist by tomorrow, or that it’ll work at all. But the fact that there’s now a lot more muscle behind the project is certainly encouraging
A Brisbane lie-in
“We been frustrated that so many of our friends have been killed and so many of our friends have been injured,” Jonathan Sri said of a lie-in in Brisbane.
Chris Froome talked ahead of the Giro:
And so did Tom Dumoulin:
Mark Cavendish’s Nike sponsorship has resulted in some stunning shoes. What do you think of these?