Giro d'ItaliaStage 8: Rieti -> Porto Sant'Elpidio227kmMedium-mountain stage
Oh, geez, this will be a day of pain, suffering and breaking legs. The profile itself is up and down all day and although the highest category we'll see today is cat. 3, some of the walls and slopes will definitely hurt. And given that there's 12 climbs on the menu, this really is reminiscent of a Flèche Wallonne or Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Oh, and by the way, it's the longest stage of this Giro, at 227km (two 220+km stages in a row... mmmmm
We leave from Rieti, at the foot of Terminillo, where the previous stage finished. From km 0, it's a furious ride through Lazio and from the entry into Marche, it gets tricky. After the intermediate sprints in Acquasanta Terme and Ascoli Piceno is when the climbing starts. Some of the ascents are at about 5%, but some come close to averaging 8%. None of the climbs are particularly long, though, with the longest being Monterubbiano, at 4.5km.
There are two climbs that I would like to draw attention to, though, and those are the final two. First is Montegranato Nord (there are two climbs to Montegranato, one from the south and one from the north, and the KOM sprints are in different places. I'm talking about the second ascent). It's only 1.1km long but averages a painful 14.0%, with sections near 20%. Also it's fairly consistent, so we don't go below 10% at all. I mean, even the streetview of it is difficult to watch.btw, that shows the climb from the reverse
The second is the final ascent, Sant'Elpidio a Mare. We've seen it in Tirreno-Adriatico, where it was known to cause difficulty, especially in 2013, when it was climbed in pouring rain. The victor was Peter Sagan. At 2.0km and 8.2%, it will be the finishing touch to a brutal day.
The line is in Porto Sant'Elpidio, again, a town known from the Race of two Seans,
Speaking of which....Tappa Tirreno-Adriatico
RCS Sport likes to commemorate its other races, and I'm doing so by visiting regions utilised by the spring race. This year's edition was the 52nd ever race. It was made in 1966 by a Lazio-based club to contrast the other climbers' races, held primarily in the North. Named the Three Days of the South
, the start of the first stage was in Rome and, two days later, the finish was in Pescara. Dino Zandegù was the victor. The race is named after the fact that it links the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas. Currently, it starts in Lido di Camaiore and ends with an ITT in San Benedetto del Tronto. Porto Sant'Elpidio, along with the area seen in this stage is visited year-on-year (most recently with a hilly stage ending in Fermo, claimed by Sagan) in the concluding section of the race. Start
: Rieti, Via Battistini (km 0 is on the SS29 in Vignaletto)Finish
: Porto Sant'Elpidio, Via TriesteIntermediate sprints
: Acquasanta Terme, Ascoli PicenoFeed zone
Morro Reatino (3rd Category, 762 m, 7.0 Km at 5.4%, Km 7.0)
Fuscello (3rd Category, 1101 m, 8.1 Km at 4.3%, Km 20.1)
Maltignano (4th Category, 292 m, 3.5 Km at 6.2%, Km 122.8)
Offida (4th Category, 317 m, 1.8 Km at 5.9%, Km 144.7)
Trivio (4th Category, 287 m, 2.3 Km at 7.3%, Km 152.4)
Biondi (4th Category, 245 m, 2.7 Km at 5.9%, Km 163.4)
Monterubbiano (3rd Category, 360 m, 4.5 Km at 5.8%, Km 170.8)
Fermo (4th Category, 201 m, 3.0 Km at 5.5%, Km 181.1)
Monte Urbano (4th Category, 203 m, 2.3 Km at 6.2%, Km 190.8)
Montegranato (sud) (4th Category, 179 m, 2.4 Km at 5.5%, Km 198.2)
Montegranato (nord) (3rd Category, 224 m, 1.1 Km at 14.0%, Km 209.1)
Sant'Elpidio a Mare (3rd Category, 233 m, 2.0 Km at 8.2%, Km 216.2).