The Giro comes back to the white roads of Tuscany, although not really the ones that are featured in the Strade Bianche. From Foligno, the riders will soon hit the short climb of Assisi and then will head towards Tuscany through a very long and uneventful (apart from the intermediate sprint) flat valley, before finally climbing the first categorized climb of the day, Valico della Scheggia (6 km at 3.8%, GPM3). After its short descent, another 30 km long flat section to reach the finishing line in Arezzo. From there, the riders will start a circuit of 32 km, to be ridden only once, that includes the climb of Alpe di Poti (8.6 km at 6.4%, GPM2). Only the first 2.1 km of this climb are on tarmac, while the rest is on sterrato. The climb features a flat section in the middle and at the top, without which the average gradient would be much higher. The top is at 19 km to go, 12 of descent, and 6 of flat to reach the red triangle mark. The last km is uphill (average 5%), with pretty tough gradients at the very first ramps and then easier slopes all the way to the finish.
Giving third category to this climb is a bit sad. It is just a false flat. No official profile... but it is on Salite.ch
Alpe di Poti GPM2
Very interesting climb, with a very steep first ramp, in the middle of which the sterrato starts, ramping up to 14% almost at the beginning. After the first ramp, 1.5 km of false flat and another ramp, not as steep as the first one, but still pretty good. It is the first time it is ridden in the Giro.
What to expect:
A big selection and hopefully GC attacks. The sterrato will make the final climb very demanding, also in its flattish sections. The descent will be a factor too, and the flat before the final km is very short, so there are all the ingredients for a great race. The only flaw is what comes the following day.
It is a hard climb, much more than any climb of Strade Bianche, but in such flat stage, with the sterrato and in this first part of the Giro with no big mountains I thing the climb is not enough to sweet well climbers...
It is very good to Fulgsang and Nibali, it is a perfect stage for Dumoulin at his current shape...I think it could uit well Zakarin as well, of course Hesjedal, and I think Uran despite his weigh is one of the people who can do it very well. And of course Valverde, he is always there.
So it is not bad for almost every favourite. No so good for Landa, although he uses to be when you dont expect him...for Chaves and Pozzo, becouse they are light, and there are 1 Km of flat in the sterrato...but it has some step stretches and Pozzo use to be good in climbw like this in a normal road...
Valverde the favourite again, but Movistar has a tendency to ride super conservative in GTs apart from the Vuelta. You rarely see them trying to catch breaks despite having the favourite which is something I've always had a bit of a problem with - especially last year in the Tour.
Its wide open really, nothing could happen and all hell could be loose. Too bad with the cancelled climb beforehand, the profile looks very lacklustre now apart from Poti.. how bad is the descent?
I am happy to see Laura so famous now. I was sure she will get this since I met her.
I am happy to teach her some things about cycling, she learned quicky, she had very good teachers, especially Pablo Lastras.
The sterrato looks enough nasty with that mud, I hope something similar for tomorrow..