Preview from Eshnar
Eshnar said:STAGE 2: Olbia - Tortolì 221 km
START TIME: 11.40 CEST
The first Saturday presents a long and odd medium mountain stage, where the peloton will face tough terrain the whole day. Starting from Olbia, the first 62 km will be ascending false flat, full of ups and downs, with two serious ramps: the first, starting at km 11, features 2.2 km at 6.2%, while the second is the one topping at Sa Serra, after 4 km at 6.5%. The road continues with some rolling terrain until km 90, where a pretty long descent, quite technical but on a nice and wide road, will bring the riders at the foot of the first categorized climb of this stage. The climb to Nuoro (GPM3, 10.5 km at 3.9%) is a bit tougher than indicated by its average gradient, since it flattens out at the top, while the first part is steeper. After 33 km of more rolling terrain, the peloton will reach the second and final climb of the day, Genna Silana (GPM2, 19.6 km at 3.2%). Well, to be honest it is more a false flat rather than a proper climb, let alone a proper GPM2. However, it's long and it does hide some good ramps. The descent is similar to the ascent, and it is demanding only for short sections at the top and at the bottom. The final 9 km are pan flat, the only ones of this stage.
It is the first part of the climb shown below, just up to Nuoro, that is.
Genna Silana GPM2
Two 4-5% ramps divided and followed by false flat sections. The official climb starts in Dorgali, but the road goes uphill since way earlier, here is the complete profile, thanks to Cyclingcols.com
What to expect:
Again, very hard to call, but this time I can rule out a full bunch sprint. I do expect a reduced bunch sprint, something similar to stage 3 of the Giro 2015, and we might even be lucky and get something more similar to stage 3 of the Giro 2013. Breakaways have of course more than a chance here, but in recent times they haven't been lucky with this kind of stage at the very beginning of a Giro. GC action is very unlikely.