Let's get ready to rumble!
Eshnar said:Stage 13: Pinerolo - Ceresole Reale (Lago Serrù) 196 km
Friday, May 24th
START TIME: 11.30 CEST
FINISH TIME: ~17.15 CEST
The first MTF of this edition comes quite late, only on stage 13, but it's a big (and high) one. From where they finished yesterday, Pinerolo, the riders will face three really hard categorized climb. At the start, however, they will find a small uncategorized one, Colletta di Cimiana (3.5 km at 7%), which will host the first attacks for the break of the day, which will likely continue on the short descent and the rough terrain that follows, as the mountains approach. At km 35 the first GPM of the day begins: Colle del Lys (GPM1, 14.9 km at 6.4%) is a very tough and constant climb, besides 2 km of false flat in the middle. You might remember the name from last year's stage to Jafferau, as it was climbed from the side we are descending today. That side (today's descent, I mean) is very irregular and quite technical at times. It is followed by some very rough and twisty roads for around 25 km, ending at around km 102. The next 10 km are flat and much more regular, and lead to a short but steep ramp of roughly 2.5 km at 6% that brings to the official start of the second climb of the day. Pian del Lupo (GPM2 (lol), 9.4 km at 8.7%), never featured before in the Giro, is a really hard climb, all on a narrow road with a very steep middle section. Its descent is also narrow and very technical, and brings back to the bottom of a long valley that the riders will have to reach the top of. We head towards another new climb, but unlike Pian del Lupo, this one is very famous between cycling fans: Colle del Nivolet, with all its 2615m of glorious and immaculate scenery, in the middle of the national park of the Gran Paradiso (literally, the Great Heaven). Today we will not climb all the way to the top however, but only up to Lago Serrù (GPM1, 20.3 km at 5.9%), at 2247m of altitude. It's unfortunate... but it's something nevertheless, and hopefully this will pave the way to a finish at the top in the near future. The climb itself begins much before the offical start in the town of Noasca, as the riders will be climbing increasing gradients pretty much from the very beginning of the valley, at 45 km to go. At 30 km to go, the road will start looking more like a climb than a false flat, although on very wide and gentle roads. At 18 km to go the rider will depart from the main road to avoid a long tunnel, and they will climb the old road instead, which has been resurface for the occasion. This is the first steep section of the climb, with 3 km at 8.7%, and ends reconnecting with the main road just before entering the town of Ceresole Reale. Here there is a long false flat section, mostly ascending, that lasts 8.5 km, after which the road gets narrower and the final steep section begins. The final 6 km of this climb are at almost 9%, and combined with the fatigue and the altitude they will likely wreak havoc in the GC.
Colle del Lys, GPM1, 14.9 km at 6.4%
All in all, a tough climb of a kind the riders have not faced yet in this Giro.
Pian del Lupo, GPM2, 9.4 km at 8.7%
The hardest GPM2 of all time...?
Lago Serrù, GPM1, 20.3 km at 5.9%
A long climb with some very hard ramps at a decent altitude. It finishes at 6 km from the top of the Nivolet (for logistical issues, apparently), which is a bit of a shame.
What to expect:
The first all-out battle between GC contenders, with hard pace all day but without big favourites attacking until the final climb, unless a team goes crazy on Pian del Lupo.
Colle del Nivolet. Lago Serrù is the lake in the background.