Eshnar said:Stage 7: Vasto - L'Aquila 185 km
Friday, May 17th
START TIME: 12.25 CEST
FINISH TIME: ~17.15 CEST
The Giro comes back to L'Aquila, 10 years after the tragic earthquake of 2009. The race has already visited L'Aquila the year after it, and the result was a much less tragic earthquake, this time in the GC, as a huge breakaway won with over 10' on the peloton, ravaging the GC and setting up the stage for one of the greatest Giros of this millennium. That stage had 262 km and various climbs... unlike the one of today. Today the route will be very similar only in the final part, while the rest is very different and significantly easier. Starting from the Adriatic sea, in the town of Vasto, the route follows the coast until the town of Ortona, from which it starts heading towards the mountains. However, it avoids most of them. The terrain is not flat, mind you. After an ascending and descending false flat, the small climb of Ripa Teatina leads to the uncategorized climb of Chieti (not the classic wall often used in Tirreno), whose descent brings to an actual flat section of 40 km that connects with the route of the 2010 stage and ends with the one categorized climb of the day, Svolte di Popoli (GPM2, 7.8 km at 6.3%). This is an decent climb, but it is too isolated and far from the finish (46 km to go) to be consequential. It has no descent, as at the top a 22 km long false flat starts, which terminates with a short and fast descent to reach the town of L'Aquila. Here, the final kms will be very interesting (slightly different from 2010, but with the same concept), featuring two consecutive small hills: first the climb of Torrione (3 km at 5%, but with the first 1.5 km at 7,3%), which is just the climb to Acquasanta of 2010 with a 1.5 km added false flat on top, making it twice as long. It tops at 6.5 km to go, and has a very irregular descent. After that, 1 km of false flat leads to the uphill finish (this one is the same as 2010), measuring 1 km at 7.6%.
Svolte di Popoli, GPM2, 7.8 km at 6.3%
A nice climb with a few demanding ramps.
What to expect:
This should be a very entertaining finale, but with very few seconds up for grabs it's unclear whether GC contenders will go for it seriously.