Giro d'Italia 2020 Giro d'Italia: Stage-by-Stage Analysis

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Regarding the plan B for the two big stages:

- for stage 18 it seems the plan B would be doing Tonale - Aprica - Mortirolo (unclear which side - a local article even implied the one from Trivigno, never used...), then up the valley until Bormio and the final climb.

- for stage 20 today a local article claimed that the plan B is to have Finestre, and that RCS is already seriously considering it, possibly because it needs some minor roadworks to be passable, so they need to commit asap.

Needless to say, stage 20 has the huge problem of passing through another country, with all the administrative issues that may happen in case of the necessity of clearing snow, AND the fact that any plan B that doesn't include Finestre would look like a medium mountain stage.
I guess Finestre as alternative would serve. Mortirolo would be similar to 2012/2017 ish?
 
I guess Finestre as alternative would serve. Mortirolo would be similar to 2012/2017 ish?
Well if they really do Aprica before it, the 2017 side is not possible. They could use the 2012 side, or this Trivigno side that has a long plateau at the top (tbh I would discard both options), OR they could just climb the classic side up to 3 km to the top, where they can then descend towards Grosio.
 
Because of the situation in France it seems very likely that stage 20 will be replaced by Plan B. If that includes the Finestre it could still be a great mountain stage. No descent of the Agnello would be terrific news for Kruijswijk.

I hope stage 18 will stay as planned. Only extreme weather would be sufficient reason to change it.
 
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Regarding the plan B for the two big stages:

- for stage 18 it seems the plan B would be doing Tonale - Aprica - Mortirolo (unclear which side - a local article even implied the one from Trivigno, never used...), then up the valley until Bormio and the final climb.

- for stage 20 today a local article claimed that the plan B is to have Finestre, and that RCS is already seriously considering it, possibly because it needs some minor roadworks to be passable, so they need to commit asap.

Needless to say, stage 20 has the huge problem of passing through another country, with all the administrative issues that may happen in case of the necessity of clearing snow, AND the fact that any plan B that doesn't include Finestre would look like a medium mountain stage.
For stage 20, at the moment it looks like the weather will be quite cold but not too much snowy. I mean, if it snows during the days before the race, it should still be possible to clean the road properly.

In terms of alternatives, clearly the Finestre is the best one. However, if they were not able to prepare the gravel section of the Finestre properly for the race, and if they were willing to change the location of the stage finish in order to save the last mountain stage of the Giro, they should seriously consider Montoso.
This climb has been done in the 2019 Cuneo-Pinerolo from the Bibiana side, I live exactly at the beginning of the climb on the other side (Bagnolo). There are no problems in terms of altitude (Montoso is 1248m) and there is the possibility to continue the climb after Montoso up until Rucas (1530m).
The road from Bibiana is narrow and winding, so they could climb from that side (like in 2019) and descend from the Bagnolo side, which has a larger road in optimal conditions (new tarmac for the 2019 Giro) but still quite technical.
Yesterday I was riding my bike up to Montoso and I was thinking exactly this, they could make a circuit climbing 3 or 4 times Montoso, with the last climb going up to Rucas for the finish. You would end up with a very, very hard stage (Montoso is very similar to the last 10 km of the Agnello, or to the Passo Giau) finishing with the climb to Rucas which is basically Montoso + 4/5 km with irregular gradient (first a false flat, then 10% section, false flat again, 12% section, little descent, 6-7% section, false flat). The circuit Bibiana - Montoso - Bagnolo - Bibiana means you have 9.6 km of climbing, then 10 km of descent, then 5 km of false flat (mainly uphill), then you start the Montoso climb again.
 
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Because of the situation in France it seems very likely that stage 20 will be replaced by Plan B. If that includes the Finestre it could still be a great mountain stage. No descent of the Agnello would be terrific news for Kruijswijk.

I hope stage 18 will stay as planned. Only extreme weather would be sufficient reason to change it.
I don't think that the Covid situation in France is a big problem for the race, as long as they do not stop in France. I mean, what's the problem if you cross the border on the Agnello and then you keep racing crossing the border again in Montgenevre? Clearly you must forbid to team members, cars and everyone else to stop in French territory to avoid any contacts.
 
Because of the situation in France it seems very likely that stage 20 will be replaced by Plan B. If that includes the Finestre it could still be a great mountain stage. No descent of the Agnello would be terrific news for Kruijswijk.

I hope stage 18 will stay as planned. Only extreme weather would be sufficient reason to change it.
Kruijswijk: Somebody, get me a trophy cabinet!
Yates: Can I still enter the Vuelta?
 
I don't think that the Covid situation in France is a big problem for the race, as long as they do not stop in France. I mean, what's the problem if you cross the border on the Agnello and then you keep racing crossing the border again in Montgenevre? Clearly you must forbid to team members, cars and everyone else to stop in French territory to avoid any contacts.
You're right that the risk of infections would be very low. I just wonder if crossing the French border and back wouldn't involve administrive problems with those strict rules. I hope they keep the course as planned, but if they change it they should decide fast, not one day beforehand or so.
 
You're right that the risk of infections would be very low. I just wonder if crossing the French border and back wouldn't involve administrive problems with those strict rules. I hope they keep the course as planned, but if they change it they should decide fast, not one day beforehand or so.
The issue is not the border but the snow. Supposedly even more than on Stelvio
 
You know, that's a properly good stage, argubly better than the original one, but still, my god does this annoy me. I was so looking forward to Agnello Izoard shenanigans...
I'd call Finestre more reliable for action, not necessarily better. The worst Finestre stage will be better than the worst Agnello/Izoard stage but the best Agnello/Izoard stage will blow Finestre/Sestriere stages out of the water. Unless they go over Strade dell'Assieta. And I might actually be underrating the likelihood of Izoard action.

But also, it's been 2 years since the previous Finestre, I wouldn't like for that climb to get used too often either and Finestre/Sestriere to get a bit formulaic. Some big hype is obviously warranted with the penultimate OP climb shenanigans, but I love the overall design and placement of tapponi like these. Literally anything can just about happen on the Agnello/Izoard, while the more straightforward penultimate climb attack is already filled in by the mythical Stelvio. Obviously that one can get canceled, and Finestre is definitely the less sad alternative than Mortiyolo cut short + 20km of false flat.

Ultimately a lot of the frustration would also come from it being twice in a row that the most hyped tappone of Il Giro would be nerfed hard.
 
At least they have a plan in place ahead of time, even though I don’t think the chance of cancellation because of snow (having looked at the climate data) is any greater this year than a Stelvio stage in late May.
 

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