It's already past midnight so I expect no '2 days in advance' complaints.
Stage 12: Siena – Bagno di Romagna 212 km
Thursday, May 20th, 11.20 CEST
A very tough medium mountain stage, of the kind that should be more common in a GT. The start is in Siena, and the first 70 km pass through some rolling terrain all the way to Firenze and the neighbouring town of Sesto Fiorentino, where the first intermediate sprint is placed and the first climb starts. Monte Morello (GPM3, 7.6 km at 6.6%) is a short but quite serious climb, that should deserve more than a third category, especially considering its 2.5km section at 11.2%, including a passage at 19%. At the top there is a long plateau of about 15 km, before a very fast descent brings everyone down again. From there, little more than 10 km and the road rise again, heading to the other side of the Appennines. The Passo della Consuma (GPM2, 17.1 km at 5.7%) is a long climb, with good gradients especially in the first half and on a small steep section towards the end. The descent is again very fast and on quite a wide road, so it should not present any issue to the riders. Straight after it, the peloton will hit another climb, the Passo della Calla (GPM2, 15.3 km at 5.5%), another long one, but more constant in its gradient than the previous one. The top is at 48 km to go. This time the descent, 12 km long, is pretty technical. At the bottom there is a 15 km descending false flat until the town of Santa Sofia, the second intermediate sprint and start of the final climb of the day, which should be the decisive one. The Passo del Carnaio (GPM3, 10.8 km at 5.1%) is a serious climb, despite its average gradient that is affected by its false flat section near the top. In particular, the climb offers a central section of 3 km at 9.5%, ending at 4.8 km to the top and 14 to the finish line. The pass itself tops at 9.4 km to go, of which about 5 km consist of a descent of a certain difficulty and 4 km of flat to the reach Bagno di Romagna.
Monte Morello: GPM3, 7.6 km at 6.6%
A short climb with a very demanding section of 2.5 km at 11.2% surrounded by false flats.
Passo della Consuma: GPM2, 17.1 km at 5.7%
A long climb with some tough ramps, especially a 2 km section at over 8.5% in the middle.
Passo della Calla: GPM2, 15.3 km at 5.5%
A long and steady climb, with its highest gradients in the second half.
Passo del Carnaio: GPM3, 10.8 km at 5.1%
Very irregular, with a tough central section of 3 km at 9.5% in between two short descents. It should do a lot of damage, considering the steepness and the short distance to the finish.
What to expect:
Depending on how much damage the Montalcino stage has done, this stage could see a lot of action also by GC guys. Breakaways will also be hard to keep in check. The stage is long and if legs are tired it should not be hard to force a big selection on the last climb.
Piazza del Campo, Siena