2021 Giro d'Italia, Stage 19: Abbiategrasso - Alpe di Mera 166 km

What is gonna happen?

  • Bernal bonk

    Votes: 5 6.8%
  • Yates yeet

    Votes: 7 9.5%
  • Almeida almighty

    Votes: 19 25.7%
  • Caruso cruisin'

    Votes: 9 12.2%
  • breakaway take away

    Votes: 14 18.9%
  • Vincenzo victory

    Votes: 10 13.5%
  • I hate rhymes and alliterations

    Votes: 10 13.5%

  • Total voters
    74
  • Poll closed .
How is there no thread yet? After yesterday the battle for the Giro win is on again, so I'm super hyped for this.
I'm gonna post the @Eshnar preview too, but the route has been changed due to the cable car accident on the Mottarone, which led to the organizers skipping that climb out of respect for the victims and because of the ongoing investigations there. A pity from a racing perspective, but an understandable and probably right decision. Anyway, here is the new profile:



Stage 19: Abbiategrasso – Alpe di Mera 176 km

Friday, May 28th, 12.10 CEST








Technical Overview:

Another hard MTF in a Giro that certainly does not lack any of them. Starting from Abbiategrasso the peloton goes back to Piedmont, where it all started three weeks ago, for a fourth stage, this time in the mountains. The first 70 km are completely flat, heading north to reach the Lago d’Orta, a relatively small lake if compared to its immediate neighbour Lago Maggiore, which the riders will encounter soon enough. Before it, however, they will have to face the first climb of the day, the famous Mottarone (GPM1, 15.4 km at 6.7%), which last featured in the Giro exactly 10 years ago, in 2011. It is a tough and irregular climb, with a steep central section. Its descent is very technical, and it is a shame that such a good climb is relegated to be in a rather unfortunate position in the stage, very far from the finish and with long valleys before the next climbs, just like in 2011. The descent brings directly to the shore of Lago Maggiore, where the riders will find 18 km of false flat, partly along the lake and partly looping back around the hills to go back to Lago d’Orta. Here, after the intermediate sprint in Omegna, the route starts heading deeper into the mountains with the Passo della Colma (GPM3, 7.5 km at 6.4%), the easiest climb of the day, still presenting some good slopes. The descent, again pretty technical but on a much wider road than the one of Mottarone, brings into the Valsesia, a narrow valley which the riders will ride for 18 km before climbing again for the final climb of the day, Alpe di Mera (GPM1, 9.7 km at 9%). It is a consistent climb, with slightly increasing gradients that reach a maximum at around 3 km to go.



Final Kilometers





The Climbs:

Mottarone: GPM1, 15.4 km at 6.7%


An irregular climb with a tough central section. Raced last time in 2011, on the way to Macugnaga.





Passo della Colma: GPM3, 7.5 km at 6.4%

A short climb with good slopes but nothing out of the ordinary.



Alpe di Mera: GPM1, 9.7 km at 9%

Never raced before, it is a tough climb, with a second half regularly above 10%







What to expect:

The GC battle will be limited to the final climb, which is hard enough to produce serious gaps but there should be no catastrophes. The only option to shake things up would be a team action on Mottarone, but I doubt anyone would take any risks today.





Lago Maggiore
 
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The reason behind not doing Mottarone is not just out of respect for the victim. There's an ongoing investigation and authorities have to move the cable car out of there. They don't want additional logistical problems and fans getting in the way.
Won't complain about Mottarone, just about the overall underwhelming design of the final 2 mountain stages. Not having 3 huge mountain stages I can understand and that's never happened but this is a bit eeeh. Especially because there's already been 2 relatively straighforward steep MTF stages.

Right now the max you can expect is 4km of action that may or may not be for the stage win.
 
Won't complain about Mottarone, just about the overall underwhelming design of the final 2 mountain stages. Not having 3 huge mountain stages I can understand and that's never happened but this is a bit eeeh. Especially because there's already been 2 relatively straighforward steep MTF stages.

Right now the max you can expect is 4km of action that may or may not be for the stage win.
Yeah, let's just do full Monday's stage instead of the Saturday's one and I'm happy.
This Alpe di Mera looks fine.
 
Won't complain about Mottarone, just about the overall underwhelming design of the final 2 mountain stages. Not having 3 huge mountain stages I can understand and that's never happened but this is a bit eeeh. Especially because there's already been 2 relatively straighforward steep MTF stages.
Tbh, I think a straight up mtf as the penultimate mountain stage is fine. It gives us a last clear picture of where the riders stand and often serves as the appetizer for what's to come. This is the day to show who is the strongest, stage 20 the one for the shenanigans. I know it wasn't actually the penultimate mountain stage but take Prato Nevoso 2018 as an example. That stage wasn't even good, yet Yates dropping for the first time in that giro has become pretty iconic and the hype after that stage was unreal. If Bernal loses minute to Yates tomorrow the reaction will be similar.

I agree though that there have been too many stages like these with nothing ever gonna happen before the final climb. In fact due to the stage 16 shortening I don't think there has been a single mountain stage so far where that wasn't the case and that's problematic. It's just that if I had to change the route I would let this stage stay the same and change the previous mountain stages instead.
 
Tbh, I think a straight up mtf as the penultimate mountain stage is fine. It gives us a last clear picture of where the riders stand and often serves as the appetizer for what's to come. This is the day to show who is the strongest, stage 20 the one for the shenanigans. I know it wasn't actually the penultimate mountain stage but take Prato Nevoso 2018 as an example. That stage wasn't even good, yet Yates dropping for the first time in that giro has become pretty iconic and the hype after that stage was unreal. If Bernal loses minute to Yates tomorrow the reaction will be similar.

I agree though that there have been too many stages like these with nothing ever gonna happen before the final climb. In fact due to the stage 16 shortening I don't think there has been a single mountain stage so far where that wasn't the case and that's problematic. It's just that if I had to change the route I would let this stage stay the same and change the previous mountain stages instead.
Tbh I'm just really not a fan of only one great mountain stage in the final ~4 stages, even if I do prefer to have the hardest part around stage 14-16. This is the 4th time in 5 years the final 2 mountain stages have this format, and it's been underwhelming every single time. You get super dependent on very precise route design of the final mountain stage, which they'll get wrong~50%, and the previous MTF will be flatout lame a significant amount of the time as well.

Now in this case, finishing locations limit options, and I don't see how you can make real Tappones where they're finishing now, but a finish like Alpe di Mera fits better way earlier in the race than it does here.
 
On one hand one can think that this is a nice finish with a 10km 9% climb, but with an easier stage (understandable, however the original design also was not great even if that was the best stage possible) and the way the difficulty increases up the climb this also limits the scope for action.
 
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Would rather bet on Fortunato going for no. 2 and top 15 on the general classification if a group goes till the finish.

Question is wether that happens on Friday or Saturday. Basso might sense that or just ask around for it!
 
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Hating Simon Yates seems extremely weird to me. Do you have something against unpredictability or entertainment?
Its mostly a media thing. As you know yourself a lot of our media in Ireland comes from Britain and the attitude to some of their athletes really puts me off them. Yates just being in a race means a whole day of Hatch wetting himself and talking about nothing else. The same man made me turn off last year I got so sick of the TGH love in
Similarly the borderline racism towards European athletes makes me cheer for them especially in soccer
 
Since I've been on a good run this Giro I'm making one more prediction: if Yates goes all out tomorrow he won't win the Giro. He won't gain enough time on Bernal and Caruso to win it on a monoclimb stage after a sprint day. He needs to rip it apart on Saturday. And if he goes on the base of Alpe di Mera he's going to be too spent to do that.

IMHO the best case scenario for a great stage on Saturday is if DQS take it up for João tomorrow, and Bike Exchange saves all its bullets for a final showdown. Outside of that we might see Egan (or Damiano) go choo-choo all the way to Milan.
 
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