Better make this before Eshnar gets all grumpy.
Stage 3: Biella – Canale 190 km
Monday, May 10th, 12.20 CEST
The last (for now) Piedmont stage is perhaps the most interesting one, although the originally presented route was miles better. Starting in Biella, a town famous in the Giro for being at the foot of the climb to Oropa, the riders will head south through the Po Valley to reach Asti, after which the route will draw a wide clockwise loop to reach the finish, including the first proper climbs of this Giro, situated between the vineyards of the hills of the Langhe area. The first difficulty of the day starts at the first intermediate sprint: the climb of Piancanelli (GPM3, 7.6 km at 4.8%) is very gentle and will do damage only to the heaviest guys. After a somewhat complicated descent there will be a 10 km flat stretch, and after it the road will rise again, with two consecutive climbs. Castino (GPM4, 4.9 at 5.2%) and Manera (GPM4, 5.4 km at 5.4%) should be enough to drop the sprinters, at least, especially since they are separated only by a short descent. This depends on the pace set by the peloton, of course. A very fast descent will lead to another 10 km flat stretch, and then the final climb of the day, which this time is uncategorized: Guarene (2.6 km at 7.1%) is inexplicably an intermediate sprint instead of a GPM. Very disappointingly, it was originally planned to climb a much harder road to reach the town, and subsequently another short climb to cap it off. Those two final climbs have instead been quietly scrapped after the presentation and substituted with this easier version, with a much lower average gradient but that does have a very short steep ramp at the top, at 15 km to go. Of these, the last 11 are flat, with the exception of a small stretch of around 300m at 10% at 5 km to go. I could easily see attacks happening in the original version, while it is not very likely now. A shame.
Piancanelli: GPM3, 7.6 km at 4.8
A climb that starts as very easy but does have good gradients towards the top. No official profile, but we have Cyclingcols.
Castino: GPM4, 4.9 at 5.2%
Not much to say here. It is a pretty steady climb, without big gradients. We also have no profile.
Manera: GPM4, 5.4 km at 5.4%
Again no profile. It does have some decent ramps in the first part, and the gradient gets lower towards the top.
Guarene: 2.6 km at 7.1%
Of course RCS provides an official profile of the one climb they did not categorize. So, here you have it. It is always just below 7%, except for the very final ramp that reaches 15%.
What to expect:
A reduced bunch sprint, or a breakaway if the peloton does not bother. Tomorrow might be a big day so I doubt many people will put an effort today.