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Giro d'Italia 2022 Giro d'Italia, Stage 15: Rivarolo Canavese – Cogne 177 km (Sunday, May 22nd)

From @Eshnar's excellent 2022 Giro d'Italia: Stage-by-stage Analysis thread: https://forum.cyclingnews.com/threads/2022-giro-ditalia-stage-by-stage-analysis.37819/#post-2691573

Stage 15: Rivarolo Canavese – Cogne 177 km
Sunday, May 22nd, 12:15 CET



Technical Overview:
The first real Alpine stage comes on the penultimate Sunday, a bit late on the usual schedule. Starting from Rivarolo Canavese the riders will head north into the Aosta Valley for a tough stage with an unusual kind of MTF. The first 57 km of this stage are mostly flat going along the valley, but after reaching the town of Montjovet, the terrain will get a lot rougher, with 30 kms of ups and downs leading to another flat section ending at the first intermediate sprint in Pollein. Here, at 86 km to go, the first climb of the day starts and there will barely be any flat to be found until the end of the stage. Pila-Les Fleurs (GPM1, 12.3 km at 6.9%) is a solid climb and an old friend of the Giro that was missing since quite a long time. The riders will not have to climb all the way to the top however, as there would not be any other way down, but only up to the village of Le Fleurs, around two thirds up the full climb. Even so, it is still a tough climb, long and with consistent gradients. The top is at 72 km to go, and the descent is quite demanding. At the bottom there will be only 5 kms of flat roads in the town of Aosta, and then it will be time for the next climb already. Verrogne (GPM1, 13.8 km at 7.1%) is the same ascent as in 2019: a very tough climb, always around 8% gradient but without crazy ramps. The descent starts at 40 km to go, 13.5 of which feature a very technical descent. Back at the bottom there will be 4.5 km of flat before the final climb begins, and as I said it will be a weird one. Cogne (GPM1, 22.4 km at 4.3%) starts with good but irregular gradients for the first 9 kms, and then it eases off, becoming mostly a false flat. Here it is worth mentioning that there will be an intermediate sprint in the center of the town, at 3.3 km to go, which is also very weird by itself.

Final km:


The Climbs:

Pila-Les Fleurs
: GPM1, 12.3 km at 6.9%
Last time the Giro passed on this climb was exactly 30 years ago. This time they do not go all the way to the top, so the climb is not as hard as it could be, but it is still a very good one.


Verrogne: GPM1, 13.8 km at 7.1%
Very similar numbers to the previous climb, this one was climbed in 2019. Only the bottom is slightly different.


Cogne: GPM1, 22.4 km at 4.3%
A very weird MTF, it starts with good gradients and then eases off massively, though it does hide some steeper ramps in the easy part.


What to expect:
Tough to call. There is definitely enough terrain to deliver a lot of GC damage, but the final 13 kms of false flat might scare some people. Descents could also be a factor and I can definitely see tactical moves succeeding, if a team goes for it.


He gets dropped like a stone on not even technical descends. It's that bad.

Yep, and he's not got the acceleration to match the others either on the climbs (at least here). You could probably just put in a half decent 500m kick at the top of every summit if you wanted and Almeida would be in potentially race losing trouble if he loses the wheel. It's now exposed as a clear weakness and people actually have a legit reason to try exploit it.
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the final 13 kms of false flat might scare some people.
The profile of these final 13 km seems quite similar to the regular Aprica ascent (which by the way they won't ride on stage 16 as they're riding Mortirolo in opposite direction). Aprica is usually not categorized iirc but it's certainly not easy after a tough day. Basso/Gibo pops up in my memory.
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Aprica is usually a GPM3, since the change away from the "arrival" category, which was why it was sometimes uncategorised (the Giro used to pay 3 points for cat.3, 5 for cat.2, 10 for cat.1 and 15 for MTFs, so they didn't categorise Aprica sometimes on the basis that it was ridiculous to give more points for it than the Mortirolo).

Shame for no Tze Core, Saint-Panthaléon or Champremier in the earlier part of the stage but I suspect that may have neutered some of the action we got today. Cogne is a perfect Miguel Ángel López kind of climb, but obviously he's long gone from the race. The hope is that today's action takes a lot out of contenders and therefore there's some tired legs there, and the false flat therefore is more sapping than it seems - if gaps are created before that false flat it could be good whereas if groups are together, then escaping their clutches will be tough.

Also there are some strong potential breakaway options. Obviously the likes of Rosa and Bouwman are going to be part of it, but some very good climbers who could stagehunt who dropped a lot of time today so could well have sat up and saved energy. Iván Sosa, Wout Poels, Richie Porte, David de la Cruz, Eduardo Sepúlveda, Jefferson Cepeda, Rein Taaramäe, Davide Formolo and Dario Cataldo all potential stagehunters, though some might have domestique duties to pull even if they successfully get into the break as they may need to be called back.