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Giro d'Italia 2023 Giro d'Italia, Stage 7: Capua - Gran Sasso d'Italia (Campo Imperatore), 218 km (Friday, May 12)

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What a disappointing finale by the peloton! This must be the worst 1st week of Giro in a while (in terms of GC fight). Not that stage design helps but come on. Are they so intimidated by the Rainbow Imperatore or simply had no legs to try anything? There will be no major mountain stage in the next few days and on Sunday the Belgian will double (or triple) his advantage.
"the Belgian"?
This was quite an enjoyable stage to me. I spend the time reading and working, and every single time I payed attention, nothing had happened, and I could go on working in peace. The Moment I was ready to take a break to eat something the last 4 kilometers had just begun, and there was actually still nothing going on. So I basically saw all the action of the day, dispite spending my time not watching the stage. Brilliant.
What did y'all expect from todays stage?

If one had asked me on Monday I would've said the best outcome would be a minor group staying away. Without Dombrowski, so it's exciting who gets that big, meaningful win at the Giro d'Italia. Better than an uphill sprint from the favorites where in fact nothing happens before either.

That I shouldn't have watched this for 5 hours, but rather should have ignored the weather forecast and went on a 2 hours hike at 13.30, because it stayed sunny is another story.

But how was this stage such a big disappointment if you grabbed a coffee, switched on at 15.30 and saw Bais, Vacek & Petilli battle it out for the chance of their lifetime? Based on what should have been the realistic expectations of the viewer.

Who would even dare to watch this stage fully, if it's not constantly raining outside and talking to your husband / wife is even more boring?
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There are more than enough tough climbs in southern Italy and when better climbs are used the racing usually improves to normal 1st week gt standards. Even Etna also hasn't always been horrible, it really only is when they take one of the exposed main roads. The racing was quite decent in both 2020 and 2018 iirc.

The reason why first week Giro mtf's are that bad is simply because the climbs are so often that bad. Gran Sasso, Campo Felice, Roccaraso, the shallow Etna sides, Montevergine, etc. Nobody can look at those climbs and act all surprised the racing isn't good. But the problem is that as long as the media completely eats the story lines of "the first big mountain test" people will keep watching and as long as people keep watching the Giro organizers don't see a reason to change their formula.
Blockhaus was absolute dogshit last year aswell.