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Giro 2017, stage 8: Molfetta - Peschici 189km

Eshnar said:
STAGE 8: Molfetta – Peschici 189 km

START TIME: 12.25 CEST

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Technical Overview:

The second weekend opens with a very interesting stage. From the town of Molfetta, the peloton will race straight along the coast for the first 84 km. Crosswinds are possible but unlikely, as the most usual wind direction there would be a tailwind. The riders will leave the coast to climb the hardest climb of the day, Monte S.Angelo (GPM2, 9.6 km at 6.1%), a regular and solid climb that will warm-up legs nicely. The descent will bring everyone back to the coast of the Gargano peninsula, which looks completely different from the coast of the first part of the stage. Full of little climbs and descents, very twisty, this is far from the typical coastline road and not an ideal setting at all for a full bunch. The categorized climb to Coppa S.Tecla (GPM4, 7.6 km at 4.2%) would deserve perhaps a higher category, and will lead the peloton to a somewhat easier coast section, around the town of Vieste, before the road starts to get tough again, at around 11 km to go. The uncategorized climb that follows is made by 2 ramps. The first measures 2 km at 6%, topping at 9 km to go and followed by a very short descent of 1 km. The second part starts with 1 km at 6% and then flattens out progressively, topping at 4.7 km to go. From there, a very short and fast descent, with only two tricky hairpins at the bottom, will lead to a 1.5 km flat section, bringing the riders to the last difficulty of the day, the road to the center of Peschici itself: 1.5 km at 5.7%, with the last 200m kicking up to 10.5% that will make for an unusual uphill sprint. It's a bit stupid that the last km profile start from only 4.7 km to go, really...

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The Climbs:
Monte S.Angelo GPM2
Pretty solid climb, almost 7% all the way.
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Coppa S.Tecla GPM4
Looks like it starts with 2.5 km at around 6.5%, then flattens out. No profile found.

What to expect:
This stage has a lot of potential to be fun. More about the stage win than the GC, as the climbs aren't that hard and tomorrow is a big day. Puncheurs will have a huge chance to get a win and they should really make sure they exploit it. Obviously, a breakaway also has chances, too.

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Story Time:
Alfredo Binda (1902 - 1986), one of the record-holders of the Giro history, and considered one of the all-time greats of the sport. He won his first stage at the Giro 1925, in Bari, at a few km from Molfetta (yes I know, but there weren't better stages for me to mention him, and he really deserves to be remembered). He won that Giro, the first of his 5 overall wins, the most in history, together with other two legendary riders I will talk about later. In 1927 he won 12 out of 15 Giro stages, establishing a record still standing today. In 1929 he established another record, by winning 8 consecutive stages. His superiority in all kinds of stages was so awkward that in 1930 the organizers paid him to NOT ride the Giro. He went to the Tour that year, but after winning the first two Pyrenaic stages he dropped out, officially due to a mechanical, but probably because of arguments with the Italian federation. In his career he won 3 times the World Championship, 2 times the Milano-Sanremo and 4 times the Giro di Lombardia. He retired from activity in 1936, after crashing at the Milano-Sanremo and breaking his femur.
After the war he became coach of the Italian national team for twelve years, winning the World Championship 4 times, with Bartali, Coppi (2x) and Nencini. 

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Re:

ThePirate81 said:
Breakway will take the win. Only Cannondale for Woods and maybe Orica for Yatesy will try to control it but I don't think they'll succeed.

Orica would be smarter to send someone up the road in the break rather than continue to burn out their team (or at least their useful workers) by having them slog away on the front of the peleton.
 
Re: Re:

dirkprovin said:
ThePirate81 said:
Breakway will take the win. Only Cannondale for Woods and maybe Orica for Yatesy will try to control it but I don't think they'll succeed.

Orica would be smarter to send someone up the road in the break rather than continue to burn out their team (or at least their useful workers) by having them slog away on the front of the peleton.

Spot on with your post.
 
Re:

shalgo said:
It would be a good stage for Woods to get into the break--because Cannondale cannot chase down a break, as stage six demonstrated. Unfortunately, he is probably too close on GC to be allowed into a break.
Woods has been so strong recently on terrain like this that I'm afraid that the rest of breakaway wouldn't like to co-operate with him and he could lose that anyway.

Cannondale still have plenty of options. Slagter, Howes or Villella could all do well. But the beginning of the stage is flat again and I wouldn't be surprised if a break would form mostly out of good rouleurs just like on stage 6.
 
I think the tricky finale can provide some surprises. There will be opportunists who will try to do something, and perhaps even one or two of the GC contenders may attack. Yes the Blockhaus is the very next day, but surely someone will try do something besides wait for the high mountain stages!?!
 

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