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Giro d’Italia 2024, Stage 13: Riccione – Cento, 179.0k

Well, someone had to do it ;). Thank you again to @Devil's Elbow :)

The annual day of nothingness in the Po valley before the all important 2nd TT.

The route



The race has moved into Emilia-Romagna overnight, from where the race restarts in the seaside resort of Riccione. It was a small village governed from Rimini until the development of the Riviera Romagnola from the late 19th century onwards. It became a town in its own right in 1923, and soon became heavily favoured by Mussolini, who purchased (or rather, forced the owner into selling) a villa that was turned into his summer residence in 1933. Despite this controversial past, it has continued to flourish as one of the region’s leading coastal resorts until the present day.


The stage initially follows the Via Emilia northwest, spending more time on the bypasses of towns and cities rather than going through them than I seem to remember from previous Giri. This is already the case in Rimini, equally famous for its Roman remains and Roman levels of debauchery by tourists. The riders turn inland from there, passing through Cesena, where Remco Evenepoel won the TT last year mere hours before withdrawing with Covid, and then Forlì, historically the capital of Romagna. On its outskirts, we pass through Villanova di Forlì, hometown of Ercole Baldini. Baldini is the first and only rider to have claimed gold at both the Olympic (1956) and World (1958) road races in addition to winning a Grand Tour (the 1958 Giro). The intermediate sprint is located here.

In the next larger town, Faenza, the riders leave the Via Emilia and head deeper into the Po valley. Here, the roads become narrower and more twisty, as the landscape turns from mostly urban to mostly rural. I really have nothing to say about the remainder of the route, the number of landmarks is similar to the number of climbs, so we’ll skip ahead to the final kilometres. These feature a lot of turns, which become progressively less technical as the finish draws closer. The final, reasonably shallow turn is through a roundabout at 450 metres from the line. The bump on the profile below is the bridge over the Reno river.



Cento does not refer to the metres of elevation gain in this stage (it isn’t far off, though), but is instead the main town in the region between the historic cities of Bologna and Ferrara. Although now part of the latter province, it was more commonly held by the former – indeed, the architecture of its historical centre means it is sometimes called ‘Little Bologna’. It is best known as the home to Italy’s oldest carnival, dating back to at least the 17th century.


What to expect?

A snoozefest, as always in the Po valley.
Today he finished ahead of all other sprinters, maybe he‘s turning into a climber.
Colbrelli 2.0? I could get behind that.

(Ok, he didn't turn into a climber, but I still get chills when I watch him winning PR.
Sprinter actually turning climber for a day? Hushovd. Him winning a mountain stage in the Tour was just sooo weird to me, nevertheless a lot of fun to watch.)
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