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Giro d'Italia Giro d’Italia 2024, Stage 18: Fiera di Primiero – Padua, 178.0k

Stage 18: Fiera di Primiero – Padua, 178.0k​

Like most years, the Giro detours into the Po valley for a flat stage to break up the third week mountain block.

The route



The start is in Fiera di Primiero, which the riders already passed through at the bottom of the descent of Passo Rolle on the previous stage. It's a village that serves as a gateway to both Trentino and the Dolomites, and as such mostly survives on tourism. The first few kilometres will be rather difficult to follow on TV, as the road out of the valley and into Veneto spends almost as much time under the mountains as it does in between them. This section ends with the day's sole KOM, the easy climb to Lamon which corresponds to the first 3.4k of the profile below.


From here, we leave the mountains via Feltre, reaching the point where Alps turn to floodplain at the intermediate sprint in Valdobbiadene. This town is one of the main centre of Prosecco production and hosted the main TT in both 2015 (Vasil Kiryienka) and 2020 (Filippo Ganna). The riders leave it via the tiny climb to Santo Stefano, pretty much the final section of elevation gain that reaches the double digits if we measure in metres.


After circumventing the Montello, the route heads south towards Treviso, the closest thing to Venice you'll find that doesn't have the hordes of tourists and admission fee just to enter the city. The Intergiro is in its suburbs. The route then skirts Venice, with the bonus sprint in the commuter town of Martellago, before heading west towards the finish in Padova. The finale is devoid of turns until the final kilometre, which contains two big ones.



Padova is most notable as one of Italy's leading cultural centres in the second half of the Middle Ages, being home to the world's second-oldest university and oldest botanical garden as well as a large group of 14th-century frescoes (the latter two being UNESCO-inscribed). It seems to have declined in importance somewhat after Venice conquered it at the start of the 15th century, but remained prosperous until the Venetian Republic dwindled to nothingness in the 18th century. In the First World War, it was the centre of Italian command and the peace treaty with Austria-Hungary, but it – and the Veneto in general – remained relatively impoverished prior to its rapid postwar development into one of the richest regions in Italy.


What to expect?

The equivalent stages have often been won by the breakaway in recent years, but with this year's deeper sprint field it would take a lot of abandons to make a repeat of that scenario likely.
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