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Giro d'Italia Giro d’Italia 24, Stage 10: Pompei – Cusano Mutri (Bocca della Selva), 142.0k

Time to get the ball rolling for tomorrow’s stage. You know who wrote it (not me).

Stage 10: Pompei – Cusano Mutri (Bocca della Selva), 142.0k​

The second week kicks off with an underrated MTF. No, it isn’t exactly brutal, but contrary to what some people would have you believe, it also isn’t anywhere near the likes of Montevergine, Mégève or Laguna Negra.

The route



The first week ended in the Naples metropolitan area, and that’s where we still are for the start of the second week. Pompeii has been immortalized in Western culture just as much as it was immortalized two millennia ago by the Vesuvius. Of course, it’s rather possible that the GC battle, too, will feel like it died and was buried ages ago by the time this stage rolls around, but let’s hope that that irony doesn’t come to pass.


The first 45 kilometres are flat, bad news for any climbers wanting to get into the breakaway but it isn’t out of the question that nothing has stuck by the time the road rises for the first time, to the intermediate sprint at Arpaia.


Next up is the uncategorised climb to Bivio Taburno. For no apparent reason we’re on random back roads, making for a steep climb, and yet despite that effort there are no KOM points.


The first climb that actually hands out KOM points is Camposauro, one of the best passes in the area, although this is the easier side. At the pass, there is also a dead-end road which would make for a HC MTF and there’s plenty of space at the summit… hopefully, a story for a future Giro.


The penultimate climb is to Guardia Sanframondi, where Victor Lafay won the stage in 2022. For some reason, the route taken into town, while partially the same, is significantly tougher overall – why did they not use this variant as the HTF/MTF back then? Oh, and the Intergiro is here for some reason.


Following a rolling section, the riders reach Cusano Mutri, which is paying for the finish and has gotten the bonus second sprint as part of the deal. The MTF itself is officially 20.9k at a lowly 4.6%, but for unclear reasons that figure includes 3 flat kilometres before the road actually goes uphill – the actual climb is therefore 17.9k at 5.4%. Moreover, the hardest stuff is near the end, with the final 6.4k at 7.2% and three of the final four kilometres having individual averages of at least 8%. Overall, it’s very similar in nature to the Leysin MTF they used very recently at Romandie, although I think Bocca della Selva just about has the edge.



Bocca della Selva has been used twice in Giro history: once in the aforementioned Guardia Sanframondi stage where they descended this side, and once early stage in the 2016 stage to Roccaraso from the same side used here.


What to expect?

Probably one for the breakaway, but I would be disappointed if we don’t see GC action in the final quarter of the climb.
I expect this stage to be very similar to Saturday's stage. UAE will control just enough to bring back the break and Pogi will win the stage with minimal effort, just following attacks and then outsprinting whoever he is with at the end. Hopefully, we will see a few gaps between the podium contenders though, at least
To be honest, this is the stage where chasing the break makes way more sense than on stage 7, so I wouldn't be shocked if UAE goes for it yet again. Probably smarter to do that here, than trying to control a much harder stage in the Alps.
I expect the shortened stage 15 to be really easy to control. And Grappa is really easy to control as well.

I don't think there was enough talk about just how terrible the breakaway worked together on stage 8, but then maybe agent Quintana will terrorize the breakaway once again
I think the podium battle will start with Bora, who have taken some initiative so far, trying to push things with Ineos. AG2R have the most incentive with another tt to come, but haven't showing much willingness so far other than O'Connor trying to follow Pogacar, pressure will probably come from them trying to get Baudin in some moves. The kid and Tiberi don't seem to have the horses to try anything too drastic, what a mistake not bringing Poels, not in hindsight either, we all said it at the time.

UAE making noises about saving energy, week 2 suits them in that regard so they can take it easy, unfortunately for them at some point the race will start to evolve around them regardless of what their plan is.
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