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Giro d'Italia 2013, stage 18: Oderzo - Val Di Zoldo 161 km

Stage 18: Oderzo – Val Di Zoldo 161 km

Thursday, May 25th, 12:20 – 17:10 CEST



Technical Overview:

The final mountain block begins with a beautiful 4-star stage in the Dolimites, which funnily enough, with its 161 km, is the second shortest road stage of the race. From the town of Oderzo, the riders will immediately head into the mountains, with the first climb of the day coming after 28 km: Passo della Crosetta (GPM1, 11.6 km at 7.1%), a tough climb that will promote the formation of a strong breakaway. At the top the peloton will find a 16 km long false flat, before a short descent and another climb, Pieve d’Alpago (GPM4, 3.3 km at 5.5%), a very easy one. Its descent will bring everyone back to the Piave river, at which point the riders will have to go upstream for 32 km of false flat before hitting the next climb, the uncategorized Tai di Cadore (6.7 km at 4.6%). Shortly after the top, they will find the first intermediate sprint in Pieve di Cadore, just before turning south-west to get to the main dish of today, coming after 10 km more. The final combo begins with Forcella Cibiana (GPM1, 9.6 km at 7.8%), a mid-size climb with a pretty steep second half. It starts at 36 km to go and ends at 26, which means it is already in GC attack range. The descent is also quite tricky, and leads directly into the second intermediate sprint, Forno di Zoldo, and to the foot of the next climb, starting at 15 km to go. The climb to Coi (GPM2, 5.8 km at 9.7%) a secondary road parallel to Forcella Staulanza, is a new entry in the Giro and a very interesting one. It is a narrow road that gets steeper and steeper all the way to the top, which lies at 5.3 km to go. The descent is very short, only 2.1 km, but it does feature a few interesting curves and might give or take a few seconds between contenders. It connects with the main road of Staulanza at only 3.1 km from the finish line of Val di Zoldo (GPM2, 2.7 km at 6.4%), the same as in 2005.


The Climbs:

Passo della Crosetta
: GPM1, 11.6 km at 7.1%

A tough climb with very regular slopes. It will assure a quality breakaway.


Pieve d’Alpago: GPM4, 3.3 km at 5.5%

Short and easy, nothing much to see here.

Forcella Cibiana: GPM1, 9.6 km at 7.8%

Ridden last time during the mythical stage of Gardeccia 2011 (but from the opposite side), this climb is short but has a very steep second half.


Coi: GPM2, 5.8 km at 9.7%

A new and very surprising climb, short but really steep. See below for the profile.

Val di Zoldo: GPM2, 2.7 km at 6.4%

Last time we had a finish here was 2005, and it was an awesome stage. This year the location is the same, but the approach will be completely different.


What to Expect:

Anything can happen from the start of Cibiana onward. However, this is only the first of three consecutive GC stages, so it is hard to predict how much energy the riders will want to spend here. I think there will be selection on Cibiana and attacks only on Coi. Moderate gaps between the favourites.


Forno di Zoldo
I've posted this before, the short descent right into the Cibiana climb is tricky and with a steep ramp right at the start you could pay for it later on if you get caught behind. The Cibiana descent is a bit technical and the road is more narrow than on the ascent. Maybe Roglic should put in a small dig, just to see if Almeida and Thomas (who are both not exactly Nibali when the road goes downhill) are able to respond.
Oh well, I guess the place to actually try this seriously is be the Giau one day later...
I like this stage design, although Passo Duran woudl connect even better to Coi-Val di Zoldo than Cibiana.
They could do Forcella Ciandolada/Rifugio Talamini instead of Cibiana, but that one is a Zomegnan style climb.
Would need to be repaved and the false flat on top of it is unpaved, but the descend is on a wider road and paved.
It's pretty much Col des Glières on steroids, with 30% ramps.
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This is also the last good option to do anything on the descents. In addition to the little descent into Cibiana discussed by @Mayomaniac, the descent of Cibiana itself is reasonably technical and that of Coi, while short, is narrow and twisty. Roglic or Caruso may try something.
Nobody wants to try anything in thise descents!! The gc Riders have no grinta. They will look at their watt monitors in the final climbs and pace themselves to the finish..

Hopefully I am wrong. Man these guys have to try something. Caruso was already 2nd and is 35. Roglic is 33 and already podium. Almida will be a gregario very quick if he doesn't win a gt soon.

Every year there should be a 200km mountain stage with multiple big passes and a descent finish. Simple as that. Not this mickey mouse short climbs and uphill finish.
As you all mentioned, it's "only" the first of three, and it also is the last chance to save energy before "the brutal duo" stages. I expect some sort of an uneasy calm between the big-3 before the Tre Cime storm. A breakaway will form with two or three riders in the 8th to 16th place in the GC. It will be up to teams defending a 4th-7th place to do the job. Like it or not, more often than not, they do.

Since the Sun revolves around Tibopino, that's his best chance to win a stage. Forget the GC and get that one. There are KOM points along the way, there's still a shot at the jersey.

Near the finish, Damiano has to take advantage of any complacency between JV and Ineos. The finish is such that attacks, even for seconds, can pay off.

Solid appetizer before "the brutal two", and the last chance for many before two days of Thomas, Roglic, and Almeida. I love the design.