Giro d'Italia 2020, stage 15: Rivolto - Piancavallo 185 km

The Etna was cool, stage 9 was a nice preview and the hills were entertaining, but really, it's time for the real climbing to start. I'm really looking forward to this. A lot of riders have a lot to prove.

Stage 15: Rivolto – Piancavallo 185 km
Sunday, October 18th, 11:05 CEST





Technical Overview:
The third weekend ends with the hardest MTF of the race, that comes with the GC already shaken by a time-trial. From the air base of Rivolto, home of the Frecce Tricolori (the acrobatic demo team of the Italian air force, so expect a show at the start), the riders will head into the mountains of the Friuli region. The first climb of the day comes after 54 km, Sella Chianzutan (GPM2, 10.6 km at 5.4%). If the break of the day is not yet settled, this climb will definitely decide its composition. Its descent is on twisty but wide roads, a common feature of almost the entire stage, and brings to the first intermediate sprint of the day, in Villa Santina. The route then almost immediately heads back south, climbing first the uncategorized Forcella di Priuso (3 km at 6.7%) and then Forcella di Monte Rest (GPM2, 7.4 km at 7.5%), a pretty solid climb that will wear some legs out if the pace is high. The following descent then leads into a 12 km long valley before the road goes up again to the easiest climb of the day, Forcella di Pala Balzana (GPM2, 13.3 km at 4.4%). This climb also features the second sprint of the day in Poffabro, on its central section, a rather weird placement. This time the descent is narrow and very technical, and it is a bit of a shame that it is followed by a descending false flat of almost 25 km. Finally, after reaching the town of Aviano, the final climb of the day begins: Piancavallo (GPM1, 14.5 km at 7.8%). A very demanding climb, that starts very steep and eases off a little towards the end. Tomorrow is a rest day, so the riders have no excuses.



The Climbs:
Sella Chianzutan: GPM2, 10.6 km at 5.4%

A decent climb, with constant slopes around 6%.


Forcella di Monte Rest: GPM2, 7.4 km at 7.5%
Quite an interesting climb with good gradient. We also get for free the profile of the uncategorized Forcella di Priuso.


Forcella di Pala Balzana: GPM2, 13.3 km at 4.4%
Very irregular but overall an easy climb that should only be good for putting some pace in the peloton.


Piancavallo: GPM1, 14.5 km at 7.8%
The hardest MTF of this race is a really hard climb, that starts with 6 km at 9.4%, followed by 5 km at 7.5% and then an easy 3 km final stretch. Used only three times in the Giro, the first in 1998 won by Pantani, and the last in 2017 won by Landa. In between, it was the first climb in the mythical Gardeccia 2011 stage.


What to expect:
A strong break of the day, hopefully some pace before the last climb and full on carnage on it. Whoever lost time yesterday will need to make a statement.


Piancavallo
 
Reactions: Carols and Hihope
I think Kelderman will take pink tomorrow. As hyped up as Almeida is right now he hasn't actually performed that well in the mountain stages so far and this one is a completely different caliber. Really the only thing that could save him is that the hard part of Piancavallo goes by unused because nobody has the team to put the pressure on and nobody wants to attack the whole peloton 10 km from the finish.
 
Shoutout to the 2017 Piancavallo stage, one of the most WTF stages I've seen.

Also shoutout to the 2011 Piancavallo stage, which was one of the best stages I've seen.
Largely forgotten thing about that 2017 Piancavallo stage was that the race was actually all over the place with 100k to go as the peloton split on a descent and Dumoulin was caught behind. There was a long chase between the groups and Dumoulin himself had to start working to catch them on a 2nd category climb with 90 k to go but was lucky the front group had run out of domestiques and Quintana, Nibali, Pinot and most other gc guys weren't daring to go on a 90 km break without any teammates.

Then Dumoulin dropped pretty much at the beginning of Piancavallo but Quintana and Nibali were so bad they got dropped by Pinot, Zakkarin and Pozzovivo while barely gaining a minute on Dumoulin.

Yeah, that stage was weird.
 
Almeida to take losses. Not dire ones on the day, but this has 'rider goes too deep defending the jersey and ruins their race' written all over it.

Kelderman maybe into pink, depends if he can attack after today.

Pozzo will go on the attack and so will Birdsong.

Nibali and Majka to follow tomorrow. Nibali because I think he will wait for week 3 to really go deep. Majka because he's Majka

McNulty to disappear.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Largely forgotten thing about that 2017 Piancavallo stage was that the race was actually all over the place with 100k to go as the peloton split on a descent and Dumoulin was caught behind. There was a long chase between the groups and Dumoulin himself had to start working to catch them on a 2nd category climb with 90 k to go but was lucky the front group had run out of domestiques and Quintana, Nibali, Pinot and most other gc guys weren't daring to go on a 90 km break without any teammates.

Then Dumoulin dropped pretty much at the beginning of Piancavallo but Quintana and Nibali were so bad they got dropped by Pinot, Zakkarin and Pozzovivo while barely gaining a minute on Dumoulin.

Yeah, that stage was weird.
Yeah thought about writing something similar. That Giro was super weird all over the third week, predominantly cause Quintana and Nibali just weren't at the level you'd expect from them at that stage in the race. Add in some wonky stage designs (seriously Ortisei wtf was that), Nibs and Quintana being forced to make moves on like 10km at 6.5% climbs, etc. Dumoulin literally shitting (figureatively bricks) most of his lead away.

Then you have the Asiago stage, one of my low key most underrated stage desgins ideas in recent history (if they use a much harder road of the Monte Grappa) but Dumoulin still got dropped on Grappa and then came back.

Then final ITT which was basically over after 10km.
 
Yeah thought about writing something similar. That Giro was super weird all over the third week, predominantly cause Quintana and Nibali just weren't at the level you'd expect from them at that stage in the race. Add in some wonky stage designs (seriously Ortisei wtf was that), Nibs and Quintana being forced to make moves on like 10km at 6.5% climbs, etc. Dumoulin literally shitting (figureatively bricks) most of his lead away.

Then you have the Asiago stage, one of my low key most underrated stage desgins ideas in recent history (if they use a much harder road of the Monte Grappa) but Dumoulin still got dropped on Grappa and then came back.

Then final ITT which was basically over after 10km.
Retrospectively, how on earth did Dumoulin win that giro?
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I feel almost as if Fuglsang is making a statement here. As if he's saying "Who was seriously considering me to be a GC favorite? Did you people not notice i'm 35 years old and only once before in my life finished inside the top 10 of a GT, and that was 7 years ago?"

And you know what... i actually think he has a point!
Oh dear, without Tuesday's mishap he still would be in hot position to win the pink jersey 2017 Dauphine style!

A little bad luck and he gives up already. Misses the killer instinct apparently. If that's the pattern he follows from here on he won't even top 5 a grand tour he could easily still become runner up at least!

Partially that might be a reason for his poor gt palmares as well.

Just because he looks like a fashion model, Jakob doesn't need to challenge lovely Loulou for being the bigger princess!

(And I almost immediately want to apologize to her for that joke !)
 
That is a long way between the last two climbs... Hopefully NTT smash the bottom and riders start attacking before that flat section.

If they don't wait until the last few km then Almeida can be out of pink tomorrow.
 
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Nibali looked awful today. If there are any attacks from Pozzo/Fulgsang tomorrow he can sink like Titanic.

Almeida will also pay the iron price for today's effort.

American from UAE will follow Pogacar's footsteps.
 

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