Giro d'Italia 2020, Stage 17: Bassano del Grappa – Madonna di Campiglio 203 km

Mountains. Lots of mountains. Will Almeida finally lose the jersey? Will Nibali matter? Will Kelderman remember he's Kelderman?
Stage 17: Bassano del Grappa – Madonna di Campiglio 203 km
Wednesday, October 21st, 10:20 CEST





Technical Overview:
A very weird mountain stage. The first half of it is extremely hard, while the second is much easier although the total altitude gain is still impressive. Starting from Bassano the peloton will head into the mountains fairly quickly, as the first categorized climb starts after 40 km of relatively flat roads. Forcella Valbona (GPM1, 21.9 km at 6.6%) has never been climbed in the Giro from this side. It is a very long and steady climb that will presumably feature a hard battle for the formation of the break of the day. Its descent has actually been raced in the Giro once: it’s the mythical Passo Coe, that was the decisive MTF of the 2002 Giro. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should definitely check it out. As a descent, it’s a rather long and fast one, with some technical sections especially at the end.
At the bottom there are only 10 km of flat before reaching the town of Aldeno and starting to climb again. This time is the even more mythical Monte Bondone (GPM1, 20.2 km at 6.8%), a classic climb that rose to fame thanks to the epic 1956 stage and was missing in the Giro since 2006. This side is different than the usual one though: while the classic side is extremely regular, this one features two harder ramps broken up by a false flat section. The descent is again long and quite technical at the end.
After reaching the bottom, a short ramp and a false flat will bring to the first intermediate sprint in Ponte Arche and then to the third climb of the day, Passo Durone (GPM3, 10.4 km at 6%), which would deserve something more than a third category, but does nevertheless pale in comparison to the first two climbs. A fast descent brings then to the worst part of the stage, a 17 km ascending false flat (with the second intermediate sprint in Caderzone Terme) leading into the final climb. Madonna di Campiglio (GPM1, 12.5 km at 5.7%) is a pretty steady and easy climb. The last time they arrived here, in 2015, they climbed beyond the town, with a few more steep kilometers. This year they won’t do that, and the stage will finish basically on a 2.5 km false flat.



The Climbs:
Forcella Valbona: GPM1, 21.9 km at 6.6%

Never used in the Giro from this side. It’s long and pretty regular, without very steep ramps. Still quite a tough climb. The other side is the mythical Passo Coe, used only once, in 2002.


Monte Bondone: GPM1, 20.2 km at 6.8%
One of the absolute classics. This side was used in the stage to Andalo 1973, when Merckx won. But the iconic one is the northern side, the one made immortal by the 1956 stage in which Gaul won by over 8 minutes under a huge blizzard. Last time they raced here, in 2006, Basso crushed the field.


Passo Durone: GPM3, 10.4 km at 6%
A rather average climb, which looks worse compared to the first two.


Madonna di Campiglio: GPM1, 12.5 km at 5.7%
Infamous to cycling fans since 1999, It’s a rather easy climb that gets even easier at the end.


What to expect:
As much as I would love this to play out differently, I can only foresee a big break of the day that will take the win and some skirmishes between the GC favourites on the last climb. A proper attack here would require a team to set a serious pace throughout the stage and I don’t think many will be willing to do it, considering what’s in store tomorrow.


Madonna di Campiglio
 
Yeah it looks most likely to be another day for a break to take the win. Only Sunweb and DQS seem to have the strength to set up attacks, and they don't have to try anything before Madonna di Campiglio. And obviously with thursday being harder, they won't.

How many mountain points are on offer on the stage? Guerrero and Visconti must be a little spend after today, so it could be a good chance for a new rider to join the competition.
 
I was in Bassano this summer (maybe stupid, Corona etc. but I was very careful), one of my most favourite places I've ever visited, such a beautiful, fun little city. I hope it's televised from the start so I can see the peloton pass through.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
The succession of four mountains might be too much for Almeida, although the climbs by themselves aren't that tough. I think the GC guys will ride conservatively until the final climb, because a tougher stage is coming on Thursday. The winner will probably come from the break. Maybe Harm Vanhoucke.
 
However they gonna be racing tomorrow, I think Stelvio, the day after, will be on everybody's mind... So unless, some GC contenders go bonkers and decide to push it, I'll give it to a breakaway... No idea who though... No matter what Visconti and Guerreiro will try anyway to be in it;)
 
Reactions: Giro1914
To be honest, for an ambush this stage is actually a lot better than the Stelvio one as Stelvio is close enough to the finish that it's basically solely gonna be about who has the best legs on that climb already. Here things are a bit different. If someone like Nibali attacks on the Bondone Kelderman will not be willing to chase himself which provides the chance for a group of attackers to form. The problem is of course that you must not completely exhaust yourself here to end up gaining nothing or only a few seconds and that's why I don't think Nibali/Fuglsang and the likes are gonna be willing to go for it.
 
I have been fascinated by this stage since the presentation of the route.
Now, of course there is a 80% chance that nothing happens until the final climb. It's still more than 60 kms after the end of the Bondone descent, the day after is the Queen stage, the teams are weak, etc.
But the first two climbs are just so great, and a perfect combo. If you want to go creative, this is your best chance. In other words, that 20% chance of a stage for the ages will be enough to keep me glued to sofa&tv. (#workingfromhome)
 
To be honest, for an ambush this stage is actually a lot better than the Stelvio one as Stelvio is close enough to the finish that it's basically solely gonna be about who has the best legs on that climb already. Here things are a bit different. If someone like Nibali attacks on the Bondone Kelderman will not be willing to chase himself which provides the chance for a group of attackers to form. The problem is of course that you must not completely exhaust yourself here to end up gaining nothing or only a few seconds and that's why I don't think Nibali/Fuglsang and the likes are gonna be willing to go for it.
It's not high, it's only after 3 hours, it's not Nibali territory. I think what he might do is attack Bondone and just see if anyone wants to roll with it, and maybe when he's chased down Almeida's dropped or something but I press (x) for doubt.

I still don't believe in a win or suddenly being best on Stelvio, but I have more hope for simply a good, aggressive showing later on.
 
It's not high, it's only after 3 hours, it's not Nibali territory. I think what he might do is attack Bondone and just see if anyone wants to roll with it, and maybe when he's chased down Almeida's dropped or something but I press (x) for doubt.

I still don't believe in a win or suddenly being best on Stelvio, but I have more hope for simply a good, aggressive showing later on.
Somebody needs to tell Pozzo his only chance to end up on the podium is to attack on Bondone, if all hell breaks loose there, then... Realistically, Nibali's shot is Stelvio and pray that Agnello will still be on the menu for a final showdown with destiny.
 
Somebody needs to tell Pozzo his only chance to end up on the podium is to attack on Bondone, if all hell breaks loose there, then... Realistically, Nibali's shot is Stelvio and pray that Agnello will still be on the menu for a final showdown with destiny.
My expectation. Nibali goes off on Stelvio, getting 2nd behind random breakaway rider, sowing it's still possible to win.

Agnello then gets canceled.
Yes I was asked to help D&D make seasn 8 of GoT worse but I did refuse that one and I had nothing to do with that
 

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