Giro d'Italia Giro d'Italia 2021 stage 16: Sacile - Cortina d'Ampezzo 212km

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Edit: 1 minute of silence for cycling





Ladies and gentelemen.

After 10 long years.

Fedaia is here

FEDAIAAAAAA!!!!!!!


Stage 16: Sacile – Cortina d’Ampezzo 212 km

Monday, May 24th, 10.50 CEST








Technical Overview:

The queen stage of this Giro comes on a Monday, rather unusually. A long and proper dolomitic stage going over classic climbs, as it was missing since 2016. Starting from Sacile, the riders will encounter the first climb of the day after only 10 km. La Crosetta (GPM1, 11.6 km at 7.1%) is a tough climb, quite long but steady. It should be perfect to see a hard battle to get into the breakaway. At the top the riders will find a plateau of 8 km, before a very fast descent, on a wide road and with very few technical sections, will bring them back to the Piave valley. Here they will head north-west, deep into the Dolomites but for now only following the Cordevole valley for about 70 km, all slightly ascending. Along this valley they will hit the first intermediate sprint in Agordo, at km 91, after which they will keep heading north to reach the foot of the Marmolada massif, in Caprile, at km 114. Here starts one of the most famous climbs in Italy, due to both its toughness and its beauty, well before it became a meme on this forum: the mythical Passo Fedaia (GPM1, 14 km at 7.6%). It is a climb that can be divided into three sections. The first section is the easiest, with very irregular slopes mixed with false flats. Here the peloton will find the second intermediate sprint in Rocca Pietore, and on this section the peloton would usually use a small old road that goes through the gorge of Sottoguda, probably the prettiest place cycling has ever visited. Sadly, the road was wrecked by a flood a few years ago, and the road has not been fully repaired yet, which means the peloton will ride above the gorge, on the modern road. Profile-wise it barely makes any difference, but scenery-wise it cannot even be compared. The second section of the climb starts at 5.5km from the top and is just as iconic as the gorge: the road turns right and becomes a crazy steep straight, 2.5 km long at almost 12%. Well ok, it is not totally straight, there are a few half-bends in the middle, but mostly straight. Finally, the last section is made of 3 km of hairpins, always just over 10%. At the top there is a 2.5 km plateau along a lake, and then a short but pretty technical descent that brings to the town of Canazei, directly at the beginning of the Cima Coppi of this edition. Passo Pordoi (Cima Coppi, 11.8 km at 6.8%) is not a particularly glamorous or hard climb, but even so is a very classic and famous one. It holds the record for being Cima Coppi more times than any other climb: this will be the 14th time. However, it is interesting to note that it has not been Cima Copy since 2002, almost 20 years ago. The climb itself is very regular, without any hard ramps, and still very pretty to look at, just not as much as Fedaia. The descent is very technical and might be an important point of the race. Unfortunately it leads to an irregular stretch 11.5 km long, including a 1 km ramp at 7% and a subsequent descent that bring to the uncategorized Colle S.Lucia (2 km at 7.2%). Here, a 3.5 km descent will bring the riders to the last and decisive climb of the day, the famous Passo Giau (GPM1, 9.9 km at 9.3%). It is a very constant climb, with gradients always around 9% all the time. The top of Giau is at 16.5 km to the finish, and its descent, fairly technical, is 14.5 km long. The last 2 km go into the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, which will host the winter Olympics in 2026. They are mostly flat, but the road does pick up the gradient at the end, with the home stretch being at about 5%.



Final Kilometers





The Climbs:

La Crosetta: GPM1, 11.6 km at 7.1%


A solid climb without particularly hard gradients. The plateau at the top, known as Cansiglio, has been rumoured since years to be involved in a stage, and finally the locals have gotten one.





Passo Fedaia: GPM1, 14 km at 7.6%

It has been 1000 years… well, 10, but still too many. It is since the stage to Gardeccia 2011 that Fedaia (also known as Marmolada) has not been featured in the Giro. Meanwhile, the Canyon of Sottoguda has been wrecked by a flood, and who knows when it will be ready again to host a race. Canyon or not, this climb has almost always seen some great action in the past. This year it will be unlikely, but we can still hope. This will be the 15th time the Giro passes here, the first time being in 1975.





Passo Pordoi: Cima Coppi, 11.8 km at 6.8%

The most frequent Cima Coppi of all (13 times out of 35 total passages), by virtue of being the highest peak in an area very often traversed by the Giro. Besides the (not even that crazy) altitude, it is quite an unassuming climb, with steady gradients but with a stunning scenery at the top. It was featured in the Giro for the first time in 1940, with Gino Bartali himself going first over the top.





Passo Giau: GPM1, 9.9 km at 9.3%

Another mythical climb, with consistently high gradients all the way up. Missing in the Giro since 2016. It will only be the 9th time the Giro passes here. The first time was in 1973, with José Manuel Fuente reaching the top first.







What to expect:

It is the queen stage, expectations will be high. The false flats between Pordoi and S.Lucia could be a problem though. Fedaia is way too far from the finish to see attacks from the big favourites, but maybe second-tier GC guys could light it up early. The breakaway composition will be extremely important, as domestiques might try to sneak into it and help possible early attacks by the captains on Fedaia or especially Pordoi. If nothing of the sort occurs, it will be just a war of attrition until the Giau, that will decide the stage. Either way I doubt this stage will be totally decisive for the GC, as there are still many mountains to come.





Serrai di Sottoguda, Passo Fedaia
 
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For me the dolomites being back is almost bigger news than Fedaia being back. Sure, Fedaia being missing from the race for 10 years is bad, but the last time we even saw the dolomites at all was back in 2017 (with the last time we had a dolomites stage that wasn't garbage being in 2016) and for a region that before almost annually hosted giro stages that's honestly really bad. I'm trying not to get too hyped but it's honestly hard. It will probably all come down to the Giau (except if Trek tries something, which they might) but even then the Giau should be a bloodbath. Over 200km, 4 really hard climbs, 3 going beyond 2000m, time gaps will be measured in minutes. It's gonna be beautiful.
 
For me the dolomites being back is almost bigger news than Fedaia being back. Sure, Fedaia being missing from the race for 10 years is bad, but the last time we even saw the dolomites at all was back in 2017 (with the last time we had a dolomites stage that wasn't garbage being in 2016) and for a region that before almost annually hosted giro stages that's honestly really bad. I'm trying not to get too hyped but it's honestly hard. It will probably all come down to the Giau (except if Trek tries something, which they might) but even then the Giau should be a bloodbath. Over 200km, 4 really hard climbs, 3 going beyond 2000m, time gaps will be measured in minutes. It's gonna be beautiful.
Pretty much.

The good thing is no team seems crazy strong. The bad thing is who in seven hells is gonna risk everything? Worst case scenario should still make a pretty good stage.

It's stage 20 that's extremely underwhelming.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Wonder if Caruso thinks of some big moves considering his position and form. The descent off Pordoi with its (most likely wet) around 35 switchbacks could be quite important. Some quite active GC guys have teammates like Nibali and Bilbao who are renown descenders. it's not like it will achieve anything besides maybe dropping Eventpoll for good but it would be a more interesting stage than just a 2012 copy.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Wonder if Caruso thinks of some big moves considering his position and form. The descent off Pordoi with its (most likely wet) around 35 switchbacks could be quite important. Some quite active GC guys have teammates like Nibali and Bilbao who are renown descenders. it's not like it will achieve anything besides maybe dropping Eventpoll for good but it would be a more interesting stage than just a 2012 copy.
Caruso would sign right now for a podium spot at the Giro!
The answer is no chance.
 
Epic stage with epic views. The cyclists will ride among most stunning scenery in pro-cycling. Mamooth towers of Agner (near Agordo), Civetta (near Alleghe), Marmolada (near Fedaia), Sassolungo (above Canazei), Sella (near Pordoi) as well as Tofane, Sorapiss and Cristallo (seen when descending from Giau to Cortina). I don't know who will win but Remco would have won had he started the race! Oh wait...
 
Yeah, if they drill the Pordoi descent and keep on riding afterwards Remco is screwed. That said, he's probably gonna loose a ton of time on the Giau ascent and close to 1min on the descent...
If Trek want to get rid of him they should have Nibali going all out on the Pordoi descent with Ciccone on his wheel.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan

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