• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Giro d'Italia Giro d'Italia 2024 Stage 17: Selva di Val Gardena/Wolkenstein in Gröden – Passo Brocon, 159.0k

Are we afraid to publish stage threads ahead of cancellations now?

Stage 17: Selva di Val Gardena/Wolkenstein in Gröden – Passo Brocon, 159.0k​

The Dolomites stage. It’s constantly up and down from the second climb onwards, but unfortunately proper gradients are few and far between aside from the first climb and the MTF.

The route



For the third stage in a row, the transfer has been negligible: in this case, the next village over. Selva/Wolkenstein was a Giro stage finish seven times between 1983 and 2000, most notably in 1998, when Pantani took the pink jersey, never to relinquish it. Situated at the base of the Sella Ronda, it is an important tourist destination even by Dolomite standards.


Speaking of the Sella, take a guess what climb we’re starting with. I’ll give a hint, it’s the final 8.9k of the profile below.


After descending into Canazei and leaving the bilingual area (my backslash key is grateful), the riders head down the Val di Fassa and into the Val di Fiemme, with the intermediate sprint in Predazzo. Here, they head up the long, two-stepped Passo Rolle, which would have a middling average gradient even if it didn’t have the flat middle part.


The descent is equally shallow, and backs into the very easy Passo Gobbera. By this point, the riders have left the Dolomites proper.


Following the Intergiro, it’s time for the first two ascents of the pass used for the MTF, each time from a different side. The first side is definitely the easier one. To illustrate how low the gradients of these climbs have been: this is the third climb in a row without a single kilometre over 8%.


The ensuing descent is the easiest of the three major ones on this stage. It brings the riders to the bonus sprint in Pieve Tesino, situated atop a little bonus ramp ahead of the actual MTF. Said MTF is once again made to look easier by the inclusion of an initial false flat, a more reflective figure would be 9.9k at 7.3%. With a central section of 4.5k at 9.6%, it may not be a monster MTF but it’s hard enough to do actual damage.



What to expect?

It could get really hectic given how little flat there is, but the low gradients that dominate prior to the MTF make it hard to force anything other than by ambush. But even without GC attacks before the final climb, gaps could be surprisingly large for an MTF of this size if the pace on the previous climbs has been high.
Final climb is like a 1:1 copy of Oropa tbh
This is significantly tougher imo. Oropa is a similar length and similar in that there's an easy opening, tougher middle, and bitty finish, but it's more irregular and the steep sections are always 1km to 1.5km at 9-10% followed by 1km or so of 5%. This is 5%, then 9.5% for 5km, flat, 1km at 9%, flat. There's 3km straight that's over 10%, which is not much like Oropa.
Podium isn't out of reach for Arensman and Tiberi really, looks like a classic raid stage, Ineos and Bahrain should have their roulers in the break

I got the impression today we finally might be witnessing the end of Thomas as a GT rider at the tender age of 38 however

Most of the forum;

Didn't he saying he's retiring at the end of 2025 ? No reason he couldn't grab another podium next season if the field is similar. Looks as though he will podium in this race based on what is happening with the riders behind him.