Moving on toe one of the more brutal mtt's in recent yearsEshnar said:Stage 19: Bassano Del Grappa - Cima Grappa 26.8 km MTT
The WWI monument at the top
Here it is, the key stage of the Giro. For the first time in the last 10 years at least, the most important stage is a MTT. The craziest MTT in the last 20 years period, the last one comparable in difficulty would be Sestriere 1993, even though it was an entirely different climb. The most similar to this one, anyway, is surely Mont Ventoux 1987. 27 km from Bassano to the top of the colossal Monte Grappa, 19 km at 8% average, with 8 km of a flat run-in. The Grappa can be divided in two parts, divided by an intermediate checkpoint: the first one features very constant gradients, and it's almost 12 km long at 7.4% average; the last part has irregular, steep slopes, 7.5 km at 8.9%.
What to expect:
Gaps. Big gaps. It will be very important to manage the effort correctly in the flat first part. A MTT really hard not only to ride, but also to plan. Who wins this wins the Giro, I have little doubts.