Giro stage 5 preview

 Stage 5: Cosenza to Matera, 203km, flat

The GC boys and overall leader Luca Paolini should be able to enjoy a fairly quiet day after the excitement of the last two days. as the sprinters will be back in business on this flat stage which goes up the Ionian coast. (Watch out for possible crosswinds again). It won’t be an easy finish, though. There’s a short, sharp kick-up in the form of the cat 4 Montescaglioso 20km out. Then after a short descent an uphill run into Matera will drain the legs of the speed demons vying for the stage win.

A pair of 90-degree left-handers either side of the flamme rouge will need to be safely negotiated before the final straight, a 750-metre drag with a not insignificant gradient which could make life difficult for speedsters such as  Mark Cavendish versus more powerful men such as John Degenkolb and Matthew Goss. That’s assuming, of course, that the tempo on the Montescaglioso hasn’t already weeded out some of the sprinters.

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Link: Official website

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