Stage 10: Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio, 167km, high mountains
Tough riding on tight roads, two Cat 1 climbs, will-sapping 16% gradients, narrow, technical descents, an uphill finish at Altopiano del Montasio with 20% sections – gird your loins, fellas, this is showtime. The final 11km are designed to break all but the strongest: hairpin bends, tunnels, narrow roads, and nearly 2km of 12%-plus gradients, including a maximum of 20%. It’s only in the last 2km that it eases off a touch.
This is going to be tough for everyone: tough for the stage-hunters and those who want to recover lost time – Bradley Wiggins, Ryder Hesjedal or Samuel Sanchez, say – but also just as tough for those seeking to defend their position such as Vincenzo Nibali. No one can hide behind their team for the whole day as teammates are whittled down on the final climb.
At the end of this monster stage, we will see who has both the legs and the resolve to be true contenders for the maglia rosa – the initial selection will be made today. If you’re on a bad day, just sit down and weep because there’s nothing else for it.
Link: Official website