Let’s hope the pitstop at Imola has left the teams feeling revved up and ready to go, as these two stages take them ever closer to the Dolomites. (Anyone hear the theme tune from Jaws?) Don’t be fooled into thinking these are just transition stages though. This is the Giro and no stage of this year’s edition is just anything.
Thursday 21 May: Stage 12 – Imola to Vicenza, medium mountain, 190km
It’s medium mountain time again, but look at the way all three of the categorised climbs are back-loaded into the last 60km. The ascents are short but leg-breakingly steep. The gradients on the cat 3 climb to Crosara are reported to ramp up to 17%, and the uphill finish at Vicenza rears up to 10% along its 800 metres. The GC teams must stay alert on the tricky run in, however, the win will almost certainly come from the puncheurs. All the pieces are in place, expect another exciting stage.
Friday 22 May: Stage 13 – Montecchio Maggiore to Jesolo, flat, 147km
The route heads towards the Adriatic for the finish, and goodness me, will you look at that profile? It’s flat – really flat, without any uncategorised climbs! Any pure sprinters left will be donning their speed-suits in the morning and committing the final kilometre to memory. Expect rising tension among those sprint teams that have not yet taken a win, and the usual frenzied action as the peloton negotiate the roundabouts in the finishing straight. The GC guys will be happy for this short stage before the all-important time trial tomorrow.
Link: Official race website
Header image: Jesolo beach by Barbaragin under Flickr commons creative licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/sorriso-per-te/5975662080/