Stage 19: Bourg-d’Oisans to Le Grand-Bornand, 204.5km, high mountains
It’s a long day in the mountains for the peloton, with five climbs that start right from the off. The first part of the stage has two monster hors catégorie climbs, the second half has three tricky climbs before a short descent into Le Grand Bornand. This might not be a summit finish but be under no illusions – this stage will blow the peloton apart. Continue reading
Stage 19: Ponte di Legno to Val Martello/Martelltal, 160km, high mountains
UPDATE 0840 BST: Today’s stage has been cancelled due to snow and extreme cold.
The Giro continues to be plagued by poor weather, as a result of which today’s stage has had to be rerouted at the expense of two of the race’s most iconic climbs, the Passo di Gavia and Passo dello Stelvio. Instead we have a longer route and two new climbs, the Passo del Tonale and Passo Castrin which, while not as high as those they replace, will still be extremely challenging in the anticipated cold conditions. The Tonale is ‘only’ classified as a cat 2 but is 8.3km long with an average gradient of 7.5%, rising to a maximum of 10%. The Castrin is deemed a cat 1 climb: similar in length to the Tonale at 8.4km but noticeably steeper with a 9.5% average including a section at 13%.
The final 55km is basically all uphill, culminating in the final 22km climb to the summit of Val Martello, which is making its Giro debut. It averages 6.4% but the steepest sections of 14% come towards the summit, either side of a lake-side plateau. Continue reading
Anything can happen in a three-week Grand Tour. One thing is for sure, however, there are more stages where a rider can lose this Giro than win it. Here are five stages that I think will be key to the final podium selection this year. Continue reading