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Sports-Pictorial.com
 

 

 

  Giro d'Italia Stage Detail

Stage Thirteen through Stage Sixteen
by Fabio

 

 

STAGE 13: MAY 25 (Saturday) - Chieti/San Giacomo (188 km.):
More detailed stage profile

The start is in Chieti, a city particularly appreciated by the Giro organizers, who selected it as stage finish nine times (before 2002 of course): in 1909 (Bolonia/Chieti - 378 KM. !!!!!. The winner was a rider named Giovanni Cuniolo twice italian Road Champion at the beginning of the century), 1920 (Jean Alavoin, a climber from Roubaix, 17 times stage winner at Le Tour), 1921 (time for a well-known winner, Costante Girardengo), 1923 (Girardengo again), 1933 (stage going to another legend of Italian Cycling, Alfredo Binda), 1946 (Vito Ortelli) 1962 (the winner was Belgian sprinter Rik Van Looy), 1974 (winner: Ugo Colombo) and 1979 (swiss Bruno Wolfer, minutes ahead of Tosoni and Saronni).

As for the 2002 stage, it is entirely held in the Abruzzo region, home of Danilo Di Luca and climber Vito "the chamois" Taccone, multiple stage winner in the 60s. The uphill finish to San Giacomo (Monti della Laga) is new to the Giro, but not to the ones among you who read the reports about "Trofeo dello Scalatore" ("Climber’s Trophy") at the end of August.

Actually that 3-stage race (organized by the same Giro’s "bosses" of Gazzetta dello Sport and RCS) was held of the Laga mountains, with the last effort up to San Giacomo itself. On that occasion Colombia’s Freddy "Speedy" Gonzàlez showed off his climbing skills in the very final part of the 11-km. ascent (average gradient about 6%, max. gradient going up to 14-15 %) and took both the stage anf the final win.

Will the small, 26-year-old Colombian (already winner of the KOM competition in last year’s Giro) be able to repeat victory and steal some celebrity to Santiago Botero ? That’s likely, provided his Selle-Italia team takes part in the Giro. But don’t forget Danilo Di Luca, he said he won’t go for a podium spot in Milan, but he is accustomed to perform well in front of his Abruzzese fans (just have a look at his palmares: more than half of his victories came in the Giro d’Abruzzo), and he could find the right motivations in this "home" stage.

Of course, also riders interested in the GC should not waste the chance this selective stage provides them, and make their try not only in the final ascent, but also in the previous ones: Pagliaroli (Km. 14.200 of climbing - average gradient 4,80%) and Ceppo (Km. 7,300 of climbing - average gradient 4,44%), both already experienced during the "Climber’s Trophy".

 

 

STAGE 14: MAY 26 (Sunday) - Numana/Numana (ITT - 30.3 km.): 
More detailed stage profile

If stage 13 was just "selective", this one could be decisive. A 30-km. Time Trial with an extremely demanding parcours, mostly going up and down the Appennine hills of the Marche region ("motherland" of American Cycling boss Fred Mengoni).

You will hardly find 1000 flat meters in this stage. On the contrary, according to "Gazzetta dello Sport" you would find "30.3 kilometres of mixed roads able to put in evidence for two thirds the ability of gear shifting by climbing uphill and for the rest the capacities on downhill roads ...". I couldn’t agree more, while I could disagree when they add " ... and on flat open country".

Where is the flat part ? Not right after the start, where riders immediately find a 700-meter ascent (gradient about 5%) preventing them from an excessively fast start. But the most difficult climbs of the first, mainly going uphill, half of the stage come later, their names being San Germano (Max. gradient about 13%) and Camerano. Curiously, the route is more or less the same one riders experienced in a similar ITT two years ago, but this time in the opposite direction.

The Camerano climb, at about halfway point of the stage, features the 600 toughest meters (15%); but former World Champion Maurizio Fondriest and Cantina Tollo’s Andrea Tonti, testing the route for RAI TV, said riders should use a big gear in order to leave this half-km. behind as soon as possible. Otherwise they could lose some decisive time here. Camerano could make the difference.

The following descent will take riders to the finish at Numana. So it’s very hard to find a flat section in today’s route, and this "double-faced ITT with one winner only", as the Gazzetta defined it, does not suit to specialists only, but also to riders in good shape aiming for either one-day glory or a presence in the final podium (or both).

After such an effort, time for a well-deserved rest day the riders will spend, after a new transfer, at Terme Euganee, not far from Padua in the Veneto region (home of many successful riders and countless amateurs). But should riders think about the coming stages, they would hardly sleep.

 

STAGE 15: MAY 28 (Tuesday) - Terme Euganee/Conegliano (158 km.): 
More detailed stage profile

As this is a flat stage, another (perhaps the last) chance for the likes of Cipollini, Quaranta, Leoni, before the race hits the terrible Dolomites. Conegliano proved to be sprinter’s territory also in 1977, when one of Italy’s fastest wheels (Pierino Gavazzi, father of two current riders, one of them a neopro in 2001) clinched the stage.

STAGE 16: MAY 29 (Wednesday) - Conegliano/Corvara in Val Badia (159 km.):
More detailed stage profile

A relatively short stage, but an extremely tough one, featuring more than 40 km. of climbing, divided into 4 ASCENTS:

- FORCELLA STAULANZA (altitude: 1773 meters - Km. 12,900 of climbing - average gradient 6,50%) (pictures);

- PASSO FEDAIA also known as "the Marmolada" (altitude: 2057 meters - Km. 13,700 of climbing - average gradient 7,7% , but the last 6500 metres, starting in Malga Ciapela, feature an average gradient of almost 10 %);

- PASSO PORDOI from Canazei (Altitude: 2239 meters - Km. 12,100 of climbing - average gradient 6,4%, going from 1465 to 2239 metres);

- PASSO CAMPOLONGO (mt. 1875) from Arabba - Km. 4 of climbing - average gradient 7 %, going from 1602 to 1875 metres).

All of them offering wonderful natural sceneries, but riders will hardly find the time to have a look at them.

The Pordoi is one of the few legendary climbs in a Giro lacking historical references. And it is also the "Cima Coppi" ("Coppi Summit"), the name always given to the highest pass of the Giro, of course as a tribute the the best Italian rider ever. The first cyclist to cross the line on the top of the Pordoi will get a special prize.

After the Campolongo, the (remained) riders will go all the way down to Corvara (a 6.5 km. descent you may see HERE); the finish is not uphill indeed, but the stage is definitely for the braves. Expect more than one sprinter to abandon today.

Should you go to watch the stage live on the spot, don’t forget your umbrella. Indeed all previous stages ending to Corvara were marked by bad weather and rain. In 1989, when Italy’s Flavio Giupponi dropped Laurent Fignon, in 1992 and 1993, with Indurain twice finishing as stage runner-up, the first time behind Vona, the second behind Chiappucci. El Diablo got one of the best wins of his career, with a spectacular and succcessful solo escape. Time for anybody else to repeat his exploit ? Or will top contenders take it as a rehearsal for what Maurizio Fondriest regards as "the hardest stage of the Giro", e.g. tomorrow’s 222 kilometres to Folgaria ?

 

 

Prologue to Stage Four

Stages Five to Eight

Stages Nine to Twelve

Stages Seventeen to Twenty

 

 


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