Giro Stage 10 Preview

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

How was your rest day? The Giro resumes with a hilly and draining 219km stage, probably one for the breakaway specialists.

The Route: 219km and hardly a metre of flat. The opening phase past Prato and Pistoia has probably generated more pro cyclists than the entire length of several other stages of the Giro. Then begins the Passo della Collina, 700m of vertical gain but as the name suggests – “Hill Pass” it’s not terrifying, only a Categoria 3, the lowest level of climb and it does have a gentle and regular gradient, 12km at 5.3%, it used to be a major highway from one side of Italy to another until the Autostrada arrived. Next is the climb to Pietracolora, 8.7km at steeper at 6%. They pass the feed zone and head for the hardest part of the stage as the race heads deep into the north Appenines and a road that’s constantly changing in gradient, from the macro as it scales the hills to the micro with its cracks and bumps.

Pian del Falco might sound familiar, it was used in 2014 when they climbed here and went from Sestola to Pian del Falco and beyond to finish on the Passo del Lupo. Like the climb to Aremogna the other day this isn’t fierce, steep slopes are interspersed by more level moments but by now the riders have done 200km and then the last few kilometres are 10% for several kilometres, brief but the longest sustained climb in the race so far. It’s followed by a tricky descent making for a selective moment in race and a chance for the GC contenders to wage war.

Sestola

The Finish: 7.5km at 5%, a big ring climb with a wide, regular road that twists through the forest, it’s easy to get out of sight here. The steady gradient continues all the way to the finish line.

Tim Wellens

The Contenders: there’s a good chance we get two races for the price of one. The distance, the early climbs and the difficult terrain make this ideal terrain for a breakaway to go clear and for the bunch to struggle with a chase meaning a second contest behind among the GC riders.

For the breakaway Tim Wellens comes to mind, as does Alessandro De Marchi, Rein Taaramäe and Stefano Pirazzi as they’re all powerful riders who can churn out the power for hours. Can we add Giovanni Visconti to the list, he knows this area very well after moving here since he was a teenager, quitting Sicily to race in this cycling-mad region but he could be on team duty for Movistar? Many will have bookmarked this part of the Garibaldi, the road book, because it’s so well suited to a breakaway. Wellens might have less room for manoeuvre now but he has good cause to get in a early move as he’s wearing the mountains jersey and the two early climbs.

Valverde

Among the GC riders Alejandro Valverde is suited to a finish like this, the sprint from a group. Diego Ulissi too but he’s looked marginally off the pace since his stage win. Maybe Ilnur Zakarin tries to take flight on the Pian del Falco climb in order to take back time but equally his crash injuries could see him nurse himself over the next couple of days.

Alejandro Valverde, Tim Wellens, Rein Taaramäe
Visconti, Pirazzi, Moser, Jungels, Kruijswijk, Landa

Weather: sunny in the plains with a top temperature of 21°C but cooler and cloudier later on in the stage with a top temperature of 14°C at the finish, possibly just 11°C according to one forecast.

TV: the finish is forecast for 5.15pm Euro time, tune in with an hour to go catch all the climbing action to the Pian del Falco, the technical descent and then the finish.

As ever Eurosport is covering the race across most of Europe; beIN SPORT has the rights in the US and France while Italian host broadcaster RAI offers the best coverage with experienced commentators as well as roving reporters riding on motorbikes to add extra coverage during the ride. Cyclingfans.com, cyclinghub and steephill.tv are the go-to sites for schedules and pirata feeds.

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Peter May 17, 2016 at 7:59 am

What about Adam Hansen? He wouldn’t be required to be working for Greipel on a stage like this and is strong in a break. Too steep?

Psychlist May 17, 2016 at 1:45 pm

My thoughts exactly.

Harri May 17, 2016 at 8:25 am

Looking at Guys That are way Down on GC that could fight for the Stage: Wellens is obvious, Cunego Might try his luck here( Gonna need the Stars to Align for him in this Case), Movistar will probably try and Get 2 Guys in the Break( just in case if the break doesn’t make it Valverde will have Amador & 2 additional guys to “Lead Him Out” on the Final Climb). Among GC Guys: Valverde is Obvious, along with Ulissi. Maybe Brambilla will Hang on( or get back on decent if dropped on Pian Del Falco) and keep pink for another day. Crossing Fingers that Dumoulin still has motivation to fight for Pink( i know a pipe dream, as hes had 2 bad days before the rest day). Landa and Nibali?, They are either ready to assert dominance over the rest of the field this week or they are gonna wait until next week( with Agnello, Risoul, Vars, Bonette, and Lombarda to tackle in the last 2 stages).

Gazelle CM May 17, 2016 at 9:36 am

Dumoulin had one bad day. His timetrial in the wet wasn’t bad at all, he gained on all the toppers. Hopefully his bum will get better, it will be a long day in the saddle today.

Harri May 17, 2016 at 10:01 am

Time Trial i was expecting him to be much higher at the end, as he was teetering up and down at the time checks throughout the 40.5k course. It was an Okay Time Trial, but not good still(for a guy like Tom who’s a specialist in this discipline) . Im hoping with the bum issues he still has a little fight in him to win( or top 5) in the giro.

Herman van Springel May 17, 2016 at 10:58 am

Forget “Butterfly” Tom. He is preparing for Rio, anyway. Take a close look at Kruijswijk, he is progressing since his perfomance last year, and has a solid team built around him. He really was prepared for this Giro. Vai,Steven!

Harri May 17, 2016 at 11:09 am

Steve K, well it depends on if he’s still holding this good form that’s kept him up there in week one for the next 2 weeks. Tom, I know he’s focusing on Rio( which is 2 1/2 months away) but he needs to focus on the Present( which is the Giro). Let’s see if the Rest Day has allowed him to recover and continue fighting for pink in today’s stage or not.

J Evans May 17, 2016 at 8:41 am

How is the descent between the last two climbs?

Harri May 17, 2016 at 8:49 am

Really Tricky Apparently, i wonder who will go balls to the wall on the descent among the GC Guys?

J Evans May 17, 2016 at 8:53 am

Ta. Let’s hope someone goes for it – Nibali probably will and Valverde will follow. How is Landa’s descending?

Richard S May 17, 2016 at 9:27 am

Juan Antonio Flecha seems to think Brambilla is the best descender in the field. How about Quick Step send a couple of riders in the break, Brambilla attacks off the descent and then gets a hand up the last climb to snatch another 20-30 seconds?!

Harri May 17, 2016 at 9:40 am

Verona and De La Cruz WON’T Be allowed to get into a break as they are still close enough in GC to be considered a threat. But they might be useful assets going up Pian Del Falco and going down if they are still there at the top to make sure Brambilla Keeps the Pink Jersey

Harri May 17, 2016 at 9:34 am

I’m going to assume that Landa Descends really well. Stage 3 2016 Giro Del Trentino proves that. If Valverde and Nibs decide to try and go and put Landa into difficulty on the climb(Pian Del Falco) and Descend like mad; it’s not a good combination for Landa( unless if he can follow with ease without help from a teammate) once the road tilts back upwards( as he’ll surely be exhausted from the effort of trying to stay with those two going up Falco and Descending it)

J Evans May 17, 2016 at 10:37 am

I think Landa can climb as well as Nibali and Valverde.

Harri May 17, 2016 at 10:46 am

@JEvans Yeah he’s on Paper the Best Pure Climber in the Race, but the Mountains Landa will definitely thrive in aren’t until week 3. He’ll need teammates in this scenario so he can stay fresh for any possible Nibali and Valverde attacks(or accelerations) that could occur( going up the mountain or descending downwards)

noel May 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

so this Katusha thing….. is this the start of a big Russian ‘you can trust us now’ narrative to try and rebuild some sporting credibility?

…or just a DS falling out with a rider and deciding he’s had enough?

Gian May 17, 2016 at 12:30 pm

It’s an interesting one. From reading what the rider has come out with it seems to me like more of the latter but who knows.

Tim May 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

I’ll pick the second one. Disregarding team orders seems serious enough if you’re the DS, but given that it was a time trial there are really only two orders to follow.
1 – Go hard
2- Go soft

Given that he was >16m down, he had no GC options.

Drafting someone means he likely took it easy, which means that Katusha want to win the team competition? Either that or the team said to stop and he didn’t…

J Evans May 17, 2016 at 7:57 pm

PR.

Anonymous May 17, 2016 at 8:03 pm

It is just nonsense to say “he disrespected teamorders”. Which teamorders for an ITT? There was no car following him, so nobody gave him any instructions he could disobey during the ride. Sending him home with an official shaming like a schoolboy from his 1. GT is crazy, totally inappropriate. Guess there are different teaminside reasons behind it. The way his DS went nuts in the interview, he was near deuntegrating, I guess it was either an ongoing fight between them or something different. I am seriously disturbed by this way of dealing with a rider.

Nick May 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm

It’s probably a bit of PR and a bit of disobeying orders. What orders could those be for an ITT? Well, they could require their earlier riders to go out a particular intensity over particular sections, so that Zakarin could have had a better understanding of what was required to perform well (other than staying upright). Drafting another rider would make that completely ineffective.

Matt May 17, 2016 at 11:11 am

I think it’s unlikely that Pirazzi would be allowed in the break, he’s still top 20, and did a very good TT (for him). Possibly the same for Formolo

I’d got for a breakaway win for someone like Anton, Attapuma, or Nieve

Harri May 17, 2016 at 11:19 am

Nieve and Anton Too Close still( if they were 20mins+ they would be allowed the freedom to chase after a stage win). Atapuma, same boat as Nieve and Anton( for now), maybe once he’s too far down on time he’ll chase after a mountain stage from a breakaway

Ecky Thump May 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm

I think that the pace will be high again today.
After today’s stage, there’s only probably 6 x mountainous days (including the uphill TT) that can significantly affect GC.
Discounting Amador, there’s around 30″ dividing the GC contenders.
Bonus seconds assume great importance – Zakarin needs them, Landa could do with them.
The others know this, and will obviously try to deny them.

It will be interesting to see who drives the pace today in the peloton – Movistar, Sky, Katusha maybe Giant Alpecin?
Lotto NL Jumbo and Astana could sit on? Does Nibali need to do anything silly today?

Harri May 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Gonna be Up to Movistar and Astana for the most part to set the pace throughout the stage today as they are the two strongest teams in the race. Giant, if they send a few guys into the break that’s gonna mean that Dumoulin is gonna continue his GC challenge. Landa, depends if any Sky teammates will be there with him when the GC group is narrowed down to 15-25? Riders. Plus I’d also keep an eye on Etixx too( as Brambilla, Jungles, De La Cruz, and Verona seem like a decent group of “climbers” for this team that will be wanting to defend the leaders jersey for another day)

J Evans May 17, 2016 at 8:46 pm

‘Discounting Amador’ – why? Something happens to Valverde, a la Landa, and Amador’s their man. And is a distinct possibility for a podium.

Harri May 17, 2016 at 10:40 pm

Movistar Know that Amador is going very strongly in this race so far. But they know that the main objective for them is to win the Giro With Valverde. Amador will probably still get a top 5( or maybe a podium?), but he has to sacrifice his own ambition of winning the Giro to fulfill the teams goal( in English if Amador and Valverde are both riding to win without working for the other; then neither of them will win, and settle for a 2nd and 3rd place finish).

Augie March May 17, 2016 at 11:14 am

Probably will see both Wellens and Cunego try to get in a move as the KOM competition heats up. Both are 35 minutes down on GC so are no threat.

Joe K. May 17, 2016 at 11:16 am

Valverde, Jungels, Landa, Dumoulin, Nibali and another Italian, perhaps Domenico, will follow a Nippo Vini Fantini rider, perhaps Bongiorno, the Italian solo specialist, to the line today, finishing in that order. Don’t take Dumoulin out of the equation yet. He looks like the Cannibal for crying out loud!

Grant May 17, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Landa abandoned

Anonymous May 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm

I like his chances today

thierry mtl May 17, 2016 at 4:10 pm

20 k after a day off…. Weird context for an early exit.
Sunday he was saying : “It went really well, losing so little time to a specialist like Dumoulin is really important, and I’m very optimistic for the days to come”.
It is a strange year since the beginning for Landa. From sickness to high performance since february 3 months. Never now what to expect. Maybe the Sky will fall on is head.

CM May 17, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Tough luck. But I reckon Brailsford is whistling in the dark when he says there is still plenty of time for Sky to make an impression on this Giro now that Landa has gone through gastroenteritis. Of the seven still standing Roche is well adrift of the leaders, but maybe has a stage win in him?

Excellent and entertaining racing from the Etixx men and Brambilla for a red number if the Giro truly had them.

Movistar are looking ominous.

J Evans May 17, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Big blow for the neutral to lose Landa.

Michael May 18, 2016 at 12:53 am

Brambilla catching back on on the descent and then deciding to selflessly put all his eggs in the Jungels basket for Etixx is, to me, one of the GT highlights of the last few years. Pure class campione, chapeau!

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