Giro Stage 10 Preview

The Giro resumes and a day packed with sharp climbs in the finish.

Rest day review: who is going to win the Giro? “Open” is the word used in several languages to describe the situation, there’s no overwhelming favourite. Vincenzo Nibali might have rank and seniority but each time the road’s gone uphill he’s lost time to Wilco Kelderman and the Dutchman is superior in the time trials, he’s the rider to beat. Nibali though has got eyes and ears on others, he played down the rivalry with Jacob Fulgsang, saying the Dane’s newspaper column is “spice” created by the media but all the same we could see Nibali marking Fuglsang just as he marked Roglič in last year’s Giro. But predictions are premature, it’s Tuesday and there might not be much GC action until Saturday’s Valdobbiadene time trial and Sunday’s Piancavallo stage. Meanwhile it’s still too early to do weather forecasts beyond but a large low pressure zone is set to dominate northern Italy and the Alps, if stays there will be trouble. There could be more too with the results due from Covid tests conducted on the rest day.

The Route: 177km up the Adriatic coast. Instead of passing through Pescara the race heads inland to Chieti for some climbing, the first of several “walls” to be scaled today, before dropping back to the coast for some recovery riding and then taking in a hilly finishing circuit around Tortoreto Lido. This has four walls between 900 metres and 3.1km in length and with ramps ranging between 10-20% but arguably the defining feature of the circuit is more the vertical gain than the steep walls, the circuit is tilted to the climbers.

The Finish: a flat finish on the seafront.

The Contenders: a day for the punchy riders and some of the GC contenders. Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos) is the prime pick, punchy for the climbs and with a good sprint. Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates) could be close but he’s less good at the repeat climbs and the flat finish isn’t what he’d design. . Atilla Valter (CCC) is another to watch, Andrea Vendrame (Ag2r La Mondiale) too.

Michael Matthews has a chance but his Sunweb team are all in for Wilco Kelderman’s GC bid so he’s got less resources, but they can spare some energy today, the problem is coping with the climbing but he can hope to get back on if dropped is out following a Covid-19 test . Once upon a time Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) would have been the three-chainring certainty but not any more but if he can shadow moves on the climbs he can sprint and win because the faster sprinters will have gone

The descent and flat finish makes it harder for the GC riders to win the stage outright, if they get to the finish with some beefier riders they should be outsprinted. João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quickstep) is handy for today’s finish and so is his team mate Fausto Masnada. Jacob Fuglsang (Astana) should enjoy today’s finish too.

Jhonatan Narvaez, Diego Ulissi, Jacob Fuglsang
Sagan, Matthews, Swift, Felline, Masnada, Valter, Vendrame

Weather: cool and mainly cloudy, 16°C with a NW wind at 15km/h.

TV: the finishing circuit starts around 3.00pm CEST and the stage should end around 4.30pm CEST.

38 thoughts on “Giro Stage 10 Preview”

  1. How about Ben Swift for today? He’s been climbing very well indeed, and it would be great to see him take a big win…though I imagine he’ll be on team duty either to help Narvaez or to shepherd Tao…

  2. Busy Sunday, WvA & MvP testing out game theory and Cav contemplating no more racing (hope he races on Wednesday) in Belgium. In Italy the race works it way up the Adriatic coast whilst the GC contenders worry about elephant traps and virus before the mountains come into view. Wilko Kelderman is looking good though I dont think any conclusions can be drawn from a wet and miserable autumn day in the Apennines. There is a case that the “real” race starts on Saturday and anyone within 2 minutes or so of the lead is in with a shout.

    it would be good to see Michael Matthews take a win today but a lot of luck needed.

    The weather forecast is pretty good, some more snow on the Stelvio on Thursday but then dry and (unsurprisingly) cold. Should be plenty of time to clear the road though there is a Föhn storm forecast for the day the race is due over the pass, interesting spot for echelons!

    • After watching G-W I cant decide whether WVA and MvdP will mark each other out of Flanders and allow someone else to win or if on the longer, harder course it will come down to a straight mano a mano joust between the two of them a la Boonen and Cancellara in 2010.

  3. Another breakaway stage today I would wager. Someone from Ineos is bound to be in it, they always seem to be. Beyond that it could be anyone.

    Although it’s a long way off I’ve just had a look at a webcam at the top of the Stelvio looking down the pass. It’ll either be very interesting or cancelled!

  4. Another rider, Steven Kruijswijk, who didnt quite perform as expected tests positive. Given the number of positive tests it is becoming more difficult to see how long the race can continue. Lots of crossed fingers!

  5. Jos van Emden has been very vocal in the Giro organisation’s protocols at the hotels. With teams sharing restaurant dining halls not only with Giro staff but the general public. I’d love to see the true data modelling in the areas where the Tour and Giro have raced through, and if there isn’t a correlation with the infection rate I’d be surprised. Going forward to 2021 it won’t look good if that is the case. Had Wilco K down fir a podium finish as well

    • Brent Bookwalter had made similar observations concerning organisation at team hotels. Bubbles have limited value if not consistently respected. Surely the Vuelta will not take place with current growth of cases across Europe.

    • This could be a problem. A reminder of the UCI guidelines which state “Each team will be grouped on a single floor (or a wing of the hotel), with a reserved and independent dining room. The staff of each hotel must be informed of individual preventive measures (room cleaning, physical distancing, hand washing, wearing a mask during service, etc.)”… and the race has to nominate an expert in infectious diseases to oversee and enforce this.

      • I saw his comments and the first thing to cross my mind was “another rider who overestimates the power of the UCI”. How much leverage do the UCI actually have over race organisers when it comes to the details of what should be done? I notice you say the race has to nominate someone to enforce, which puts it on the shoulders of the organiser.

    • Matt White indicated that the riders were sort of separate and eating from there own cook but the team staff was not and eating in the common restaurant.

      • I wonder, then, with so many positives if they’ll increase the testing frequency to try and catch positives that could not have been caught by the weekend’s tests, given the range of incubation times, etc.

  6. The tension between Nibali and Fuglsang will be interesting to follow. Fuglsang seems to ride – and write his newspaper column – with the same remarkable confidence and calmness as when he won his monuments. Makes sense for Nibali to launch his trademark psychological warfare probably knowing how fragile Fuglsang often was before his renaissance.

    • As a dane i read the tabloid collum. Its defenately Fuglsang who is doing the psychological warfare and back home he is heavyly criticised by former Pro’s with decades of knowlagde of Italian cycling.

      …he has also critized teamates (incl Borao), talked trash about Sicily and his own teamcar/weatherman.

      Fear back home is that he is about the alienate all Italy and his own team which despite the Kazakh registration, money, Schäfer, Vinokurov & Fofonov is very much an italian based team (service course & and equipment sponsor is heartland italian as well).

      It will be interesting to follow – lets hope both of them will keep clear of covid-19. Jakob has spend most of his youth in Italy and is by now just as Italian/Luxenbourgish than he is danish so i assume he knows what he is doing and what the risk is. Nibali is not a person who forgets and he is possibly the most popular superstar internally in the pro peloton and in Italy in general he is a top 5 superstart accross all sports. On the other hand they know each other very well and raced more with each other when both where with Astana than they rode with anyone else – dont know if they are still close friends but their wifes still are.

      It will be fun and personaly i have been looking forward to this duel since before the start of the 2011 Vuelta.

  7. Interested to know what happens with a 5minute breakaway when it gets to repeated laps of a 3.1km finishing circuit. Or if theres an autobus aiming to beat the cut.
    Shades of A and B summer crit races in the local park and the comm trying to let one race pass another…

  8. Why didn’t RCS follow the same protocols as ASO?
    When something works it’s stupid not to do the same thing. (We’ve seen this a lot with COVID: why don’t the western nations simply do what some Asian countries have done?)

        • No, ASO didn’t test every day. MOst teams did internal tests daily or at lest a few tests a week in TDF.

          Im surprised that Sky, Orica, Rabobank & Giant has not tested internally in the Giro – assume neither of the teams thought they really had a candidate who could win it. (includes Thomas).
          For Trek & Asatana the Giro was the main goal of the season since jan 1st. (Treks 2nd goal was the cobbled classics with Mads P’s world champion jersy). TDF was just 2nd or 3rd goal…

    • RCS should have adjusted the race to meet protocols… Sounds like the reality of this race is they are running it as a normal giro and praying there are no outbreaks. Technically they have already had an outbreak!

      • I have a great deal of faith in Jos van Emden (the riders should form their own union – one that works – with him at the helm), and he has heavily criticised how things are at the Giro. Many others seem to have done so too.

        • Great idea in theory, but we both know it won’t happen. ASO is too powerful.

          With that being said, ASO did the race correctly and safely. RCS is taking way too many risks. People cite the different budgets of the two races, however with that being said RCS should have made adjustments to the cost structure in order to cover the extra testing and protocols fees. These could have been urgent and immediate cost changes, with the message that “We won’t hold the race unless we can make the following changes”:

          ~ Team sizes shrink to 4 riders (for example), each rider gets their own room
          ~ 50% of Prize money is allocated to testing
          ~ Shrink stage sizes in order to reduce risk of public being infected
          ~ Change the race from a full Tour of an entire country to a mini-stage race of one region with a stationary home base that has a dedicated bubble for each team

          These are just examples, but without them the race will continue to have positive cases and it will look awful for our sport. Plus, some athletes will risk long term lung damage… too bad it won’t affect their careers… oops, wait a second…

    • “When something works it’s stupid not to do the same thing.“ Oh, how right you are and not only for bicycle racing.

      I hope the race continues with no more positives and that the infected get well and have no lasting effects.

  9. Very unlikely that we won’t see more positive cases; very unlikely that this race reaches Milan.
    I can’t even see it making it to the mountains on Sunday. The victory shouldn’t be awarded if they don’t: that’s simply not a grand tour.
    If I was a GC rider I’d be looking to make time whenever possible (I’d have been doing that from the start), including today.

  10. What a win! Great job to the Man of Cycling!

    Now, on that note the rest of the season should be cancelled – cases are blowing up, and clearly the race is not doing enough for the health of the people involved as well as the communities it is travelling through. The last thing that cycling needs is the label “superspreader” when the 2021 schedule is being planned!

    Let’s pull the plug on 2020, count our blessings because the last 2 months has been awesome. We’ve been treated to amazing racing, and we all need to remember – NONE OF THIS LOOKED LIKELY back in March/April. We all thought that racing was not coming back for at least the current season. I pray that people won’t be stupid about this, and just turn the page on 2020 mass start racing. Or, at the very least, some new extreme measures are taken. We need much better protocols because clearly the virus is passing around the peloton and support staff.

    Chapeau to Inrng for another great racing season!

    • Can’t argue with this, tho I am not a race director nor team sponsor nor rider looking for a contract next season…

      Sometimes masks and handwashing are not enough…

    • Not really sitting in the lockdown boat right now. Sure, we need to take precautions personally. But the virus is here to stay and we just need to get on with it.

      There does need to be efforts to limit the spread, but shutting up shop has failed and was bound to. Yes, you need to control the spread but destroying people’s lives to stop this is no better than disease.

      Hopefully the teams, riders and non-riders take their responsibilities seriously and this thing gets some way finished. I don’t hold out for the weather in the mountains though. We just need finishes.

      • They could take actual measures to stop the spread, but they aren’t really doing much. Hearing it from the riders who have spoken out, this feels like a normal race where hundreds of humans interract constantly.

        As well, the athletes need to realise doctors suspect that there may be long term effects on lung function… you know, so endurance athletes better take care. Even if the effect is 0.1%, that’s enough to turn a WT rider into an amateur.

  11. At the end of the Giro whatever cyclists remain should be tested for antibodies, it’s turning into an epidemiologist’s goldmine. It’s time to award Covid some chainrings.

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