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There’s significangt news on both the promotion and relegation fronts this week. We have a promotion story to chew on today as Alpecin-Fenix have finally confirmed they want to be promoted to the World Tour for 2023-2025. Meanwhile on the relegation side Israel-PremierTech continue their slump, falling to 20th place.

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Giro d’Italia Stage 9 Preview

A big day in the mountains, some riders are saying this is the hardest stage of the Giro. We’ll see, two things are certain: a big shake-up of the GC contenders and if you read on you’ll know more about the Blockhaus climb.

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Roads to Ride: Blockhaus

Think of a mountain range used by the Giro and the Alps surely come to mind. The Apennines are the poorer cousins and all the more interesting for it. This central ridge, the spine of Italy, includes many good climbs and the Blockhaus is one of the hardest on Italy, not just in the Apennines but as challenging as anything in the Alps. The stats are comparable to Mont Ventoux, the reality is even more of a challenge.

This post was first put online in 2017 ahead of the Giro’s visit, it’s been updated for the 2022 return.

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Who Can Replace Nibali?

As friends on the Bidon podcast remarked in their Giro preview show, the Giro is on course for the longest ever streak without an Italian winner, the last time the race had a home winner was Vincenzo Nibali in 2016. He’s just announced he’s retiring and it’d be nice to be able to list several candidates rising up the ranks who could replace him but that’s not easy… still let’s have a go.

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Giro d’Italia Stage 5 Preview

A sprint stage. Yes there’s a climb of over a thousand metres to scale along the way but it’s featured in recent years and the stage has ended in a sprint so it’ll take a team or two to really apply themselves to change the outcome.

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