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Giro d'Italia 2016 - Week 2 (17th - 22nd May)
Stromeon
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So as we pick up the pieces from a rather bizarre time-trial it's time to look forward to the second week. However, having gone into the time-trial expecting many questions about the form of riders to be answered, we leave it none the wiser, with Kruijswijk, Valverde and Nibali separated by only 4 seconds, for instance, and Landa very close behind. So it is the duty of the mountains to sort out who is better than the rest, and there's plenty of those in week 2, commencing on Tuesday with the first cat.1 climb of the race and re-appearing on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a trifecta of hard stages.


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After the rest day we're straight back into the action again with this very appetising medium-mountain stage. There's very little flat here as after some initial 3rd category climbs the road is a constant up-and-down, wearing away the riders. The [somewhat overcategorised] climb of Pian del Falco, 16.4km @ 4.9% albeit with the last 3.5km at 9% tops out only 16km from the finish and so is an ideal springboard for attacks before an Aprica-style finish in Sestola, averaging 5% over its 7.5km. Coming off the rest day it would be disappointing not to see some GC attacks on Pian del Falco.

static2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/T10_Sestola_alt-PRE.jpgstatic2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/T10_Sestola_plan-1.jpg


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This stage is flat. Well at least it is for the first 204km until we reach a nasty little climb of 2.9km @ 7.8% with the last km at 10% and a very bumpy finale all the way to the line at Asolo - it reminds me a bit of that stage to Vicenza won by Philippe Gilbert last year, except without the uphill finish. Even if the GC guys don't fancy a sneaky little attack at the end here, the last 25km should definitely be worth tuning in for as it should see an interesting fight for the stage victory.

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This one really is flat.

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This is a stage I am really intrigued by, as it has the potential to cause absolute chaos. The first two ascents are difficult, but are unlikely to influence proceedings that much unless someone's feeling really very ambitious indeed. However the Cima Porzus (7.8km @ 9%) is not only a savage climb, but one placed such that attacks could very well happen here from over 30km out from the finish. A narrow and very technical descent ensues (rain anyone?) before the shorter but almost as steep climb to Valle of about 5.2km @ 8.5%. Hopefully someone will have attacked on Porzus and then this will split the group up further, with the descents having the potential to cause real gaps. This combination is very tough and should make for some exciting racing.

static2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/PW_T13_Cividale_alt-2.jpgstatic2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/T13_Cividale_plan-1.jpg


Stage 14: Alpago (Farra) - Corvara (Alta Badia) (210km)


A big mountain stage, paying homage to the Maratona dles Dolomites, kicks off the third weekend, and it's a brutal one. After we start the ascent of the Passo Pordoi there is barely a single kilometre of flat road and while the individual ascents may not be the hardest, with the exception, of course, of the Passo Giau, the constant up-and-down nature of the stage will be a leg-breaker. The climbs follow in quick succession round the Sella Ronda but it is on the last two that the difference is likely to be made. The famous Passo Giau is 9.9km @ 9.4% and a rapid descent takes us straight to the foot of the Passo Valparola, a more manageable 11.5km @ 5.8%. The Giau will be the place to attack (I can already see Mikel Landa licking his lips at this one), but with 41km to go at the summit you've got to be feeling on good form. And then of course there's the Mur dl Giat, 360m @ 13.1%, the final sting in the tail, to break up what groups might be left on the road just before the finish

static2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/PW_T14_Corvara_alt-2.jpgstatic2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/T14_Corvara_plan-1.jpgstatic2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/PW_G16_T14_3D.jpg


pbs.twimg.com/media/ChYEaoMU4AAXggJ.jpg

Rounding off the second week is the MTT to Alpe di Siusi. The time-trial has an average gradient of 7.2% over its 10.9km, and so while not as bad as that crazy Monte Grappa time-trial two years ago, it's still very difficult indeed. Not a lot to be said here, other than after a relatively shallow initial section it's a consistent climb and the riders will just have to diesel it up as best they can. Hopefully it does not adversely affect racing on the Saturday, as riders have a right to be full of trepidation for this stage.

static2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/PW_T15_AlpeSiusi_alt-1.jpgstatic2.giroditalia.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/PW_T15_AlpeSiusi_plan-1.jpg

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Riis123
Very good write-ups, Stromeon, top class! Loving the comment on stage 12. Not super intriguing!

Very exciting stages coming up, all of them apart from Bibione. I personally can't wait to see stages 13 and 14, especially 14. Too bad Landa didn't lose 5 minutes like last year, eh.
 
fjhoekie
To be fair, Bibione will be quite exciting. Some sprinter teams won't work for sure, Etixx has no Kittel to work for, Sky lost Viviani and Nizzolo lost his regular lead-out. Lotto Soudal will probably be the team to keep the break on a leash, maybe with Lampre helping for Modolo, but other than those I cannot really see a team working that much, sure LottoNL will help, but keeping Kruijswijk safe will be their priority.

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Riis123
All I stated was it wasn't super interesting which I genuinely found funny considering his stage comments, nothing more really. Lets not fill this thread with the discussion again, it won't be a sight unless you like unhealthy debates!

Im not really a fan of the Siusi-stage, especially not its placement which is kinda poor, but the last mountain ITT up the Grappa was one for the decades. What I remember about that stage will forever be Quintana's incredible high and pink socks.
 
emre99
Different types of stages, especially 11, really looking forward to those.

I hope the GC will be decided on last week though..
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Riis123
emre99 wrote:
Different types of stages, especially 11, really looking forward to those.

I hope the GC will be decided on last week though..


Yep, stage 11 wasn't one that caught my eyes when the route was released, but its really a super stage. I love finales such as this, a little similar to Praia a Mare.
 
Riis123
Also, does anybody know what Greipels plans are - will he go through the mountain for a chance of a stage win Torino?
 
SotD
Riis123 wrote:
Also, does anybody know what Greipels plans are - will he go through the mountain for a chance of a stage win Torino?


I guess it depends on how he fares in stage 12. If he wins it, he will have a good shot at winning the points classification. If he doesn't (get's dropped/mechanical or similar) I suspect he will drop out after stage 12.

As it seems, he could win 3 stages more, and why not do that? Stage 12, 17, 21. If things are stabilized then even stage 18 can be a possibility.

I would be more interested in Demare, who might drop out if he doesn't win stage 12.

Nizzolo is in for a superb shot at taking the points jersey btw. He should definately try to get into a break away on one of the semi-tough stages to take a stagewin.
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Riis123
SotD wrote:
Riis123 wrote:
Also, does anybody know what Greipels plans are - will he go through the mountain for a chance of a stage win Torino?


I guess it depends on how he fares in stage 12. If he wins it, he will have a good shot at winning the points classification. If he doesn't (get's dropped/mechanical or similar) I suspect he will drop out after stage 12.

As it seems, he could win 3 stages more, and why not do that? Stage 12, 17, 21. If things are stabilized then even stage 18 can be a possibility.

I would be more interested in Demare, who might drop out if he doesn't win stage 12.

Nizzolo is in for a superb shot at taking the points jersey btw. He should definately try to get into a break away on one of the semi-tough stages to take a stagewin.


Thanks for the answer.

You are probably right, but I have to say the stage in Pinerolo is a big stretch. I have climbed it - its a no go for sprinters, even guys like Colbrelli. I think he has a decent tho at stage 11 as well, tho.
 
Kiserlovski01
Katusha have decided to withdraw Tsatevich from the race after his Ludvigsson pursuit yesterday.
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Riis123 wrote:
SotD wrote:
Riis123 wrote:
Also, does anybody know what Greipels plans are - will he go through the mountain for a chance of a stage win Torino?


I guess it depends on how he fares in stage 12. If he wins it, he will have a good shot at winning the points classification. If he doesn't (get's dropped/mechanical or similar) I suspect he will drop out after stage 12.

As it seems, he could win 3 stages more, and why not do that? Stage 12, 17, 21. If things are stabilized then even stage 18 can be a possibility.

I would be more interested in Demare, who might drop out if he doesn't win stage 12.

Nizzolo is in for a superb shot at taking the points jersey btw. He should definately try to get into a break away on one of the semi-tough stages to take a stagewin.


Thanks for the answer.

You are probably right, but I have to say the stage in Pinerolo is a big stretch. I have climbed it - its a no go for sprinters, even guys like Colbrelli. I think he has a decent tho at stage 11 as well, tho.
Indeed.Even the punchy sprinters have no chance in Pinerolo.It will be a day for a strong break and GC riders.
 
Avin Wargunnson
Looking forward to the stage today and hope for some GC action, to drop the guys like Brambilla or Jungels. Valverde should be the favourite, given the rather low gradients and possible sprint of small group, but i hope for some bigger fireworks. Zakarin should try to eat some time here, if he is okay after his trips to the ground.

But still long way to go to Milan, so nobody will act crazy i think, could be the win for the breakaway, Cunego maybe?
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Smowz
Hmm today's stage looks really hard to me. I think Landa will take time out of Valv, Kruisvijk and Nibali.

I do think some of the followers Majka, Chaves, Zakarin will be given more freedom to attack.

Not sure Brambilla will be dropped massively, could be a really tough day for Etixx grunts though.
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Ton1Mart1n
Today is Valverde-day. The stage is tailored for his strengths.

Also Brambilla will most likely lose the shirt but not by much. He is pretty good uphill.
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Strydz
Riis123 wrote:
Also, does anybody know what Greipels plans are - will he go through the mountain for a chance of a stage win Torino?


I highly doubt he will hang around until Torino, he already has 2 stage wins and his team has 3 so I can't see why he would push himself all the way to the end with the TDF being a main goal and a WC that he has a legitimate chance of winning this season.
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Squire
Obvious breakaway day. Doubt there is enough willingness among the big teams to control this.

I predict approximately the same favourites group as Arezzo staying within a few seconds of each other. Guys like Firsanov may move ahead earlier and get a gap.

Fight for the stage win should be interesting though.
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Strydz
Ton1Mart1n wrote:
Today is Valverde-day. The stage is tailored for his strengths.

Also Brambilla will most likely lose the shirt but not by much. He is pretty good uphill.


I think this stage goes to a break with the GC guys having there own battle behind
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Strydz
Kiserlovski01 wrote:
Katusha have decided to withdraw Tsatevich from the race after his Ludvigsson pursuit yesterday.


Tsatevich was an obvious DQ but he only got a useless time penalty, it's a sad day when Katusha are showing more integrity than the race officials
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Martii_Scots01
Right; my prediction. Long breakaway makes it to the finish, Cunego wins from it. Landa steals a few seconds from the other favourites with a late attack; Brambilla can't hang on and Kruijswijk takes the lead, after Amador and Jungels are dropped as well.
 
TimoCycling
Let's hope the Quickstep boys get dropped together with Amador, then maybe Kruijswijk in pink!
 
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