Giro d'Italia 2018 > giro d'italia 2018 stage 5: Agrigento-Santa Ninfa 153km


ciranda

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Agrigento was founded around 580 BC. Locals already had trade relations with mykenians and aegeans and then people of rodi-cretan origin built the polis Akragas. The status of the colony was weakened by the war with Carthago and was conquered by romans who renamed the city Agrigentum. In later eras the city was under arabian rule with the name Kerkent before fuggitives from normandy or wherever normans are from invaded and changed the name to Girgenti. That name lasted until 1927 when the fascist regime renamed again to the current romanish one. In and around the city are great archeological sites from the greek era in particular.

Some of the most widely known are the doric greek temples. The site called the valley of the temples is an UNESCO legacy of humanity. Agrigento has 59,000 inhabitants and 37 churches, some of which are no longer in use, two monasteries, seven convents and twelve fountains. Median temperature for the coldest month, january, is 11,0 c and for the warmest, august, it's 28,5 c. As for cycling if you are old enough you may remember the world's 1994, by all accounts a great race won by Luc Leblanc.

Santa Ninfa is in the province Trapani in the far western part of Sicily, number of inhabitants 5,000. This small town was hit hard by an earthquake in the valley Belice in january 1968 where 337 people died and more than 2,000 people lost their homes.


Maps of the stage and finish here:




It looks like a pretty great stage and with the probable heat and scarred and open landscape a lot of things could happen. The hills are not that tough so will probably not reveal anyone except the weakest. It's a short stage so early break has a chance.
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  • t-72

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    Yesterday UAE #uae stopped a midstage coup attempt, wonder if they will try again....
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    Yesterday UAE #uae stopped a midstage coup attempt, wonder if they will try again....

    don't think so

    Quote
    With the gap down to a controllable two minutes as we approached the feed zone after 90km, for some reason the UAE team went full gas on a climb, causing pandemonium again.

    Myself [Nicolas Roche] and Rohan, Dumoulin, Kreuziger, Pinot, Yates and others had all stopped for a pee when the bunch suddenly exploded in five or six groups so there was a lot of bitching about that.

    Although there’s no rule against riding hard whenever you want to, I don’t really know why they did it and I suffered to regain contact just at the top of the climb where UAE stopped pulling and we took over again, calming it down to make sure some of our guys who were dropped got back to the front.

    I think another attempt would result in a quite uncomfortable day for Aru tomorrow

    :spank #uae
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    today's stage looks like an interesting one though - not necessarily interesting racing, but really hard to predict. Could basically be everything from an easy day with a big breakaway over a reduced bunch sprint to a tough day with the peloton in pieces.

    here is an interactive profile of the finish, via @raffilpt

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  • M Gee

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    Dumoulin said in an interview yesterday that stage 4 was a bit of a missed opportunity. I notice today Froome was tight in the peloton - no second chance today. Early days, yet, tho.
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    t-72

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    And we got ... a "Vuelta" stage with a long relaxed transport to a fast paced finale. Today they made the time cut on my recording by one minute's margin - so average speed again way down below the "slowest" time estimates. Headwind on the early section accounts for some of that, but once inland that wasn't such a problem, so I guess it is fair to say there have been harder racing in the first week of the Giro.

    Hoping for some more action tomorrow. The weight of that major climb coming up can have kept teams from trying to split the field in the crosswinds today - a couple of incidents and accidents split the field instead:
    • #sunweb Ten Dam and #fdj Morabito down in a sharp curve quite a way out. If you sum that up it is very rare that so many kilometers of combined GT experience collide like that. Minor damage only, as far as I could see
    • someone went down about in the middle of the gruppo in a curve about 11 km from the finish line, which split of about the last 1/3 of the peloton including local hero #bahrain Pozzovivo, who was helped back to the gruppo by 3 other riders on his team.
    • #quickstep Maxi Shackman either had some misfortunes of his own or was involved in this big crash. Chased solo back to the gruppo, eventually joining #academy Valls who seemed to be on a similar sort of adventure.
    • Last, but most important, results-wise, #astana Miguel Angel Lopez seemed to drive himself off the road on a high speed descent and crashed into the grass. He had to chase back himself, joined by Lopez and one more rider on the final kilometer or so. He would be the only GC rider with a significant time loss today, finishing 43 seconds down.

    The speed on the final climb was high, but there was a drag to the finish after the top of the climb, a bit like the Cauberg-and-then-some finish used by the Amstel Gold Race a few years back. Even though it must have cost quite some energy to bring #bahrain Pozzovivo back to the front group, #bahrain and #fixall was very active in the finale, only for #jumbo Battaglin to prove yesterday's strong performance was not a coincidence. In this shape he can win even more stages, and maybe challenge Viviani for #ciclamino   

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  • M Gee

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    Based on a photo caption, at some point today Froome was isolated off the rear, and teammates had to fall back and help him back. If that happened, I missed it.
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