Giro d'Italia 2018 > Stage 8: Praia a Mare - Montevergine di Mercogliano


LukasCPH

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Stage 8 sees the second summit finish after the Etna, on the Montevergine di Mercogliano, on a long stage of 209 km.





This is what the Garibaldi says about the stage:
This very long stage initially winds its way along trunk and fast-flow roads, with some tunnels along the route. The course straightens and levels out past Agropoli, following the Tyrrhenian coast all the way to Salerno. Here, and for the last 55km, the route starts to climb (with varying degrees of gradients) all the way to the outskirts of Avellino. The road is narrow and worn out at points along the coast, and urban areas are dotted with roundabouts, traffic islands and speed bumps. The final climb leading to Montevergine di Mercogliano begins just past Torrette di Mercogliano.

And about the final kilometres:
This will be the second summit finish. The average gradient is around 6%. The route is marked by a series of short straight stretches, connected by mild bends and alternating with 18 wide hairpins. The route runs under the cable railway just past the red flag, and clears the last hairpin 600m before the finish. The home straight (150m in length, 6m in width) has a 5% uphill gradient.

Despite being a climb of 17.1 km, the Montevergine has a steady and relatively low gradient that goes above 6% only in the very last kilometres:


Therefore, it normally sees the best climbers dieseling up together, with no attacks making it to the finish, and a sprint of a group of 20 or more deciding the stage winner. This was the case in 2001, 2004, and 2007 - only in 2011 did Bart de Clercq just make it to the line with the smallest of margins after attacking with 7 km to go.

Finish video of de Clercq almost being oversprinted:


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I don't see much, if any GC action today. The GC guys will arrive at the foot of the climb together, and the gradient simply isn't steep enough for anybody to really get into trouble. So #rosa should stay on the shoulders of #mitchelton Simon Yates for another day.

For the stage win, we are (barring a de Clercq scenario) looking at a decent climber who still has a good punch left at the end. Best from the peloton in the four last finishes here were riders like di Luca, Cunego, Scarponi, Simoni, Riccò, Garzelli, McGee, Kreuziger, or Pellizotti - that should give you an idea of what skillset we're looking for:
#sunweb Tom Dumoulin, #astana Miguel Ángel López, #bahrain Domenico Pozzovivo, #bmc Rohan Dennis, #groupama Thibaut Pinot, #mitchelton Esteban Chaves, #rosa Simon Yates, #movistar Carlos Betancur, #movistar Richard Carapaz, #efd Michael Woods, #jumbo George Bennett, #sky Chris Froome, #sky Sergio Henao, and #uae Fabio Aru all ought to be in striking distance on the final kilometre - it then comes down to positiong, sprint power, and form on the day.

Finally, we shouldn't entirely dismiss the possibility of an attacker just making it ahead of the pack. For this, I look primarily to the PCTs (except #wilier who will be on Kuba duty):
#androni Rodolfo Torres, #androni Fausto Masnada, #bardiani Giulio Ciccone, #academy Ben Hermans, or #academy Rubén Plaza are the prime suspects, along with WT riders like #ag2r Matteo Montaguti, #bmc Alessandro de Marchi, #bora Davide Formolo, #jumbo Robert Gesink, or #trek Niklas Eg. They are all subsumed into the "Random Attacker".

:* :* :* :* :* Yates
:* :* :* :* Pozzovivo, Pinot
:* :* :* López, Woods, Chaves
:* :* Henao, Aru, Dumoulin, Bennett
:* Froome, Carapaz, Betancur, Dennis, Random Attacker
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  • Cyclingnews Women's Pro Cycling Correspondent
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    Views presented are my own. RIP Keith & Sean

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    nice memories, Bart de Clercq winning this was a glorious "wtf" moment - I want more of that tomorrow please :D

    It's really hard to find an appropriate successor though. #fdj Steve Morabito or #ag2r Hubert Dupont could be a good fit. Or even little #dimension Louis Meintjes
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

    Carlo Algatrensig

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    It looks like a climb made for Dumoulin to me so if it isn't taken by a breakaway I think it will be him for the win if he has good enough form.
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  • Caruut

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    It looks like a climb made for Dumoulin to me so if it isn't taken by a breakaway I think it will be him for the win if he has good enough form.

    Agreed Carlo - nice and steady, without too much earlier in the stage. For me it's Dumoulin, Pinot or Yates from the favourites, but I have a feeling a little exploratory dig from George Bennet might take the day.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    It looks like a climb made for Dumoulin to me so if it isn't taken by a breakaway I think it will be him for the win if he has good enough form.

     Even more it's a climb made for multiple express trains. Montevergine is historically a horrible climb.
    Domestique riders and outsiders only, dropped out the back, nobody worthwhile allowed off the front.
    GC riders partake in final, few hundred metre sprint.

    2001: Di Luca wins, top 20 riders within 10 seconds.
    2004: Cunego wins, top 10 riders within 10 seconds.
    2007: Di Luca wins, top 10 within 15 seconds.
    2011: De Clerq wins, top 25 same time.

     So yeah. When the GC boys arrive it will be those with the best sprint: Dumoulin, Yates, Pinot and maybe evn someone like Rohan Dennis, depending what mood he is in after losing pink.

     As for the winner, though, probably an under card rider; either from the break or the bunch. Someone punchy like Wellens, Lulu or Ulissi.
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

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    in the end little #white Richie Carapaz took the stage with a late attack, after the break was brought back by Katusha and Greenedge - for whatever reason. Christopher Froome tumbled again, while Formolo is back on the rise after his crash (+mechanical problems afterwards) during the Etna stage.



    At the beginning of the stage it took quite a while for that breakaway to get clear, and when they finally managed to get a decent gap, #fixall Lotto Fixall team mates Tim Wellens and Frederik Frison attacked from the peloton - only to hide behind a bush a moment after, according to #ag2r Nico Denz

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    "After 15 km things calmed down a bit, until Tim Wellens tried to bridge to the breakaway with a team mate, Scott chasing at full speed.

    But just a moment after those those two came crawling out behind a hedge just after the front of the peloton got past. There are new things happening every day. Even playing hide and seek now.

    However, Scott quickly realized what happened and decreased the pace."

    what the heck is this all about?! :S
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  • t-72

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    Like someone needed to use the bathroom, but couldn't find one?  Part of racing in the giro  :cool
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  • LukasCPH

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    At the beginning of the stage it took quite a while for that breakaway to get clear, and when they finally managed to get a decent gap, #fixall Lotto Fixall team mates Tim Wellens and Frederik Frison attacked from the peloton - only to hide behind a bush a moment after, according to #ag2r Nico Denz

    what the heck is this all about?! :S
    Like someone needed to use the bathroom, but couldn't find one?  Part of racing in the giro  :cool
    That's my guess too. Wellens needed to go no. 2, asked Frison to come along so that he wouldn't have to chase back all alone.

    This used to happen regularly in the old days, when several riders in need of relief (though normally no. 1) would attack, stop for a pee, and then chase back on together. Usually they would notify the race leader of this, though.
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    well... or not :D. All clarified in Nicolas Roche's blog today (so it was Hanson btw, not Frison):

    Quote
    "After another long transfer to our hotel, my room-mate Rohan Dennis got a text from fellow Aussie Adam Hansen last night at the dinner table. The Lotto Fix-All rider was worried that we might be peeed off about his attack with team-mate Tim Wellens while the bunch was taking it easy early in yesterday’s stage.

    Apparently the duo had jumped up the road as a joke, hiding behind a wall or something as soon as they got out of sight.

    Their attack was the match that lit the fire in the peloton again but in fairness, I was down the back of the bunch at the time and hadn’t noticed anything apart from the pace going up suddenly as Katusha took up the wild-goose chase at the front, so all we could do was laugh about it last night."
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