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Mellow Velo

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Stage 14: Saint Vincent - Courmayeur 131 km :*:*:*:*:*

Saturday, May 25th

START TIME: 13.10 CEST

FINISH TIME: ~17.15 CEST


The 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia runs from Saint Vincent to ski resort Courmayeur. Peaking at 4,808 metres, the highest peak in the Alps, Mont Blanc, is overlooking the finish line. At 131 kilometres, the route takes in four intermediate climbs and an uphill finish, as the race heads up the Aosta valley, halfpiping via the lower slopes of the Col de San Pantaleon to Verrayes, then the loop via Verrogne then back up the other side of the valley around Combes before tackling the Colle San Carlo, a rarely used climb in the Giro but familiar to many in the peloton from regular use in the U23 Giro della Valle d’Aosta.



Courmayeur and the Giro are long lost friends. The 1959 Giro d’Italia included the mountain village and Charly Gaul rode into cycling legend. The race had really been a shoot out between Jacques Anquetil and the Luxembourger. On the penultimate day of action Gaul put 10 minutes into Anquetil and won solo after 296 kilometres of suffering in the high mountains.



Stage 14 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia features over 4,000 vertical metres.  Starting from the town of Saint Vincent, the first climb of the day comes soon, in just 7 km. Verrayes (GPM2, 6.7 km at 8%)



After a rather technical descent of 9 km, the peloton hits the easiest part of the stage,  14 km along the flat at the bottom of the valley, passing through the town of Aosta itself, after which the road will go up again for the second GPM of the day, Verrogne (GPM1, 13.8 km at 7.1%). This climb is quite demanding and irregular, with many steep ramps and easier sections.



Straight after a technical 15km descent comes the next climb of the day, the Truc d'Arbe, (GPM2, 8.2 km at 7%) although again the numbers are deceptive as there is a shallow mid section in the climb.



Another technical descent leads again to the valley, where the riders will keep heading west, until they reach the day's most demanding ascent: the Colle San Carlo. (GPM1, 10.5 km at 9.8%) Also known as the Col d’Arpy and it's numbers are only beaten by the fearsome Mortirolo, in this edition of the race.  It’s was used in the 2006 Giro when Leonardo Piepoli won into Thuile, the town just below the pass. For Piepoli it was more than a stage win, it was a tribute to Diego Pellegrini who’d died racing down the descent of the San Carlo in 1993 and to whom there’s a memorial plaque beside the road.



There are steeper climbs and there are longer climbs but few roads are as steep for as long. The San Carlo is such a steady climb that it’s ideal for riding to a tempo rather than an ambush.



The descent is fast and the remaining road to Courmayeur is an uphill drag, the kind of place where it’ll be invaluable for a contender to have a team mate for support, perhaps where 3 km of road rise up at 6% up to the town of Verrand. The finish is at the Skyway Monte Bianco station.






I hope it's at the other end. :D




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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    Drummer Boy

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    Starting from the town of Saint Vincent, the first climb of the day comes soon, in just 7 km.

    So unlike Stage 13 where we had to wait for the last 7 km, hopefully Stage 14 will be a bit more...



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  • Drummer Boy

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    They came to their senses and returned to the original soundtrack.  :cool

    Some nice aerial imagery here, and some sweet roads shots as well. But I'm pretty sure they never mentioned Roglič's name even once.
     :S

    I'm not really sure what the point of these "highlights" really are, because if you missed the stage, you'd still be mostly in the dark if these are all you had to rely one. But it's too late for me to stop now, so...

    Stage 14 | Highlights

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  • Drummer Boy

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    So after all the yappin', Nibali did little to boost his own standing in the race today.



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  • « Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 03:27 by Drummer Boy »

    Drummer Boy

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    I thought  #jumbo Primož looked very solid on the road for Stage 14, and showed a lot of maturity.



    His cadence seemed to flow well; his knees were snapping crisply; he was able to maintain contact with the leaders when necessary; his breathing never looked strained; and his overall body language seemed to indicate that he had more in the tank. He was calm and cool, but consistently alert and focused. He even led Nibali on part of the descent.
     :)

    I thought that maybe he should've gone after Yates at the end, but maybe Roglič is still keeping his powder dry. It would've added some excitement, and forced more effort out of Nibali, but for now I trust his judgement. If he's suffering at all, he's hiding it well. But I don't believe he is.

    It makes sense for him to hand off the Maglia Rosa responsibilities, although he may be  cutting it close with the indefatigable Carapaz—for what have become obvious reasons. But the cycling gods continue to beam down in Primož's favor, the latest evidence of that being the cancelling of the Gavia, a climb that would only seem to offer another advantage to the now-in-Pink  #rosa #movistar Ecuadorean had it still been on the menu.

     :angel


     :o
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  • « Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 13:50 by Drummer Boy »

    M Gee

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    I thought  #jumbo Primož looked very solid on the road for Stage 14, and showed a lot of maturity.

     . . .

    His cadence seemed to flow well; his knees were snapping crisply; he was able to maintain contact with the leaders when necessary; his breathing never looked strained; and his overall body language seemed to indicate that he had more in the tank. He was calm and cool, but consistently alert and focused. He even led Nibali on part of the descent.
     :)

    I thought that maybe he should've gone after Yates at the end, but maybe Roglič is still keeping his powder dry. It would've added some excitement, and forced more effort out of Nibali, but for now I trust his judgement. If he's suffering at all, he's hiding it well. But I don't believe he is.

    It makes sense for him to hand off the Maglia Rosa responsibilities, although he may be  cutting it close with the indefatigable Carapaz—for what have become obvious reasons. But the cycling gods continue to beam down in Primož's favor, the latest evidence of that being the cancelling of the Gavia, a climb that would only seem to offer another advantage to the now-in-Pink  #rosa #movistar Ecuadorean had it still been on the menu.

     :angel

     . . .
    Wowser, sure has turned out a bit more interesting, eh? Yates looking like he might be able to recover and show some of his snap from last year. Carapaz, well, save that for now.
    Roglic? I don't agree he was so sanguine as you say. There was the uphill section where Nibali rather pushed him onto the front, and Roglic, several times, looked backwards as though he was trying to get someone ELSE to pull through. He ended looking quite pale and nearly trashed before Nibali condescended to pull through. And it continued to be only Nibali and Roglic on the front. Landa and Lopez didn't touch it.

    On the descent, Nibali was not really able to distance any one of them. Which tells me that folks have been working on their descending skills for the past few years! They were all very good! Nibali merely managed to stretch them out, even at full descent gas, pedaling out of the corners. So, on the latter part of the descent, he didn't. Just sat in and saved himself. He couldn't seem to drop them, although to me it looked like Roglic had the most ability to stick to Nibali's wheel. We should see more in the coming days, but for now, there is reason to hope in many corners. Even Yates still has a chance. He is not out of it. As of this morning, the podium in Verona could see any of the following: Nibali, Roglic, Yates, Carapaz, Landa, Lopez. Someone not in that group might nip onto 3rd or even 2nd step by some magical lucky beans on the road, though.

    And Nibali! I feel like we are seeing the Nibali who won GTs. It's a good thing, seeing him back in this form. It's been missing for a while.

    But Carapaz and Landa (and Movistar) alone are worthy of comment! Is the multi-headed Movistar team structure finally paying off? Is this (pick one)
    an amazing fruition of the team strategy over the past few years?
    an odd and surprising development, perhaps ironic, given that Carapaz has not been one of their multi-headed leader strategy leaders?
    Or ironic that their strategy is paying off with two of their leaders of note absent?

    And how well will Landa deal with this usurper of his leader role? He's given lip service to the multi-headed strategy, but it sure has looked like he wasn't really on board with it! Which also seems true for Quintana. Valverde has always been his own man, but has probably done more to aid the others than vice versa. I can think of several examples where he was a good domestique. And some others where, while he rode aggressively, it wasn't against Quintana.


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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

     



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