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Mellow Velo

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Stage 16: Lovere - Ponte di Legno 194kms :*:*:*:*:*
Tuesday, May 28th

START TIME: ~ 11.40 CEST

FINISH TIME: ~17.15 CEST


Tuesday 28 May - Originally, the 16th stage on the Giro would have tackled the illustrious duo Gavia/Mortirolo, but the first climb is remove due to an avalanche threat. The start remains in Lovere though, while the new route amounts to 194 kilometres. The finish lies at the end of a false flat of 16 kilometres in Ponte di Legno.



Due to an avalanche threat the Gavia has been removed from the original route. The Passo Manghen – at 2,047 metres and included on stage 20 – will be the new Cima Coppi. The new route of the 16th stage features 4,800 metres of climbing.
The stage start's uphill at Lovere, then negotiates the passes over the  Presolana and the Croce di Salven. The route then follows the Val Camonica as far as the town of Cedegolo, where the Cevo, a climb new to the Giro d'Italia d'Italia, begins. At Edolo the route turns towards the Aprica via Santicolo. The descent to Tirano is followed by the Adda valley as far as Mazzo di Valtellina, where the riders embark on the Mortirolo on the classic side with gradients of up to 18%. After the descent to Monno, the route rises for the final 15 km on shallow gradients (3-4%) to the finish line.



 So, with the Gavia no longer included in the stage, the spotlight falls upon the RCS's re-routing and replacement climbs.
The Cevo is a new climb to the Giro, which is kind of understandable, given it's statistics and the alternatives in the area.
It has an extremely steady and unspectacular gradient, constantly hovering around the 6% mark and with just one km exceeding 7%.



 Next up needs little introduction, being the long shallow drag up to Aprica. But for a single, short ramp, early on, gradients are mostly around 3%. Best remembered for Basso's 2006 demolishing of the field (although after Mortirolo) and Gilberto Simoni's post stage ET comment.



The race descends to the valley of the Adda river to tackle the Passo di Mortirolo. Located at 1,854 meters, the pass was a dust road until 1990, but when it was paved at last the pass became stuff for legends in an instant. The route takes in the ascent from Mazzo, which is the toughest side: 12.8 kilometres and an average gradient of 10.1%. Four kilometres up the climb and the riders tackle ramps up to 18%. It is part of the section between kilometre 3.5 to kilometre 9.7, which is averaging a brutal 12%. The Mortirolo is ruthless without one moment of rest.





The riders descend into the valley to head to Ponte di Legno on a section of 15 kilometres with shallow gradients.
That prolonged false flat is going to hurt after such hard climb.
Final kilometres The final kilometres in urban Ponte di Legno are played out on narrower roads, with many 90-degree bends leading into wider avenues, heading for the finish. The home straight (300 m) is on 6 m wide asphalt road.



Favourites 16th stage 2019 Giro d’Italia
:*:*:* Mikel Landa, Richard Carapaz, Simon Yates
:*:* Miguel Ángel López, Ilnur Zakarin, Vincenzo Nibali
:* Primoz Roglic, Fausto Masnada, Giulio Ciccone
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    Drummer Boy

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    So even with the removal of the Gavia, this stage is no joke. It should prove to be very decisive, I would think.

    Coming off a rest day will present its own challenges for the riders. As usually tends to be the case: Some riders will benefit from the day off, while others will suffer because of it.

    I wouldn't want to be putting money on this stage. Weather is saying some showers and thunderstorms, so anything could happen.

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  • Mellow Velo

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     An interesting article on the joys of climbing the hardest Mortirolo side from Mazzo.


    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/riding-mortirolo-cyclings-toughest-climb-412126

    And a lovely colourful graph thingy from inrng showing the respective gains and losses to Carapaz.

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  • « Last Edit: May 27, 2019, 19:13 by Mellow Velo »

    M Gee

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    Huhn. Velonews looking for the exciting headlines, "Baby found after bathwater thrown!":
    https://www.velonews.com/2019/05/news/final-week-hero-could-yates-do-a-froome_494248

    Phuh. Looking for Yates to pull "a Froome". The only rider who could have gone on when Froome went was Dumoulin, and everybody's been over what a mistake that was. Yates has quite a different condition and a MUCH different lineup. Yates doesn't have the strength of Team Sky to set things up, either. Oh, he should give it a try, but a flyer? You can call me a monkey's uncle if that happens. OTOH, he might be able to whittle things down to a very select group, and then take off, if he has the legs.

    But so could Nibali, Carapaz, Landa, or Lopez. Roglic doesn't have the team strength. Thinking about it, I think Movistar will push things on this stage. They have the deepest team. Nibali will, too, if he gets the right opportunity.
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

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    Gazzetta has a feature on #academy Conor Dunne today, "Il gigante Dunne e la sfida al Mortirolo". Haven't seen it online yet, but here is his own look at things from his daily race diary:

    Quote
    We have a few huge few days in the mountains looming and there was a bit of apprehension around the lunch table today when we started talking about the days ahead.

    Even though we got good news that the highest climb of this Giro, the Gavia Pass, has been taken out of tomorrow's queen stage as it's impassable due to snow, the race organisers have added two more climbs and we still have the first category Mortirolo to get up at the end.

    The weather forecast is to be around 7 degrees and raining all day so it's not going to be pretty.

    With all of the descents on the stage, keeping warm is going to be a big thing. It's no joke when you go into the high mountains in the rain or sleet.

    I've done it before in Nice, been up to 1300m in March when it started raining and I've never been so cold in my life. You're coming down a descent at 70kph and your body can't keep itself warm. It's like stepping out of a shower and into a giant air dryer that's set on cold. That can really undo you.

    The running joke on the team every evening is that somebody says 'the Giro starts tomorrow'. If I was a GC contender then tomorrow would be different, but for me it will be all about getting through the day and being able to start the next one.

    I think the fact that I'm so tall and heavy compared to the little climbers is earning me a bit of attention and I have an interview with Italy's biggest daily newspaper, La Gazetta dello Sport, this evening. They probably wonder how I'm going to lug myself over the Dolomites the next few days.

    We've got five big days left now ahead of Sunday's final time trial - the hardest week of this Giro. But that's what you expect in the last week of a Grand Tour. That's what you do it for. You have to be pretty good to get to the start of a Grand Tour. It's not often you get the chance to get to the final week of the Giro d'Italia, so I'm proud to still be here and will give it my best shot.

    https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/cycling/conor-dunnes-giro-ditalia-diary-youre-coming-down-a-descent-at-70kph-and-your-body-cant-keep-itself-warm-38153646.html
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    decent stage in the end, but not quite what it could have been of course...



    Roglic cracked early on but was able to limit his losses with the help of #mitchelton Mitchelton Scott. At the moment it looks like he is probably going to go backwards on the coming mountain stages as well though.

    #pink Carapaz defended his lead over Nibali without much of a problem. Not having anyone on top of the climb to hand out jackets could turn out to be a costly mistake by #movistar Movistar though. That was a cold, cold descent... if half the team ends up with a running nose tomorrow, they'll know who to blame.

    On the other end of the peloton, #ag2r Alexis Vuillermoz had a heavy asthma attack and crashed into ravine while climbing the Mortirolo. He thanks his team and the organization for the quick help.

    https://twitter.com/A_Vuillermoz/status/1133416202074824706

    He even managed to finish the stage, and seems to be willing to start tomorrow, by the sound of it.
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    Drummer Boy

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    I thought it was a pretty exciting stage, and the weather added just the kind of drama one would expect. Luckily everyone appeared to make it down the rainy descent without incident. I would hate for the race to be determined by a wet crash.

    Nibali chose one of the steepest parts to attack, and at first I thought that maybe it was too steep for him to gain any significant advantage, but he was obviously able to continue the punishment which ultimately led to Roglič struggling at the back and then losing some time. We didn't get to see the section of his descent where he was able to claw some of that back, but he did manage to mitigate at least some of the damage.

    But you can't win a GT, and certainly not this one, by "just hanging on." For Primož to fulfill his original expectations he'll have to assert himself in dramatic fashion in the coming days, but nothing as of late would seem to indicate that that's in the cards—based on his own form, or that of his competitors.

    But who knows. One thing that could be said is that Roglič appeared to stay within himself today, so if Nibali and Carapaz burn too many matches, maybe there will be an opening for the pre-race favorite. But again, I wouldn't be willing to put money on it. It's not entirely out of his hands yet, however. Weather and terrain could still hold some surprise effects on this race.

    A couple of the questions around Roglič at the start were:
    Is his form too good for the start?
    Did he peak too early for a race of this caliber?

    I guess we won't know for sure until the final day. His rivals are now emboldened, and any attacks by him will be closely monitored and shut down right way, if possible. So he's found himself in a rather difficult predicament. But he still exudes his usually calm and cool self. If he has the legs, he'll have to put them on display. Some good stages yet to come, and as with any GT, anything can happen at any time. So we will just have to wait and see.

    Primož Roglič - Post-race interview - Stage 16


    Giro d'Italia 2019 | Stage 16 | Highlights
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  • « Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 03:25 by Drummer Boy »

    M Gee

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    I thought it was a pretty exciting stage, and the weather added just the kind of drama one would expect. Luckily everyone appeared to make it down the rainy descent without incident. I would hate for the race to be determined by a wet crash.

     . . .
    Or by hypothermia. Almost amazing we didn't see any. It looked miserable. I agree that was a beautiful stage. Movistar actually looking like a team, instead of a collection of individuals. Although, tbf, we have seen Quintana and Valverde ride some stages showing teamwork. Landa slotting into a helping mode nicely.

    We've really got a race again! Once again, the Giro looks to win the prize for best GT of the year!. The Tour and Vuelta will have to work hard to match this.

    BTW, I think Roglic will be winning at least a couple of GTs in the future, if not this one. The man is looking good for it, IMO.
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  • « Last Edit: May 29, 2019, 02:40 by M Gee »

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    I guess Wiggins has a point there?! Although Roglic doesn't really come over as a too emotional guy so far in the interviews, to be honest, so maybe encouragement is just not what he needs anyway
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  • Drummer Boy

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    I guess Wiggins has a point there?! Although Roglic doesn't really come over as a too emotional guy so far in the interviews, to be honest, so maybe encouragement is just not what he needs anyway

    I think they're making too much of it. I actually appreciated the open and honest response from the DS. I mean, he's speaking the very truth that everybody already knows anyway. I'm surprised by the concern expressed by both Wiggins and Brian Smith, because we don't really know what was said between rider and director on the road (he could've been encouraging in the moment), and they also should trust the relationship between the two.

    As you said, Primož doesn't come across as emotionally fragile (unlike Sir Bradley), so I doubt he needs much coddling. As a rider, he knows his strengths and weaknesses, and what he needs to do.

    While we're on the topic though:
    I listened to a podcast with Johan Bruyneel, and he was absolutely flabbergasted that the team car EVER would've left Primož vulnerable in the manner in which they did the other day, without support. He was receiving texts about the incident during the podcast, and could barely believe it to be true. which Once it was confirmed, he found it to be utterly inexcusable. He really seemed quite shocked.

    (Even weirder, I thought I had already posted about that, but apparently not.):slow

    Roglič may still need another year or two to become a serious GT threat, and he could certainly do with having a stronger and more experienced team around him, but I imagine that he realized coming into this race that he would be mostly on his own when it mattered most. I also get the impression that he's the type of person to deal with such a scenario as well as anyone, and better than most.
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    Roglič may still need another year or two to become a serious GT threat, and he could certainly do with having a stronger and more experienced team around him, but I imagine that he realized coming into this race that he would be mostly on his own when it mattered most.

    a better team certainly wouldn't hurt. And maybe he is also a bit better suited to the (usually more steady, less steep) climbs in the Tour, I would think
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  • Drummer Boy

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    And maybe he is also a bit better suited to the (usually more steady, less steep) climbs in the Tour, I would think

    Especially one with a prologue and a good couple of iTTs as well.  ;)
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    something about the after effects of the stage, from Connor Dunne's blog:

    "Still, after three bowls of sugar puffs – a dramatic change from my usual porridge - and numerous cups of coffee, I could still feel the effects of yesterday's stage and couldn't stop yawning. I wasn't the only one though. In the middle of breakfast, somebody noticed that [my team mate] Awet [Gebremedhin] wasn't at the table and they had to go and wake him."

    :D
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  • LukasCPH

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    I guess Wiggins has a point there?! Although Roglic doesn't really come over as a too emotional guy so far in the interviews, to be honest, so maybe encouragement is just not what he needs anyway
    I think they're making too much of it. I actually appreciated the open and honest response from the DS. I mean, he's speaking the very truth that everybody already knows anyway. I'm surprised by the concern expressed by both Wiggins and Brian Smith, because we don't really know what was said between rider and director on the road (he could've been encouraging in the moment), and they also should trust the relationship between the two.
    It's simply that - everybody is different, and everybody needs different 'motivation', 'encouragement', whatever you want to call it.
    Some people need the 'Wiggins type' of encouragement to just perform average. Others find it patronising to annoying.

    There are many stories of riders taking out their ear piece in the final of a race if they're soloing and close to victory - because their DS's 'encouragement' not only doesn't help them, but even hinders them. Some riders even race without ear pieces altogether sometimes.
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