Mellow Velo

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 Stage 18: Pinzolo – Laghi di Cancano 207 km

The penultimate mountain stage on the Giro is a race from Pinzolo to Lago di Cancano. After passages over the Campo Carlo Magnon, Passo Castrin and the infamous Passo dello Stelvio the final haul up is 8.7 kilometres long and crammed with hairpins.
Pinzolo hosted the Giro for the last time in 2015.

The 18th stage will include two warm-up climbs before tackling the Passo dello Stelvio on the Prato side. The first rider at the Stelvio summit wins the Cima Coppi. The 18th stage is also classed as being The Queen stage of the 2020 Giro, especially in the slight of the annulment of the original stage 20 route.

The stage starts at the foot of yesterday’s last climb, which means the peloton will get to climb it again. This time, all the way to the top of Passo Carlo Magno (GPM2, 13.8 km at 6.3%), 3.5 km further up the road after Madonna di Campiglio.

The descent is very fast on wide roads, and leads down to the Val di Sole, where the riders will find 14 km of descending false flat. After that, comes the second climb of the day: Passo Castrin (GPM1, 8.8 km at 9.1%) has never been used before in the Giro.

A long descent follows to the outskirts of the town of Merano, and subsequently to a short climbing section that brings to the long Venosta valley and some forty odd kilometres that slowly rise towards the biggest ascent of the race. At the town of Prato allo Stelvio, where the first intermediate sprint takes place, the ascent of the Passo dello Stevio begins. From Prato, it is the hardest side that the race takes on, for the first time since 2005.

The first rider at the Stelvio summit wins the Cima Coppi before plunging down towards Bormio without reaching the village. In the last first hairpin the route turns right to continue towards Premadio. The riders leave the main road and continue to the hairpin-filled Torri di Fraele to finish the ascent at the Cancano dam. The finish climb ascent is 8.7 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 6.8% before a flat run-in of 1.7 kilometres to the line.

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    I couldn't watch live today, so I watched it 'as live' tonight (skipping the 'boring' bits).

    The Stelvio is as stunning as ever, and the GC got sorted. But it was very much a race of attrition - no attacks from any of the favourites whatsoever, just rider after rider dropping off the back. Hindley and Geoghegan Hart were simply what was left of the peloton. ;)

    #deceuninck Almeida finally collapsed, putting #sunweb Kelderman in #pink - but just 15" ahead of TGH. Sestriere x3 on Saturday, then the final ITT to settle things.

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  • Cyclingnews Women's WorldTour Correspondent
    2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own. RIP Keith & Sean


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