Mellow Velo

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Stage 9: Isernia – Blockhaus 189 km *****
Sunday, May 15th, 11:35 CET

Here we go, the second weekend ends with the Giro's first 5 star rated stage, across the Apennines, with a 5,000 m elevation gain and includes a double ascent of Blockhaus. The Blockhaus was first included on the 1967 Giro d’Italia with Eddy Merckx powering to his first stage win in a Grand Tour. The fun begins right at the starting town of Isernia, where the riders will immediately climb the first climb of the day.

The road will keep undulating until the town of Pretoro, at 54 km to go. The riders will head south towards the Majella massif, where they will tackle the first ascent of the Passo Lanciano (GPM1, 10.3 km at 7.6%) The descent is along a much steeper road, but it is not very technical. At 27 km to go, the road will rise yet again gently (around 4-5%) up until Roccamorice, where the final intermediate sprint is located and the final climb of the Blockhaus starts. (GPM1, 13.6 km at 8.4%)

The Main Climbs:

Final kms
The last 13 km go up steadily on narrow road, with several hairpins. Gradients are over 9% for almost 10 km, with peaks reaching as high as 14%. There is a very short countersloping stretch 500 m before the finish. The home straight (200 m long, on 6-m wide tarmac) has an uphill gradient of approx. 8%.

What to expect:

Expect the serious contenders for the Maglia Azzurra to show their hand as there are a lot of points available throughout the stage. However, Blockhaus being one of the toughest climbs in this edition, ( In 2017, this finish defined the race) we can also expect a full on GC battle, which should bring to the fore the real contenders and relegate the pretenders.

As for the sprinters, with that punishing climb coming so early in the stage, they face a battle for survival that I am afraid for some may prove too much.

Favourites 9th stage 2022 Giro d’Italia

:*:*:*:*:* Simon Yates
:*:*:*:* Mikel Landa, Richard Carapaz
:*:*:* Romain Bardet, Pello Bilbao
:*:* Wilco Kelderman, Richie Porte, João Almeida, Hugh Carthy
:* Wout Poels, Jai Hindley, Thymen Arensman
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