Giro Stage 06 Preview: Fidenza - Carrara
Stage 06 :: Friday May 14, 2010
166km :: Fidenza - Carrara
Continuing our southward jaunt, we head to the Mediterranean coast tomorrow in a (relatively) short stage with our first non-you-gotta-be-kidding-me climbs. I mean, they're not Mont Ventoux, but they're not the bunny hops of Holland.
We swing by the town of Parma, and, already having mentioned ham in a previous stage preview, allow me to wax rhapsodically for a moment on the beauty of a well made Italian proscuitto. The taste can almost be nutty, with just a hint of smokiness, the texture buttery. If you have a good butcher, you can get it sliced super thin and separated between individual sheets of wax or parchment paper so there's no risk of tearing it when you serve it. My recommendation: either a piece of sourdough with a little bit of butter on it, or crostini rubbed with garlic. Then just lay that gorgeous prosciutto right on top. (Sorry Megabeth :) )
Thursday morning will see a mix of local WNW-NW swell and a touch of background SW swell (190-220). This mix, which is already on the small side, will have some tidal issues as well, so watch out for some swampthing as the tide peaks. By the afternoon a new S-SSW swell (180-200) will start to show some very long-period energy (20-22 second stuff) that will begin to filter into the exposed areas.
Frinking is most likely cogitating the best way to provide a Vinokourov assist. Frame pumps in the spokes comes to mind.
Chris may not entirely be focused on the riders at the end of the stage:
Action: In amongst the 2000+ meters of climbing is the Bedizzano, topping out some 10km from the line, a 3km hump up terrain averaging 8%. If there's any type of rider Italy churns out faster than climbers who can sprint, it's sprinters who can't climb. The gaps won't mean much by Verona, but look for an interesting selection and for the jersey to change hands.
Pageantry: One of maybe six stages with a beach nearby. This is more significant when, like today, the beach is near the finish. If the weather is nice, the RAI helicopter is fairly certain to use the long lag during the post-stage processo to cruise the beach for women whom the pilot wants to put on camera. Possibly NSFW.The Plan: Get to work early so I can concentrate on the last 15km or so.
So, what have we got on tap tomorrow... here are the climbs broken down:
- Passo del Brattello: 946m. It rises in elevation 546m over 11km, averaging 5%, maxing out at 10%
- Spolverina: 654m. It rises in elevation 328m over 10.6km, averaging 3.1% (O_o), maxing at 10%
- Bedizzano: 286m. It rises in elevation 241m over 3.0km, averaging 8% and maxing at 12%
Ok, so, like I said, not the Angliru, but that's some respectable distance to to uphill. Finally, the end in Marina di Carrara, where the riders will not have any sort of transfer at all overnight, before starting the stage the day after that slices through Tuscany.