Stage 09 :: Monday May 17, 2010
188km :: Frosinone - Cava De' Tirreni
This could very well be one of the more beautiful stages in the most beautiful of the stage races. Heading to the Amalfi coast, one of the most stunningly picturesque parts of Italy, the racers will head past Vesuvio (insert de rigeur plinytheelder joke) sight of the end of Stage 19 last year.
Even though this is the Giro, and even though we are in Italy, I cannot help but think of this every time I see the name of the city at the start of this stage.
You have reached Passo di Gavia. I'm currently away from my desk or on another line right now, but if you leave a message at the tone, I'll be happy to get back to you as soon as I'm dong writing my Gossip column.
Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'. Keep them Frinky's rollin':
What is to say about this one.. 2 of the 3 sprinters still has no win.. Greipel and Petacchi.. That will NOT stand! So breakaway is doomed.. Graveyard shit.. With Goss in high form maybe they go for him.. Which would be bad for Greipel but to be fair.. He deserves it.. So Prediction will be. 1 Petacchi 2 Goss 3 Farrar. Little bit in a hurry.. So short but informative.. Or so I hope :)
Nessuno mette baby in un angolo:
Action: A classic Giro stage, seemingly harmless looking profile except for the last few KM, when the road rises and shakes up an otherwise predictable finish. Or not -- 3% grades for a few km? 'Tis but a scratch. It'll be a hard sprint, but a sprint anyway.
Pageantry: Muted. The route passes Cassino, victim of a WWII bombing campaign so achingly conjured up in Dino Buzzati's Giro d'Italia. The finish on the Amalfi Coast means endless landscape shots. Plus it's Monday. Fortunately Naples has excellent coffee, even by Italian standards.The Plan: More trainer material. Monday mornings are a bit nuts anyway.
As you can see, while dramatic visually, there won't be much impact on the standings most likely. So, let me take a moment before going into detail on the stage to remind everyone of stage 19 from last year. Here's the video I put together for it...
I like Mars :) Anyway, onto tomorrow's stage; not much going on, it's flat (by Italian standards) so there aren't any rated climbs on it. The volcanic activity in the region has left the terrain quite rumpled, so the course designers could have really taken the idiot stick to the peloton, but they didn't. They curve around the higher points without ever tasting them. Guess it's a recovery day after Terminillo.
Not sure why I love this mountain so much, but there it is, west of the course this year
Here are the official materials from La Gazetta:
Here's PodiumCafe's Google Earth map file for Stage 09.