Giro stage 9 preview

Yesterday afternoon, I had a chance to ride the last 16 kilometers of today's Giro stage, from Fanano to Passo del Lupo, and I got a few pictures of the finishing climb.

It's uphill all the way to the finish from Fanano, but the first 8k to Sestola are at a pleasant, 4.8% average grade, on a pretty road with nice views of the surrounding hills.

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In Sestola, the official route markers weren't in place yet, but I had only to follow the pink balloons to find the route through the village.

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The next four kilometers were the fun part, if your idea of fun is hard climbing.  The climb out of Sestola started out steep.

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And, yeah, it pretty much stayed that way for a while.

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There were some lovely, curvy switchbacks.

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At Pian del Falco, it was still steep, and I was thinking, "Hey, where's the part where it eases off for those of us whose idea of fun is easy climbing?"

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Finally, I got to the good part, four lovely kilometers of 4.5% grade, through spring green woods.

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Near the top, the ski slopes came into view.

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There was one last kick up in the last k.  Alas, it would have been the perfect spot for one of those devastating J-Rod last-k attacks.

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At the end of the pavement,  Giro staffers were measuring the road, looking for a spot wide enough for the finish line apparatus.

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Here's the official route info:

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Stage_9_finish_climb_medium

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