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Giro Stage 4 Preview: Padova - San Martino di Castrozza

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Stage 4 :: Tuesday May 12, 2009

162km :: Padova to San Martino di Castrozza

This is the first summit finish of the 2009 Giro, going from Padova (Padua) to San Martino di Castrozza (Saint Marty's of Castration). Will the riders have the will to Tame this Shrew of a parcours, only time will tell (notice how many times I used the word "Will" in that sentence?!?! Ahhh, literary humor, almost as good as binary humor, eh?) Enough blathering, come Petruchio, let us wive it wealthy in Padua, by which I mean, Google Earth pics on the flip...

For the official particulars, let us see what Cycling News has to say on the topic...

Route: The first summit finish of the race, although not one that will have the main contenders quaking. The climb to San Martino has its tough sections, but overall it's not a tough ascent on what is the main road up the Cismon valley. Time gaps won't be too big here; the finish could be contested by quite a large group.

Local Hero: If Ivan Basso is going to ride off with the maglia rosa for a second time, he's likely to be leaning heavily on Manuel Quinziato. A time trial specialist, the Bolzano man is very strong and versatile and is sure to be allocated plenty of hardcore domestique work on stages like this.

Procycling's Top Tip: No one could touch Emanuele Sella on stages like these last year, but he's now sidelined by a doping ban that contributed to his CSF Navigare team's non-selection this year. If a sizeable group comes to the finish, 2000 champion Stefano Garzelli is a good bet in an uphill sprint.

Ok, so, here's the overview, heading from Padua upwards...

 

Not much really goes on until you get to Cornuda, where it takes a sharp turn towards the northwest and heads into the mountains.

 

A quick bite to eat from your soigneur in Carpen (if you have such a thing) and then, properly fueled, into Pedavena for the intermediate sprint.

 

Pedavena begins the first climb, an 8.5km climb up the hill to Croce d'Aune.  Average gradient of 7.9%, a max at 12% and an elevation gain of 615m.  This is actually the most southwestern tip of the Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi.

 

 

 

Once through the crotch of Aune, there's a pretty interesting little descent, not too steep by the looks of it, but awfully squirelly.  Schleck isn't here, right?

 

 

After noodling around the valleys in the Dolomites, we climb again from Fiera di Primiero up to the finish at San Martino di Castrozza at an elevation of 1466m.

 

 

The climb is 13.7km in length with an elevation gain of 753m.  Average gradient is 5.5%, maxing out at 10%.

 

 

Here's a link to the full gallery (only a couple of extras there)