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Giro Donne – Stage 1

 

Looking at today’s route from San Piero a Sieve to Pratolino di Vaglia, you think that maybe someone switched on the Garmin then got lost. Or maybe whoever was driving the car got carried away with the history of the area, because if you look at the photo on the right, the circuit of yesterday’s TT is clearly visible as the only two roads going through Scarperia. But then look to the right, by the red A. Anyone who knows Moto GP or is a fan of Ferrari might recognise the outline of the Mugello circuit. I wonder if the organisers secretly hoped to ride there instead? And before safety considerations stopped them, they even used to race on local roads.

Today’s start is only a few km from Scarperia, so they should all be well rested even after the late finish (unless the cheap hotels were further away). San Piero a Sieve is another settlement that has grown up around an old Florentine defensive outpost, but there is even less of the old stuff left than there was in Scarperia. Which probably means nice smooth asphalt and no cobbles. The profile looks lumpy until you see the scale on the right. Barberino di Mugello is 6.5k at approx 3.4% (congratulations to whoever made the profiles for adding the km markers and elevations at key points to allow us to work this sort of stuff out), which is roughly the difference between a professionally maintained $10,000 bike and the sort of thing that some of us keep in the garden shed.

So the decisive point of today’s stage is likely to be the Mur like climb to Pratolino di Vaglia, 2km at an average of 6.8%. This could be the start of the Arndt-Armstrong battle, or maybe one of the one-day stars like Mirjam Van Poppel will nip in to steal the glory. The expected finishing time is around 15:00, and RAI Sports Piu have half an hour of coverage scheduled for 16:50. Be aware that time in Italy is always approximate.

The Map

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The Profile

And one more useful link, the site of the Official Italian Timekeepers. They have starting times for the time trial (OK that ones a bit late now), and other useful bits of info may pop up. Did you know how many 19 year olds were riding? Was 1990 really that long ago?

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