"Tappa Clou" according to the organisers, or, on Chris’ far clearer scale, time to throw a sickie. The start town is where they finished yesterday, so everyone should be well rested and ready, assuming that they haven’t been having nightmares. Because today’s stage is tough. It starts with 8k at around 3% but just as the summit comes in to view you go down again to start the climb to the 1st cat Rionero Sannitico. They should all recognise it, that was the nasty descent they did yesterday, down from the webcam. So that means if you didn’t quite click at the right moment then, you get another opportunity today (between 11:48 and 11:57 suggest the organisers). They then retrace yesterday’s route a little further downhill before turning off towards today’s second cat 1 mountain, Prato Gentile, the last 2.5 k of which averages around 7%. That should blow things apart pretty quickly, but then a long long descent will give some a chance to catch up, and might have even offered a bunch sprint were it not for another 10k of climbing just before the finish.
In other words it’s breakaway time, maybe even multiple breakaways. If only there were a full green jersey classification around for us to know who is challenging Maya Abbott, who is a bit too high in the GC to get away herself. Anyway, sit back and enjoy the scenery. Today's stage really does travel through the heart of unknown Italy.
Rai Sport Piu will have half an hour of coverage at 18:00 local time. RAI 2 also seem to be interrupting their daily Tour coverage for a fifteen minute daily summary. Untimetabled, so it’s the luck of the draw if you get it or not.