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Giro Stage 08 Preview: Chianciano Terme - Terminillo

Stage 08 :: Sunday May 16, 2010
189km :: Chianciano Terme - Terminillo

Everybody form a conga line!  Summit, Summit Finish!!!!  Summit, Summit Finish!!!!

That's right, we're ending Sunday's stage with our first mountain finish, and considering that at 83km from the finish we're gonna be at 96m above sea level, and ending at 1668m above sea level, well, there's a whole lot of uphill in that last 80km or so.  For those mathematically inclined (hehehehe), that makes nearly the entire last half of the stage average out to a 2% constant gradient.

More details below...

Gavia's Floppy Hat Philosphy:

If you are reading this, then Gav got all consumed with that bizarre southerly swell and decided to find a beach that wasn't hidden by the Channel Islands.  One day, we'll waterproof a netbook and glue that bastard to her plank.

Niemand zet Baby in een hoek!:

First real mountain stage! First big firework here.. Apart from today which is speculated a very cool course! But the first GC contenders will find their Waterloo here. Expected to be eeeh... Scarponi and Nibali! Altho that are half GC's.. Still.. The first stabs are expected here. 22km climbing :O
You have read that above, but still.. I hope my math is of. Or I hope not.. An last hour who you have to watch! It's going to be.. a Waterloo

Chris's Concerns, Dude:

Action: The first major ascent and uphill finish of the Giro, expect to see the favorites emerge, some pretenders melt away, and otherwise a lot of cagey, defensive riding. It's stage 8, nobody's winning anything today.

Pageantry: A semi-serious stage like today's is sure to draw out some Italian climbers whose presence in or near the lead will throw RAI into pretty high gear. Also, the Terminillo has plenty of Giro history. Such as this note from La Gazzetta:

Trekking and summer hiking complete the athletic scene at Terminillo, a parapet overlooking Rieti, the birthplace of Adolfo Leoni, the "aristocrat of the pedal", as he was defined by Fausto Coppi.

Il Campionissimo! Was there anything he couldn't do? Let's check back with our team outside Villa Carla...

The Plan: Sunday mornings are mine! Without going into details, suffice to say that my wife and I have worked out a plan where I get Sunday mornings off to do my big training and/or racing. I'm still playing catch-up on the latter, which means this is a training day. And watching people climb the Terminillo -- a 16km ramp that fixes on 8% and stays there -- is at least as painful as anything I planned to do on my bike.

Geologically, it's a gneiss start to the stage; the riders run along a ridgeline above two valleys for quite some time before finally dropping down into one, almost exclusively so that they can climb back out of it again to the Valico di Monte Nibbio.

Speaking of Valicos (did anyone else play with a valicovision when they were a kid?), here's the climbs for the stage

  1. Valico di Monte Nibbio: 544m, 142km from the finish. It rises 305m over 10.1km averaging 3% and maxing out at 8%
  2. Marmore: 368m, 50.4km from the finish. The Marmore rises 237m over 9.3km averaging 2.5% and maxing at 9%
  3. Terminillo 1668m stage finish. This climb covers 1168 vertical meters over 16.1km, averaging 7.3% and maxing 12%. Il ouch!

Here's the final climb in all it's glory. Terminillo at 1,668m

Here are the official particulars from La Gazzetta

  1. Stage Map
  2. Stage Profile
  3. Climb Details
  4. Timetable

And here's PodiumCafe's Google Earth map for Stage 08.