POTENZA PICENA (MC) – FERMO (FM) 104,30km
3rd July 2011
The Giro Donne route is officially out, and over the next few days I'll have a closer look at some of the more interesting stages. Here's what could be one of the best, Stage 3 run in Marina Romoli country over many of the hills included in the 7 Muri Fermani Gran Fondo.
The "Giro of the emotions" stops at the home of an athlete that the whole group has in its heart. It rides on the roads of Marina Romoli, from Potenza Picena to Fermo. For the Godmother of the corsa rosa, who will follow on the roads that saw her born and grow up on her bicycle, one of the hardest and most unpredictable stages that we could design. The best of the roads of the Marche with a complex profile gives a real mountain stage, continual changes in thythm, and a finale where anything can happen. A hundred and ten kilometers proposed entirely in the hinterland of the Marche in the provinces of Macerata and Fermo. An initial circuit that from Potenza Picena leads to the sea. After fifteen kilometers the road begins to climb towards Montelupone, Morrovalle and Montecorsaro. Climbs and descents on the Marche hills crossing Casette d’Ete, Sant’Elpidio a Mare. Then the feared climb towards Monte Urano, where so many great stages of Tirreno Adriatico have finished. Once more the descent to Campiglione, nearby Fermo. A circuit through the hamlets at the base of the citadel, towards the descent at Capodarco, another important symbol of cycling. The the unmissable finale with the dreadful ascent of the Muro Costa del Ferro that leads to the end at Piazza del Popolo in Fermo. It is a stage that truly deserves respect. Whoever wants to make the effort to win the stage will have to leave their guts on the road. Whoever wants to make difficulties for their adversaries for the GC will have to race right to the finish line. It’s not a day to save your energy, it’s a day for real cycling and real athletes.
If you prefer pictures:
Or perhaps a little video. This shows the 7 hills on the 7 Muri Fermani route. Not all are included on this stage, but watch Gibo Simoni, Giorgia Bronzini and Claudio Chiappucci to get an idea of the local landscape.
Montelupone: ave 12.9%, max 21% You can watch part one to see how the leaders do it, but it's more fun to see the stragglers, and nobody straggles better than Lloyd Mondory of AG2R
Reputolo: 700m ave 15%, 21% max I can’t quite see from this video whether it’s cobbled, a crap road or just a dodgy camera (skip to 4’10" onwards for the tough bit).
Costa del Ferro: 650m at 9%, 15% max