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Giro stage 9 preview

Yesterday afternoon, I had a chance to ride the last 16 kilometers of today's Giro stage, from Fanano to Passo del Lupo, and I got a few pictures of the finishing climb.

It's uphill all the way to the finish from Fanano, but the first 8k to Sestola are at a pleasant, 4.8% average grade, on a pretty road with nice views of the surrounding hills.


In Sestola, the official route markers weren't in place yet, but I had only to follow the pink balloons to find the route through the village.


The next four kilometers were the fun part, if your idea of fun is hard climbing.  The climb out of Sestola started out steep.


And, yeah, it pretty much stayed that way for a while.


There were some lovely, curvy switchbacks.



At Pian del Falco, it was still steep, and I was thinking, "Hey, where's the part where it eases off for those of us whose idea of fun is easy climbing?"


Finally, I got to the good part, four lovely kilometers of 4.5% grade, through spring green woods.


Near the top, the ski slopes came into view.


There was one last kick up in the last k.  Alas, it would have been the perfect spot for one of those devastating J-Rod last-k attacks.


At the end of the pavement,  Giro staffers were measuring the road, looking for a spot wide enough for the finish line apparatus.


Here's the official route info: