Back to our regularly scheduled programming of tricky demanding stages. This one is likely for the puncheurs as the race finishes on a loop course that snakes in and out of the Enzo&Dino Ferrari race track at Imola. The whole course is once again very much like an Ardennes classic and controlling the breakaway could be hell, both controlling who gets in it and keeping the race together for teamleaders to contest the finale.
The final half of the short-ish stage is this 15 km loop with the Tre Monti climb that should offer any number of opportunities for attacking riders to make the race. It's not the hardest of climbs so if the break is caught we should be seeing a fight between the puncheurs and the sprinters who can climb (Matthews?) It's hard to pinpoint how it will play out but if the riders want to make the race then the stage offers them all the tools.
Luca Paolini. A stage that could be won by cunning and guile? Is this the day for the bearded one?
Amy's Food & Vino del giorno
Wine: Castelluccio Sangiovese di Romagna Le More
Castelluccio is nestled in the Modigliana Hills, between the two towns of Faenza and Forlì, at an altitude range of 750 - 1500 feet above sea level. An ideal location near both the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, it is recognized as a micro-zone for Sangiovese di Romagna as well as being the only DOC named after the ubiquitous grape.
This recipe from Giuliano Hazan was my guide. The top ends up brown and slightly crispy, which may be a surprise to those used to a cheesier version.