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Giro d'Italia Stage 8: Etruscan Shark Tail

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Stage 8: Foligno -- Arezzo, 186km

Gonna make it short, gonna make it quick, for this situation, makes me... tick?

What's It About?

A brief tour of Etruscany. A dash from point A to point B, with the goal of getting the Giro d'Italia to its more enticing playgrounds, one of which is in Tuscany, as quickly as possible.

Course Features

Ah, but there is something interesting to say about this stage...

stage 8 map

Yeah yeah...

st 8 profile

Aha! Is it me or does this profile look an awful lot like this:

I'm not saying you have to ride like il Squallo Nello Stretto to win, but it will sure help your chances if you can stay close by. The Alpe di Poti, 10km at 5.3% average, should shake loose a lot of the flatlanders, maybe all of them, and winnow down the field to a manageable finale of rated climbers. And then there's the final km:

alpe di poti

11% max isn't terrible, more like a reminder of whose turf this is gonna be the rest of the way. A climber who can sprint will win.

Riders to Watch

And now who will that be? Basically it comes down to Alejandro Valverde, Diego Ulissi and Sonny Colbrelli. Really. It should be about that simple. Except Tom Dumoulin keeps surprising us, and he has been very aggressive about pursuing bonuses in his "Don't call it a GC campaign!" GC campaign. And Steven Kruijswijk looked good last time the road went up. And Fuglsang and Pirazzi and Brambilla can be counted on to try, and Zakarin, Chaves and Majka might give it a go too.

AmyBC's Food and Wine Pairings

Today's culinary suggestions from the region from AmyBC. You can check out her blog at Winebookgirl.

Wine: Castello di Fonterutoli, Siepe

Because sometimes there is a tasting the day before the Giro starts. And the wine happens to be Tuscan. We tasted an 2005, 2006, 2007. 2008, 2011 and 2012. My favorite? The 07.

Food: PAPPARDELLE WITH BRAISED DUCK

Porcini mushrooms, peas, truffle essence.  Because why not opt for my entree at the tasting?

Pick to Win

Ulissi. On form, and not saving it for later.