Stage 11: Firenze — Bagno di Romagna, 161km
The Giro doesn’t get any easier... not yet anyway. Things will eventually mellow out before the big mountains, but not on this day.
Did You Know!
That the Monte Fumaiolo is the source of the Tiber River? I know that’s not terribly interesting, but Italy’s rivers are geographically unimpressive but dripping with history. The Rubicon is the most famous, a shallow and uninteresting water body just east of Monte Fumaiolo in Romagna whose crossing by Julius Caesar in 49 BC changed the course of Roman history. Second on the list is the Tiber, which leads to Rome just as surely as the local roads do, and gets its inauspicious start here:
The spot is on the eastern shoulder of Fumaiolo but the river swings south and west through Umbria and Tuscany before reaching the Lazio and eventually Rome itself. It’s not that impressive then either, frankly, but it’s large enough to have spawned the construction of a whole host of cool bridges, and gives its name to the trendy Trastevere (“across the Tiber”) neighborhood where I plan to eat linguine alle vongole next month.
AmyBC’s Wine of the Day
Montesecondo 2014 Il Rosso from Dig
From the importer: Silvio worked in the wine business in New York until he and family moved back to Montesecondo, in the village of Cerbaia in the Chianti Classico zone. Silvio bottled the estate's first wine in 2000 from their vineyards of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot; they are being replanted over time with massale selection vines.
Montesecondo wines have a tendency to run afoul of the powers-that-be in Chianti Classico: while Silvio's methods in the vineyard and cellar yield what many would and do consider pure, classically expressive Sangioveses, the way he gets there and occasionally the actual results (higher acidity, lighter color or darker color, etc.) led to enough issues over time that he bottles only one Classico and the rest of his wines as IGT Toscana. under-the-radar force of quality winegrowing and winemaking in the prominent but variable zone of Chianti Classico, driven by Silvio's close observation of and involvement with his farming and winemaking, both of which are constantly adapted as he experiments with drawing out the best of his terroir and fruit.
What’s This Stage About
A mercifully short stage, which is the only merciful aspect of this route, as it comes after the Wine Trial day, hot on the heels of the Blockhaus climb. And it just goes up and down all day, crossing four rated ascents, the first 3.9 of which are unremarkable, but the last bit of Monte Fumaiolo might leave a mark:
Nothing legendary but the peloton should get pretty skinny here. One thing I don’t think will happen is that any of the Bigs will come unstuck. There simply isn’t enough steep terrain to imagine anyone being unable to stay in contact, absent like a virus or something. It’s not that kind of stage.
Pick to Win
Someone from a breakaway, making this a very difficult stage to pick a winner for. Among the GC guys who need to make up time you have Thomas and Yates still, but I don’t think this course will help them enough. Scroll down the GC further to the forgotten gregari, and you’ll find the makeup of the breakaway. Definitely look for the colors of Rusvelo, Cannondale, Bardiani, Wilier, Bahrain-Merida, Bora, UAE and CCC.
Hm... OK, Rui Costa. How’s that for a guess?