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Giro Stage 12: Remember the Sprinters?

Back in action for the fastmen in Emilia

Giro scene
Tim de Waele

Stage 12: Forlì — Reggio Emilia, 229km

It’s a long stage but with a flat finish which should be encouraging to any sprinters who have spent the last three days wondering what the hell they are doing at the Giro d’Italia. There is an inland run to a couple long climbs, but more as a last gasp for the first heavy phase than anything too testing.


Map for stage 12


Stage 12 profile

Not much to break down. Someone will go hunting for KOM points but it’ll come together at the end.

Did You Know!

That Reggio Emilia is the name of a very prominent educational philosophy that you can find right here at home in [insert your home]? Strangely or coincidentally enough, each of the two World Wars from the last century were followed by the reimagining of education by Italians. After WWI, the teachings of Maria Montessori of Le Marche began to really take hold, in a story that’s way too complex to represent here (and doesn’t tie to any one place really). Then, after WWII, the good folks around Reggio Emilia decided to do some educational reimagining of their own, and the Reggio Emilia Approach was born.

I’m turning to Wikipedia for a succinct description of what it is:

The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:

  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
  • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, and observing;
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore;
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Reggio Emilia approach to teaching young children puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment at the center of its philosophy. The foundation of the Reggio Emilia approach lies in its unique view of the child. In this approach, there is a belief that children have rights and should be given opportunities to develop their potential. “Influenced by this belief, the child is beheld as beautiful, powerful, competent, creative, curious, and full of potential and ambitious desires." The child is also viewed as being an active constructor of knowledge. Rather than being seen as the target of instruction, children are seen as having the active role of an apprentice. This role also extends to that of a researcher. Much of the instruction at Reggio Emilia schools takes place in the form of projects where they have opportunities to explore, observe, hypothesize, question, and discuss to clarify their understanding. Children are also viewed as social beings and a focus is made on the child in relation to other children, the family, the teachers, and the community rather than on each child in isolation.

It sounds like the approach has a few things in common with Montessori — empowering the kids to find their own inspiration — but with a heavy overlay of community interaction? Parents and educators and anyone else with knowledge of this are welcome to chime in.

What it means for the race is that the community around Reggio Emilia will respect any breakaway rider who tries for the victory, but they will encourage that rider to interact with his mates in the break to work cooperatively and see what they can accomplish together. But then they will discover he is a self-interested typical cyclist who will stab his break mates in the back at the first opportunity, and the winner will be chased out of town by a mob with pitchforks.

AmyBC’s Wine of the Day

La Stoppa 07 Ageno

From the Importer: La Stoppa is a 50 hectare property located in North-West Emilia-Romagna. Founded in the late 19th century by a wealthy lawyer named Gian-Marco Ageno, the estate is currently run by Elena Pantaleoni and head vignaiolo Giulio Armani. 32 hectares of vines are planted in Barbera and Bornada for red, as well as a small amount of Malvasia Candia, Ortrugo and Trebianno for whites.

I say: Orange wine alert. 30 days of skin maceration with natural yeasts creates a deep "orange" color.

What About the Stage?

Oh yeah, that. Well, as you can tell from the profile, and deduce from the last three difficult days, this is all set up for a sprint. The start and finish are connected in a straight line that tracks the Po Valley, but the course dips south to catch the last bit of Apennine adventure left in the race. The Po is a pretty large geographic feature, as Italian river plains go, and the next two days will be almost Dutch in their nature. But like I said, there’s a last gasp of climbing here, because screw you non-climbers!

The final sprint is a city center affair, with a couple modest bends in the road that shouldn’t present a huge problem but might give you a clue as to when to launch:

Stage 12 arrivo

Basically, get to that last bend and unleash hell. I guess there is some concern that a cat-2 climb will prevent everyone from staying on through the sprint, but the descending should close up any gaps that appear, methinks. Sprinters will be motivated, as will their teams, and that’s that.

Pick to Win

Caleb Ewan. Got a problem with it?