What’s It About?
A transitional stage north along the Adriatic Coast bringing the riders closer to their date with destiny on the big honkin’ Zoncolan. Not a straightforward sprint stage, either, as this stage has a little junk in the trunk with a 4th category climb up Tre Monti 15 kilometers from the finish. With the way this Giro has been ridden, all possibilities are on the table: bunch sprint, breakaway, classic riders having their way on the final climb, or GC opportunists trying to take advantage. Chris Froome may even try to jump in a race car on the finish in the Ferrari autodrome with the way his Giro has been going.
The stage is pancake flat besides a Dutch mountain or two before the last 15 kilometers, where all the action should happen.
Profile of last 15 km:
That climb is about 5 kilometers at 4.2% average gradient, but has about a kilometer at 8% at the start and a kilometer at 7% at the top, providing several good springboards for any opportunistic rider. The finish is an uncomplicated affair on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
Did You Know?
This stage will pass by Rimini, the birthplace of famous Italian director Federico Fellini, where you could visit a park named after Fellini, an airport named after Fellini, about a half dozen hotels named after Fellini, or inumerable restaurants themed after his films. Even though his hometown was the setting for many of his films, you won’t have much luck recognizing the actual Rimini as most of his movies featured an imagined Rimini constructed in a studio in Rome.
If you are not so much into classic films, you can instead visit the franchised and dubiously-named-to-avoid-lawsuits restaurant “America Graffiti” and order the Italian equivalent of the Hardee’s Monster Burger, which sounds so much more tasteful when described in Italian-- “2 Graffiti hamburger di bovino adulto, doppia fettina al cheddar, doppio bacon, lattuga, pomodoro e cipolla.” Rumor has it that this is the reason that Carlos Betancur is riding the Giro.
Also Chris Froome will cross the Rubicon tomorrow….. literally, though the route will have him crossing the Rubicon in the opposite direction than Julius Caesar marched, so perhaps this will be the point of return for his Giro GC hopes.
Whom Does the Stage Favor?
I’m thinking that this is a day for the sprinters. There are only this stage and tomorrow’s stage 13 that give the sprinters any real chance before Rome. After taxing days on Stage 10 and 11, I can’t see the GC contenders getting involved. That last climb and the descent into the finish has a Poggio-type feel to it, but at 214 kilometers, I don’t think the sprinters will have a problem getting over it. Here’s what the steepest portion of the climb looks like:
We’ll probably see a battle between Elia Viviani and Sam Bennett, with Niccolo Bonifazio, Sacha Modolo, and Danny Van Poppel trying to be in the mix. Riders that might be able to make an attack on the climb and make it stick on the slight descent to the finish include Stage 10 winner Matej Mohoric, Jarlinson Pantano, Tim Wellens, and LL Sanchez.
AmyBC’s Wine of the Day
The Wine: Azienda Crocizia Besiosa Sparkling Malvasia 2015
I actually had a different wine planned for this stage, but Christy said: skin contact, orange but super fresh and flora, so I couldn’t resist.
Especially after I read the write-up on her site: Feiring Line WineSociety: August 2017 Selection
From Alice: Notes from Alice: I don’t know why this skin contact (ten days) wine from malvasia surprised me, but it did. The tannins are completely integrated. There’s that iron crunch, a little carnation,some bitterness --- bitter orange and slight fizz, a ready-made spritzer. If you’re in need of a breakfast wine, this will do nicely.
Pick to Win
I think that last hill will be just enough to disrupt the Quickstep train and see Sam Bennett taking his second victory of this Giro. He was climbing awfully well on Stage 10.