21 May 2013

Giro d'Italia Stage 16 Valloiure - Ivrea

Stage 15 did eventually get unto the Galibier and all but the last 4.25km were ridden, though the ascent and descent of Mont Cenis were neutralised over safety fears as there was no way to avoid having to use that road.

As it was on the ascent to the Pantani monument Giovani Visconti (MOV) was the lone man to stay away from the field by any considerable length of time he finished some 54 seconds ahead of the Maglia Rosa group which included all of Vincenzo Nibali's main rivals. But the race for the best young rider did explode near the summit. Carlos Betancur (ALM) ended up taking second 42 seconds down, just ahead of Przemysław Niemiec(LAM) but significantly also ahead of Rafal Majka (TST) who is his main rival in that competition, gaining vital bonus seconds to climb into the white jersey.

Today's stage sees the riders returning into Italy the way they came. The start on the Col du Telegraph but climb the Mont Cenis to go back over the border and into Italy. But after that the road is fairly flat merely undulating until they are 24 km from home.

Then they hit the category 3 Andrate it is only 5.8km of climbing with the descent then flat to the finish. However, it depends how Mont Cenis is ridden today how the race could pan out. If it is still ridden neurtalised there is a chance that some of the sprinters could get over the Andrate, especially if they are looking to get rid of Cavendish. But as he showed on Friday, along with his Omega Pharma - Quickstep team they can get him over some of the small climbs ready for this sort of finish. 

The only disclaimer I am putting on this is that the sprinters my have to race back after Mont Cenis, but if they do there may well be a sprinter taking line honours. They may also be a member of the breakaway staying away long enough to win as the climb is so near the end. This race has had a few surprises, well apart from when it comes to a sprint on the flat-ish then there has been only one.

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