Giro d’Italia Stage 16: Live updates, blog
Stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia gets underway tonight, as the Grand Tour continues through Italy. Join us from 9:00pm AEST, as we live blog a stage that could have plenty of surprises after a rest day.
With two mountainous stages out of the way, the riders will be going into stage 16 coming off a rest day. Stage 16 has no categorised climbs, but it is far from flat.
The course runs 174 kilometers from Limone sul Garda to Falzes. From the very beginning, the course pitches up and gradually climbs for the entirety of the 174km.
While the profile of the stage makes it look calm, almost boring, I’m certain that there will be plenty of excitement at the finish. The constant upward sloping grade is surely to wear on many of the riders in the peloton, especially if a break gains a lot of time, resulting in a high speed pursuit.
My predictions thus far haven’t been completely off the mark, but I’m feeling lucky. I would expect the peloton to let the break go and ride calmly for the first half of the race. That would make sense. Another three mountainous stages this week and a final TT will certainly be incentive enough for riders to save their legs.
Look for teams who haven’t done much in this race thus far to put riders in the break early and hope it sticks.
As for the GC contenders, look for them to strike in the final kilometers of the race. The finish to stage 16 is steep, stone paved and of course twisty – something that has become a theme at this year’s Giro.
With 5km to go, the slope will pitch upwards, with the steepest grades reaching 12 percent, and the average grade for the last 2.5km being around 9 percent. This could be a great opportunity of Rodriguez to gain more time on Hesjadal, Basso, Scarponi and other GC favorites.
He excels at these short, punchy climbs and a late attack could help him solidify his lead, thus, taking pressure off him as the Giro heads into the mountains on stage 17.
At the same time, I would look for Scarponi to attack hard at the end and make up some time on Rodriguez, whom he currently trails by a minute and 36 seconds. The last kilometers of this race are an opportunity no GC favorite will want to pass up as the much harder stages loom in the near future. If Basso is to have a chance in this Giro, he needs to make a move as well, unless he’s saving something really special for Stages 17, 19 and 20.
If we get lucky tomorrow, we’ll be able to cheer for the break to survive, and also watch the strongest riders and teams duel it out for GC position.