There have already been two individual time trials in the 2016 Giro d’Italia to date, but this one is different: it is all uphill. Stage 15 promises to be another ‘full gas’ day for the general classification contenders.
After a brutal day of climbing yesterday, today’s stage will be all about who has recovered best. Not an easy feat after 8500 metres of climbing, with a large portion of that at over 2000 metres in altitude.
Today is an 11-kilometre course, with the climb of the Alpe De Siusi. The first one kilometre of the climb is false flat, but the final nine kilometres features a steady gradient of 8.5 per cent, including sections around 11 per cent.
It all adds up to around 890 metres of climbing.
On form, there are two riders who will fight out the stage, with Esteban Chaves and Steven Kruijswijk both performing superbly yesterday to break the back of the main favourite heading into the race, Vincenzo Nibali.
Chaves is a pure climber, whereas Kruijswijk has a little more weight on his body. Chaves should repeat his efforts from yesterday and take the stage win, but Kruisjwijk should not drop too much time.
As I side before however, today’s stage will be all about recovering from yesterday’s efforts.
This is of upmost importance for Nibali, who enters the day 41 seconds behind race leader Kruisjwijk. After dropping more than 30 seconds yesterday, losing much more time could cost him any chance of winning his home Grand Tour.
My prediction is Chaves to take the stage by around ten seconds to either Kruisjwijk or Nibali.