Stage 19; 191km
San Candido – Piancavallo

Another long stage in the Dolomites which afforded some spectacular views of The ‘Tre Cime di Lavaredo’ (three peaks of Lavaredo)

Three distinctive battlement-like peaks in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy.  They are probably one of the best-known mountain groups in the Alps. 

Until 1919 the peaks formed part of the border between Italy and Austria. Now they lie on the border between the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Belluno and still are a part of the linguistic boundary between German-speaking and Italian-speaking majorities. The Cima Grande has an elevation of 2,999 metres.

Most of the stage was against a stiff headwind, even going full gas down the descent I could only manage 70km an hour.

The finish was up the steep slopes of Piancavallo, a ski resort that was created in the 1960’s, the Giro has only finished here once before and that was in 1998 when Marco Pantani crossed the line first.

The opening 6.5km are viciously steep and average over 9% so pitches occasionally were up to 15% Half way up the gradient lessened to a more manageable 7.5% and after 65 minutes of purgatory I crossed the line.

I would be surprised if this climb doesn’t have an effect on the overall GC as it’s a real chance to put time into the Maglia Rosa.

We have one more big stage of 190km to go tomorrow with another two 1st cat climbs. Then we can dream of the finish in Milan

Here’s Geoff & Doug at the top of the finish climb, doing the ‘Hinault / LeMond’ thing…

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Thanks from all at Cureleukeamia



~ by theboxterboy on May 26, 2017.

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