Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage 14 preview

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Giro d’Italia 2013: Stage 14
When: Saturday, May 18
To: Bardonecchia
Length: 168km
Category: High mountains

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This stage is a throwback to the 1972 Giro d’Italia, only 100km shorter. Like 41 years ago, the leg west of Turin crosses Sestriere ahead of Bardonecchia and Jafferau.

The stage ended in Bardonecchia in 1984, so this will be the second time only on the 7.25km gravel climb. Jose Manuel Fuente attacked on Sestriere in 1972. Eddy Merckx chased, dropped everyone and neared his prey. On pitches of 14 per cent, Fuentes appeared able to keep his rival at bay, but cracked.

Most GC men will play the waiting game on Sestriere, looking ahead to Jafferau. Attention because here we are in the high Alps, up to 1,908m – another level from the 1,502m Montasio. It is Saturday, the Galibier is scheduled for tomorrow, but whoever has the power can rule the weekend to take the Giro’s overall title.

Bardonecchia is connected to France via the Fréjus tunnel and welcomes many skiers. We’re in May, so bring your bike instead to climb the Jafferau ahead of the race. At dusk, settle down for dinner with a plate of la ghinelfe, large gnocchi served with butter and fusi cheese.

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