When Sunday June 1
From Gemona del Friuli
After yesterday’s travails, an exhausted peloton will welcome this straightforward, processional stage into the city of Trieste, where the 2014 Giro will come to a close.
Unlike Paris, which hosts the conclusion of the Tour de France every year, the Giro has different finish locations, and this is the first time it has finished in Trieste since 1983. Final destinations of the Giro tend to be chosen quite randomly, with frequent climaxes in Milan, punctuated by the occasional visit to the likes of Trieste or, as was the case last year, Brescia.
That stage in Brescia was even flatter than this year’s finale, and ended a run of five consecutive time-trial Giro finishes. With nothing left to play for in the general classification, these final stages could become reminiscent of the relaxed, celebrated attitude that characterises the Tour’s Champs Elysees stage.
Not that the sprinters will be relaxed. This marks the last chance for those who haven’t won a stage yet, and anyone who went through the pain of yesterday will be desperate to make it worthwhile with a strong finish today. The points jersey could also remain undecided, which would add yet another dimension in the eight laps around the city and eventual dash to the line.
Did you know?
This stage has been chosen to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the city’s becoming part of Italy. The city formed part of the Free Territory of Trieste — established in the aftermath of WW2 in order to avoid territorial dispute between Italy and Yugoslavia — and became part of Italy upon the signing of the London Memorandum.