When Wednesday May 14
Category Medium mountains
Just when the first week was turning into a procession for the sprinters, the organisers throw in this middle mountain stage to give the rest of the peloton something to think about.
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Too hilly for the sprinters to win but not hilly enough to cause gaps between the GC favourites, this is one for puncheurs and stage-hunters. The first 100km are pretty much flat, while the second half covers rolling terrain and includes three climbs.
The first two of these — the Murgitelle and the Valico Di Serra San Chirico — occur back to back and, although too far from the finish to produce a successful attack from the peloton, look like good springboards for the strongest riders in the day’s break to establish and consolidate a lead.
The stage finishes on a climb in Viggiano, a 7.5km drag that, averaging a manageable four per cent, will favour punchy riders without prompting the GC riders into action. As such, specialists in uphill sprints such as Dan Martin will fancy their chances of both winning the stage and claiming the pink jersey, so the stage could play out as a battle between the breakaway and the teams trying to bring the race back together for the uphill sprint.
Did you know?
The family name Tarantino originates from the city of Taranto, meaning that the Italian side of film director Quentin Tarantino’s family probably came from here. We’re reliably informed that his film Pulp Fiction is not about Alberto Contador’s steak-based excuse for testing positive for clenbuterol in 2010.