When Friday May 16
The Giro continues its trajectory north with another long stage that brings the peloton closer still to the ominous peaks of the Alps and the Dolomites. It’s another undulating day of lumps and bumps for the riders to haul themselves over, most prominently the Valico di Arcinazzo and the Valico della Somma, the only classified climbs on route.
By this point in the race, gaps in the GC should be big enough to allow certain riders not in contention for the pink jersey some leeway to get into a break early on, and the up-and-down nature of the parcours could help them make it to the finish.
However, after the riders summit the Valico della Somma, there’s a long downhill of around 15km, before another 27km of flat. Any sprinters that have been dropped will fancy their chances of joining the bunch again, and so plenty of teams in the peloton should have enough of an incentive to bring the break back and force a sprint finish.
And it’s not just the stage that’s at stake for the sprinters; allowing a break to succeed would also sacrifice points in the red jersey classification, which is often won by GC riders if not enough stages end in bunch sprints.
Did you know?
Frosinone hosted a bad-tempered stage finish in 2005, when Paolo Bettini was disqualified for dangerous sprinting after Baden Cooke fell trying to pass him. Luca Mazzanti was given the win but Bettini did not take kindly to the disqualification, turning up half an hour late to the pink jersey podium ceremony and tipping his champagne upside-down when he finally arrived.