When Sunday May 24
To Madonna di Campiglio
Category High mountains
Impact on GC 5/5
Where are we?
After several days tiptoeing under their shadow, the peloton finally heads into the Dolomites. In doing so, the Giro returns to a dark moment in its past — the Madonna di Campiglio was the mountain on which Marco Pantani won in 1999, before being kicked out for a positive dope test.
What’s on the route?
Three very big climbs, which will see the battles for both the pink jersey and the blue King of the Mountains jersey kick off in earnest among the group.
First up is La Fricca, a steady 10.5km effort too far from the finish to have an impact on the GC but difficult enough to draw out the mountain classification hopefuls. Next is the Passo Daone, the most difficult of the trio. Its average gradient of over nine per cent would be enough to split the race up over only a few kilometres, so is likely to cause havoc over the climb’s 8.4km duration.
A fast descent follows to the base of the day’s final climb, the Madonna Di Campiglio, which, though considerably longer at 13.3km in length, is a far more manageable climb thanks to a moderate gradient of 5.6 per cent.
Such a set-up might otherwise have encouraged attacks on the Daone, but the organisers have added a sting in the tail in the form of an extra uphill 2km at the top of the Madonna Di Campiglio, with gradients twice that of the rest of the climb. This final stretch will likely play on the riders’ minds, and may deter any adventurous moves in favour of preserving energy for later.