When Thursday May 14
From Montecatini Terme
To Castiglione della Pescaia
Impact on GC 1/5
Where are we?
Still in Tuscany, although heading south towards Lazio. The local delicacy in Montecatini Terme is the Cialde, a delicious wafer dessert made from egg, sugar and almonds. OK, so perhaps not the most appropriate food for cyclists watching their weight, but they’ll have earned it after yesterday.
What’s on the route?
One thought that the heavyweight sprinters can cling to as they grind their way up the Abetone the day before, is that a flat stage greets them today. The Giro is somewhat sadistically cruel to its sprinters. After the opening stage, it sends them up all manner of climbs, before providing another gentle stage almost certain to end in a bunch sprint.
There is one small climb tackled halfway into this stage, and some undulating roads surrounding it. But this should be a straightforward day controlled by the sprinters’ teams.
Unlike the previous flat stage four days ago, by now the GC will have been moulded into a clear hierarchy. Those with far-fetched dreams of pink will not be forcing their way towards the front and getting in the way of lead-out trains setting up the bunch sprint.