When Friday, May 27
Impact on GC 5/5
This is it – we’re in the Alps for the endgame of the race, with the colossal Colle dell’Agnello (labeled the ‘Cima Coppi’ for being the highest point of the Giro) passed today.
The peloton must ride an enormous 67.5km uphill before reaching its peak, although the gradient only starts to reach serious percentages of over nine per cent come the final 10km. They then cross over the French border on the descent, and climb another 12.6km of the relatively modest seven per cent Risoul to get to the finish.
As far as mountain stages go this is very short, which, as we’ve learned from comparable stages at the Tour de France, tend to be raced very aggressively – and cause trouble for dropped riders trying to make the time cut.
Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) goes into the final three stages of the Giro with a lead of three minutes over closest-placed rival Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in third at 3-23.
So far, Kruijswijk has shown that he’s the strongest climber in the race. His rivals can only hope that his efforts of the previous two and a half weeks will catch up with him and he will have a bad day.