2022 Giro d’Italia – Stage 14 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

2022 Giro d’Italia – Stage 14 Preview

By @EchelonsHub

The 13th stage was perhaps the final opportunity for several sprinters as the mountains loom near. In Cuneo, the breakaway was caught in sight of the line after a long chase by the peloton that at times looked to not be heading for success. Groupama led the sprint out for Arnaud Démare, who kicked out a third sprint win, beating Phil Bauhaus and Mark Cavendish to the line.

Positive: Démare snatching yet another win, showing his dominance.

Negative: Romain Bardet abandoning the race due to stomach issues, out of nowhere and with an incredible form that was seeing him in the fight for the race win.

The Route

A very complicated day. Torino will host the 14th stage of the Giro with a very hard circuit around the city’s hills which can be a very dangerous day for the GC battle. It comes the day before the race reaches the Alps which isn’t favourable, but it takes the riders through some steep climbs where attacks can come. 

Less than 150 kilometers but over 3000 meters of climbing, the marking section of the stage is a 36-kilometer long circuit which will be ridden twice.  

The first climb is the Superga. A very famous climb, the cornerstone of Milano-Torino, here it will have a different role however it may see similar outcome. 5.1Km at 8.2%, however with some very harsh gradients involved. In the final lap it summits with 27.5 kilometers to go, not too far to see high-caliber attacks – either from a breakaway or peloton. 

But surprisingly, that is perhaps not the hardest ascent of the day. At least it isn’t the steepest, that’s for sure, as after a plateau section the riders will go up Colle della Maddalena which summits with just 12 kilometers to go. The issue with this hilltop is that it features an initial section with 1.6Km at 12.3% and as you can see in the profile, the maximum gradients go well above that. It’s a trap for many, a gruesome explosive effort, followed by a very fast descent. 

Before the finish, there is an intermediate sprint at Parceo del Nobile, only 4.6 kilometers away from the finish. 1.6Km at 8.1%, not as hard as the previous ascents but still a considerable hilltop, which due to it’s proximity to the finish may be crucial, and the intermediate sprint can spark further action. From there on it is a very fast dash to the line, with a slightly technical descent and the final few hundred meters by the river where the finish line will be placed.

The Weather

The heat will tighten up seriously. Temperatures are set to go above the 30 degrees, which can be quite threatening for some who have so far had a consistent race. A day made for chaos absolutely.  

Breakaway chances: 60% 

It’s a very complicated day, however on the eve of the first Alpine stage and with the brutal heat, I recon that many will just be looking to arrive at the finish safely. I hope to see some aggressive racing, however I can’t say that it’s overly likely taking into consideration how the race has been unfolding so far.  

The Favourites 

Richard Carapaz – INEOS are the only team who, on paper, will want to attack. The racing has been very conservative so far in this Giro, and INEOS are the only team which has tried to spark some moves. It’s a tricky day, good for Carapaz and the depth of the British team which may try to attack.  

Mathieu van der Poel – Too hard for him? Perhaps, likely I’d even say, however the sharp efforts that can be decisive for the stage win will suit him. He needs a super day however, but naturally he will be ranked high by many because he is quite capable of riding in every terrain.  

Lennard Kämna – The breakaway specialist. Kamna has made his goals clear, and despite his stage win at Etna, he also wants the KOM jersey besides another win, and to get in a breakaway on a day like this can crucial for the classification.  

A GC fight is quite possible, and having these riders fight for the stage win is not in any way impossible. The obvious options of BORA – hansgrohe and Bahrain – Victorious must be mentioned, as they can try to raid such a day, although both teams have riders that are not explosive. Jai Hindley and Mikel Landa will search the wins in the high mountains, however it’s nevertheless a hard day. Emanuel Buchmann and Pello Bilbao are riders who should have some freedom, and in their best day they should have the legs to thrive on such a hard stage. João Almeida and Alejandro Valverde are also names to mention in such a stage.  

As for breakaway options, there will be several riders I will add to this list of possible stage winners. In great contenders, you will see: Wilco Kelderman for BORA, Mauro Schmid for Quick-Step, Bauke Mollema and Giulio Ciccone for Trek (depending on if/who will get freedom), Koen Bouwman for Jumbo and Santiago Buitrago for Bahrain.  

Furthermore… Tobias Foss, Wout Poels, Rein Taaramae, Thomas de Gendt, Alessandro De Marchi, Mikael Cherel, Davide Villella, Sylvain Moniquet and David de la Cruz are also worthy names to mention.  

Inside The Bus

This morning I talk to… 

#173 James Knox – Let’s try to get in the break James, it’s better than staying quiet on such a day, as in the mountains you won’t have much of a chance. Here you, Pieter and Mauri have a chance to surprise, so it’s a day to try and sneak off with a big win.  

#133 Matthias Brandle – Stay with Giacomo Matthias, there will be difficulties for the guys and we’ve been working hard until now, so now the goal is to survive and manage to mountains, there’s one more sprint to target.  

#117 Ramon Sinkeldam – It’s a day to relax, within the possible of course. You stay with Arnaud and find your way through the grupetto, nothing too risky and no huge efforts, do the bare minimum.  

Prediction Time 

⭐⭐⭐Kamna, Kelderman, Mollema 

⭐⭐Carapaz, Bilbao, Schmid, Bouwman, Buitrago 

⭐ van der Poel, Hindley, Buchmann, Landa, Valverde, Ciccone, Formolo, Foss, Almeida, Taaramae, de Gendt, De Marchi, Moniquet, De la Cruz  

A breakaway win for Wilco Kelderman is my call for the stage win. Perhaps on team duty, however BORA – hansgrohe clearly have intentions to hunt stages with two of their strongest riders.  

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