Giro del Piemonte 2016 preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro del Piemonte 2016 preview

By David Hunter

Diano D’Alba – Aglie 207km

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Another day and another Italian cycling race!

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The easiest of the recent series of races, this one doesn’t get going until kilometre 173. It’s then we hit the climb of Alice Superiore. It is 7km at 5%, nothing that will scare any of the riders. A descent follows, before a challenging final kilometre.

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With the final 500m kicking up at 4.2%, this is a very interesting finish, one that will excite the sprinters and puncheurs.

The Finale

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Nice and easy, although, the final metres do bend to the left. That means the riders won’t see the finishing line until the last moment. Hugging the inside of the corner will provide the shortest route home.

Tactics

The climb crests with 28km remaining and given the easy parcours, the bunch should still be big. Teams without sprinters will try and make the climb as hard as possible, but it looks a good day for the sprinters. If they can crest the climb 30 seconds behind the break, this should end in a big sprint.

Contenders

Fernando Gaviria – has been in wonderful form of late, with a win and a 2nd place in Belgium. He arrives with a formidable team, especially the train. Must start the race as the favourite.

Sonny Colbrelli – another rider in tremendous Autumn form. The Italian is fresh from his win in Varesine and his confidence is up. He will back himself to beat everyone in a sprint.

Philippe Gilbert – not in the best of form. His BMC career looks to be fading out. Needs to attack on the climb and hope to encourage a few more to help.

Sacha Modolo – what a terrible year it’s been. Such a shame, as Modolo was looking like one of the best sprinters in the world. What do you expect, when you get rid of his lead-out man, and fail to replace him. Do not see him turning it around here.

Giacomo Nizzolo – the Trek rider has solid form and is here riding for the national team. He is going to Qatar, but not as the outright leader. A win here would put a little pressure on Viviani.

Elia Viviani – here with Sky and could do with a big result. He’s struggled to find his road legs, after taking gold in the Olympics. He will be the Italian leader in Qatar, but he could do with beating Nizzolo here.

Daniele Bennati – the veteran has decent form and will love the uphill finish. Could roll back the years.

Francesco Gavazzi – 3rd in Bernocchi and Varesine, plus the winner of Memorial Marco Pantani. The veteran Androni rider is enjoying a purple patch. The uphill sprint is good for him, and he could upset a few of the “bigger” sprinters.

Jan Bakelants – almost impossible for the Belgian to retain his title. Has to attack on the climb and hope to stay away.

Prediction Time

With lots of sprinters, I don’t see the attackers on the climb getting lucky. This should be brought back for a bunch sprint. That will mean a straight fight between Gaviria and Colbrelli. This is a battle I look forward to and think that Gaviria will take the victory. He is unstoppable in a hill sprint.

David Hunter

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