Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 11 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 11 Preview

By David Hunter

Stage 10 Recap

The stage turned out to be just as easy as expected. A 2 man break meant that the peloton could have a nice day in the saddle. On the little climb, Sky tried to put the sprinters in trouble, but it didn’t work. There was a crash near the end of the stage which ended the hopes of Viviani and Mezgec. As I have been saying for ages, Nacer Bouhanni is the fastest in the race and he easily took his 3rd win. Nizzolo was 2nd, again, with Matthews 3rd. Bouhanni now leads the red jersey competition by 24 points, from Nizzolo.

Pink – Evans, Red – Bouhanni, Blue – Arredondo, White – Majka

Stage 11 Collecchio – Savona 249km

After an easy day in the saddle, the riders face a more difficult day.

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Heading towards the coast, the riders will be glad to hear it’s going to be sunny again!

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At 249km, this is the 2nd longest stage in the race. The profile is challenging, with 2 cat 2 climbs and a few uncategorised climbs too.

The opening climb is 14km at 4.4%, and the road rises start from kilometre zero, something the riders never like.

The main action of the race will take place on the final climb. It crests 29km from the end of the stage and is difficult enough to create some big gaps.

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After a flat start, we have 7km at 8%, before flattening out at the top of the climb. This means that the sprinters will have no chance, even ones that can climb a bit. The riders even have to face 500 metres at 10.2%, this will cause some damage to the peloton. Don’t be fooled, we shouldn’t see any main GC action, but we will reach the top with a significantly reduced group.

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Once crested the riders are straight into the descent before a final, flat 4km.

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The end of the stage is long and straight, a sprinter’s dream. What a shame they won’t be there!

There are a few different scenarios to consider.

Due to the end of the stage the peloton will be significantly reduced. Will any of the teams have enough numbers to bring back the break?

If they do, then you need a climber that can sprint well, there are a few in this race. The most obvious candidate is Diego Ulissi. He has a great chance of claiming stage number 3. Also in the mix is Mauro Finetto. He has beaten Ulissi in a sprint this season and will fancy his chances of repeating this act. Bardiani will be hoping that Colbrelli or Battaglin can make it over the climb. I think that Battaglin is their best hope.

Edvald Boasson Hagen has been in great form recently. He can either try to get in the break or ask his team to work for a sprint. The easier option is to go in the break, but he will struggle on the climb.

Of the climbers, Cadel Evans and Rigoberto Uran are the fastest finishers, but I can’t see them arriving without Ulissi and if they do then Ulissi wins.

The other option is the break wins. Due to the hard climb, there won’t be many teams looking to help BMC with the chase. Lampre – Merida would be the obvious option but they won’t push too hard. If the smaller Italian teams miss the break, they might help at the front of the peloton.

If the break has an advantage after the final climb, they should hang on to win. The peloton will be greatly reduced and it will be very hard to organise any chase.

Prediction time…

The break wins and Adam Hansen will be victorious. Adam has said that there are only 3 chances for him to win and one of them went on stage 9. He tried to get in that break but the crash in the peloton ruined his chances. His climbing skills get better and better, with great performances in Turkey and Australia, this year.

If the break doesn’t make it, I don’t see any of the sprinters making it over the climb, as the peloton will have to be going very fast. 7km at 8% is way too hard for these guys, especially in a grand tour when the GC boys go hard. If that happens then Ulissi and Finetto will be the fastest riders left in the peloton.

Related: Giro 2014 general preview:https://bicis.frangandara.net/giro-ditalia-2014-general-preview/

David Hunter

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