Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 12 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 12 Preview

By David Hunter

Stage 11 Recap

Another crazy, crazy day! The first battle was to get in the break and eventually a large group of riders got away, just before the summit of the opening climb. In the group was Morabito, so that meant that the group was never going to survive. It was a real shame for Mauro Finetto, who in this group. Then there was a crash in the peloton, meaning Luke Durbridge abandoned the race and it left Diego Ulissi with a sore knee. A 2nd break formed and with no threat on GC they got a gap. Androni missed the break, so they rode like crazy men to bring them back and they did. Julian Arredondo, attacked on the climb and took full points for the blue jersey, which he now leads by 36 points. He was joined by a few riders but they were caught just over the top of the climb. The peloton was very small and sensing the time was right, Mick Rogers attacked. Cadel seemed happy for his fellow Aussie to get away and no team had big numbers, so he soloed to the finishing line, to take a great win. All the GC riders finished in the peloton.

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

Stage 12 Barbaresco – Barolo 41.9km

It’s time trial time!



The riders tackle a demanding and long battle against the clock.



Right from the start they tackle the cat 4 climb to Boscasso. It’s 12.6km long, at an average of 3%. Not a leg-beaker but certainly a long drag to start the stage off. Then, a long section for the specialists to make some time on their rivals, before the 2nd climb of 3.4km at 4.7%, a short descent follows before the finish of 1.6km at 4.5%.

This is not the easiest time-trial, and certainly suits a strong rider that can also climb.

The specialists in the race are Adriano Malori, Jonathan Castroviejo and Michael Hepburn.

Malori has been in sensational form this season, winning ITTs in San Luis and Tirreno Adriatico. He was 7th in Dubai and 2nd in Algarve too. He seems to have made a big progression over the Winter months. Unfortunately Malori crashed hard today and might find his TT position a difficult one to hold.

His teammate, Castroviejo, has been going in the opposite direction! His form in ITTs has been terrible this season.

Michael Hepburn started the season very well but has faded recently. I don’t see him doing a great time.

Then we have to look at the climbers that can do well. Cadel Evans is currently in pink and looking to extend his lead. You might not associate him with this discipline, but he certainly knows he can do a very fast time. A TT in a grand tour is different from other races, due to fatigue. Cadel has the experience to do well here. He was 7th in the 54.8km ITT last year, and faster than all the climbers apart from Nibali.

Rigoberto Uran can go well in a TT but he isn’t the most consistent.

Domenico Pozzovivo pulled out a massive 3rd place in the Vuelta ITT in 2013. I still have me reservations about him in this discipline.

Nairo Quintana did a great ITT in Pais Vasco, last year, but he also lacks consistency in this discipline.

Wilco Kelderman is quite good on his TT bike and will look to make up time on his rivals, especially Majka.

When comparing the GC riders you need to take into consideration current form, as well as TT ability.

Looking at some of the less favoured riders I notice a few that could surprise: Stefano Pirazzi, Dario Cataldo and Edvald Boasson Hagen.

In 2013, the Italian National TT Championships was raced over a challenging 38.8km course. Pirazzi was runner-up to Pinotti, with Malori 3rd and Cataldo 4th. The Bardiani man crashed badly earlier in the race but returned to form in stage 9. He is capable of a big performance. He told me today that he will try, but is concerned about the length.

Dario Cataldo won the ITT in Coppi e Bartali, earlier this year. He was Italian champion in 2012 and despite being well down on GC, looks to be hitting form again.

I’ve been watching the time trial performances of EBH for a while now. He is more than capable of going very fast, but doesn’t always go full gas in these stages. He was 6th in Dauphine ITT in 2013, only 6 seconds behind Kwiatkowski and 1 second faster than Richie Porte. This course does suit him and he is also in good form.

Michael Rogers is another excellent rider and good in this discipline, but he’ll be tired after his win.

Other interesting riders are Thomas De Gendt and Tobias Ludvigsson. De Gendt seems to go well when Tony Martin is chasing him, so will struggle without his German pal! Ludvigsson is good but young and a grand tour time trial will be a big challenge for him.

There will be 2 battles in the race, one for the win and the other on GC. Quite a few of the climbers will be very worried about this stage and the time they could lose to Evans and co.

Prediction time…

It really should be Malori. Riders often say that the day after a crash they can perform even better, due to adrenalin, but suffer in the following days. He is the best TT rider in the peloton, by a mile, and despite his injuries, should still win. I do have a slight concern about the weather as it could rain and the conditions might be different for some of the riders. The wind increases from a 5mph East wind, to a 7mph ESE wind. This means that the later riders will have more of a cross/headwind compared to the early starters. Malori is a fairly early starter, so could benefit from the conditions.

The only problem is that I’ve just found out from a source that Malori is not in a good condition. This means I’ll have to change my initial thoughts about the winner of the stage. Now I think it’s between Evans, Cataldo and EBH. I’ll go for Cataldo!

I think Cadel will put time into his GC rivals and I’m concerned that Quintana might do quite poorly.

Related: Giro 2014 general preview:

David Hunter

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