Giro d´Italia 2021 – Stage 15 Preview – Ciclismo Internacional

Giro d´Italia 2021 – Stage 15 Preview

By David Hunter

Grado > Gorizia 147km

Does anyone want to control this stage?

It might only be 145km in length, but this is going to be a tough day in the saddle. Coming sandwiched in-between two big mountain stages also has an impact on the type of stage we get, the GC riders will hope to see the morning break disappear never to be seen again. The only team who could be interested in controlling this stage is Bora – hansgrohe, but I don’t think they’ll be that keen considering the ramps in the final 20km.

The stage is basically a lap circuit which is done on three occasions, it takes place on the border between Italy and Slovenia. The circuit is tough, it features lots of little kickers which will test most riders.

This is the main climb in the circuit, that worst of it is 500m at close to 14%. This is climbed three times.

This little kicker is climbed just once, cresting with 3km to go. What a great place to launch the winning move.

Inside the final kilometre we have some cobbles to deal with too. They last for just 300m and finish with 400m to go. They’re your normal city centre cobbles, nothing that should worry the pros.

Weather

There’s a patch of rain sitting just to the north of the race, but it looks like it might just avoid the race, but that could change. If it drifts south, the riders will get very wet.

Tactics

The start of the stage will be frenetic, as all types of riders will think they can win this one.

This is the beginning of the stage, and the wind is coming from the right, but as it’s only around 10km/h we shouldn’t see any echelon attempts. The flat start means the break might not establish for around 40km. Once it does get away the peloton will kick back and take things easy, with a huge day of climbing on Monday. Up in the break things will get tactical, a team with multiple riders will hold the upper hand and get put pressure on the rest. The Giro has thrown up many surprise winners, could we see another in this stage?

DS Cycling Mole

Right lads today is freedom day. You loyal domestiques all have a free pass, get in the breakaway and ride your hearts out. In an ideal world we’ll get more than one of you up the road. The break is going to be big, having numbers is vital. It’s stage 15 and I’ve not tasted champagne, or even prosecco, yet. This needs to change; I’ve got a thirst on. Serminator, if you win, I’m going to run the TT course in Milan bollock naked. Now get out there and remind everyone we’re the wolfpack.

Contenders

Peter Sagan – I’m not convinced Bora will try and hold this stage together, even though it’s short. Instead, I think we’ll Sagan trying to jump in the morning move, he knows this is his chance to seal the sprint classification. This stage is easier than the one he won last year, if he makes the break, he’ll be one of the men to beat. The steep ramps in the lap circuit won’t scare him either, Sagan will be confident of winning this stage.

Alberto Bettiol – he’s been one of the men consistently named as a stage favourite, but we’ve yet to see him really challenge. The lap circuit is very good for him, he loves steep slopes and packs a good sprint.

Pello Bilbao – with many Slovenians in the team, this is a big stage for Bahrain. Now that Bilbao is out of the GC picture he’ll be free to chase some personal glory, remember he was in great form in the Tour of the Alps. His punchy climbing style is great for the lap circuit, and he’s no slouch in a sprint.

Fabio Felline – we’ve not seen much of him in this race, but he should be allowed to chase the break in this stage. He climbs well and has a fast finish, perfect for this stage.

Rémi Cavagna – the TGV will have this stage marked in his roadbook. He might not be able to climb as well as some of the other riders in this section, but he can do some serious damage on the flat. As I’ve already mentioned, the stage is good for all types of riders, he’ll hope to make the break and take it from there.

Mikkel Frølich Honoré – we saw the Dane in the break on Thursday, but he struggled on the final climb. The profile of this stage is great for him, he was very strong in Coppi e Bartali not that long ago.

Paddy Bevin – another rider who started this race in fine form. We’ve seen him trying to get into some breaks, but he hasn’t been successful, yet. The Kiwi is one of those riders who can do almost everything, he’d be one to watch if he makes the move.

Gianluca Brambilla – came close to winning on Thursday but fell out with George Bennett and that was that. His form seems good, and his experience could be vital in this type of stage.

Diego Ulissi – he’s managing to get into breaks, but his current form isn’t good enough to finish it off. With every passing stage I think he’s improving, and this stage is close to perfect for him.

Prediction Time

I’ll take a win for the TGV, Rémi Cavagna.

David HunterFollow us on Twitter and InstagramJoin us on facebook: Ciclismo Internacional

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