Fiuggi, located in the mountains east of Rome, is famous for its springs. Since the 14th century the water from the spa is given loads of credits. Maybe riders need to take a sip before they leave?
With or without bottles filled with wonder-water they follow the trail southeast through a rolling landscape. The real climbing begins at Sora with the Forca d’Acero (1,530 metres), a 29 kilometres torture. The gradient seldom rises above 5%, but it will the sheer length of the Apennine-giant making most riders shaky in the knees.
Surrounded by high peaks and passing through villages like Opi and Barrea the route heads east. Riders are to crest Valico the Macerone (684 metres), short climb (3.5 kilometres) with an average gradient of 7.4%. Once atop it’s a 30 kilometres ride to the foot of the final climb, but definitely not only downhill since in between is the climb up to the Sanctuary of Castelpetroso (739 metres).
The closing climb to Campitello Matese (1,430 metres) is no stranger to the Giro, in the past the summit produced winners like Bernard Hinault (1982), Franco Chioccioli (1988) and Evgeni Berzin (1994). 2002 saw the last Giro-finish uphere with Gilberto Simoni taking the stage. The climb itself is 13.6 kilometres at an average grade of 6.4%. It’s a tough and irregular ascent, constantly alternating between steep and less steep sections. Contenders aiming to win should attack early on since the final kilometre is almost flat.
Giro 2015 stage 8: Route, profile and more
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