Departure town Bressanone was founded in 901, making it the oldest town in Tyrol. In German the place is called Brixen, not to be confused with Brixen Im Thale. That one lies in Austria, while Bressanone is indeed Italian – albeit the majority of the inhabitants prefer to speak German. Are you still there?
Bressanone lies at an elevation of 560 metres and after the fireworks of the last two stages the riders enjoy and easy start. The first 43 kilometres are a false flat down to Ponte Fiume Adige, located at 245 metres. There the Passo della Mendola looms, or, as the German speaking inhabitants say, Mendelpass. After a steady climb the pass is crested at an elevation of 1,363 metres.
Officially the first 5 kilometres are not part of the climb, but they definitely do go up. According to the road book Passo della Mendola is 14.8 kilometres and from bottom to top the gradient is fluctuating around 6.5%.
An irregular descent of almost 50 kilometres takes the riders to the foot of the two stage ascent that marks the finale. Only 20 kilometres left.
First the ascent to Fai della Paganella. The first 8.5 kilometres climb come with an average gredient at 7.9%, after which the road continues to go up at 4.9% for 1.75 kilometres, yet this section features the harshes stretch at 15%. KOM-points are to be gathered in Fai della Paganella, while the road keeps going gently up for 1 kilometre.
Following the drop it’s 6 kilometres left. First a false flat, then 2.5 kilometres at 5 to 6% before the last 2 kilometres are substantially flat.
Arrival town Andalo lies about twice as high as Bressanone, so ultimately stage 16 is about climbing. The short distance could give way to a compelling racing with (GC) riders attacking early on.
Back in 1973, Andalo was stage finish in the Giro d’Italia with a triumph of Eddy Merckx, who bested Felice Gimondi and Giovanni Battaglin.
At the line, time bonuses at 10, 6 and 4 seconds lay waiting, while intermediate sprints come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds each.
Race results/race report stage 16, Giro d’Italia 2016.
Giro 2016 Stage 16: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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