Expect a large break away that ends up fragmented as riders tire. It’s possible a strong man could also survive and take a stage win if the peloton gives them a lot of leash early on in the stage. Yet it would do justice to the iconic Blockhaus climb if a big name is to raise his arms on the top. It was on Blockhaus that Eddy Merckx took his first stage in a Grand Tour.
With a stage finishing on the steep slopes of Blockhaus, it’s easy to picture an in-form and in-pink Quintana riding away from the field to seal victory in style. And the same holds true for title defender Nibali. Given the relentlessness of the final climb, it seems set for a thoroughbred climber to take the stage.
The race amounts to 149 kilometres. Basically, the only tonic to ignite the race is the last climb, so the best climber in the break is in pole position to win the race if the peloton gave them too much leash early on in the stage.
Favourites stage 9 Giro d’Italia 2017
*** Nairo Quintana, Thibaut Pinot, Steven Kruijswijk, Vincenzo Nibali
** Bauke Mollema, Andrey Amador, Mikel Landa, Tom Dumoulin
* Sebastien Reichenbach, Davide Formolo, Pierre Rolland, Michael Woods
Giro 2017 stage 9: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Climb details Blockhaus in 3D
Start and finish at Google maps
Streetview top Blockhaus