The route of stage 7 crosses Abruzzo, a region with four natural parks. The highest peaks of the Apennines are located in the massive of Gran Sasso and Majella.
The route won’t go very high tough. The highest point will be at an elevation of 890 metres. The riders set off in Vasto, which lies on a plateau above the sandy beaches of the Adriatic Coast. Two years ago the Giro moved through Vasto on its way to the Passo Lanciano, or Blockhaus. This time the riders face a flat opening and an undulating section to reach the toughest climb of the day in Popoli – after around 130 kilometres in the saddle.
Le Svolte di Popoli climbs 7.5 kilometres at an average gradient of 6.6%. Following the passage over the top – still 42 kilometres to go – one would expect a descent, but that’s not the case. The route continues false flat for 20 kilometres before a downhill ushers in a promising finale in the streets of L’Aquila.
With 8.5 kilometres to go the riders crest a punchy climb on the Via Poveriera. A rolling section and a flying descent take them to the final ramp that already hosted the finish in 2005 and in 2010. The last kilometre slopes at 7.6% and peaks at 11%. The winner succeeds Danilo de Luca and Evgeni Petrov, who won from the breakaway.
L’Aquila is an historic arrival on the Giro d’Italia. The 1914 edition is remembered as the hardest Giro ever and the 6th stage as the hardest stage in the history of the Italian Grand Tour. At 428 kilometres, the race ran from Bari to L’Aquila and a lot of riders were forced to abandon. 81 pilots set off in Bari and only eight of them reached L’Aquila. Luigi Lucotti took the stage win, while GC leader Giuseppe Azzini was found the next day in a country house.
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the second intermediate sprint – at kilometre 78.1 – comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Another interesting read: results/race report 7th stage 2019 Giro d’Italia.
Giro d’Italia 2019 stage 7: routes, profiles, more
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