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 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 9 kilometres at an average gradient of 5.5%. At the top it is still 42.6 kilometres out. Following the passage on the top 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. With 4 kilometres to go the route crests a punchy climb and following a short drop the riders tackle the final ramp that already hosted the finish in 2005 and in 2010. The winner succeeds Danilo de Luca and Evgeni Petrov.
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.
Giro d’Italia 2019 stage 7: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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