Van der Poel, Van Aert and Alaphilippe won the last three editions of the Strade Bianche. None of them is racing the Giro. In fact, there is not a single former winner of the Strade Bianche present in the Italian Grand Tour.
On the other hand, Bardet and Formolo do participate and they finished in second in the Strade Bianche’s of 2017 and 2020, respectively. Sagan was runner-up twice, although this was longer ago – in 2013 and 2014.
Another rider who must be confident at the start of stage 11 will be Bernal. Last March, the Colombian finished in third on the white roads of Tuscany, behind Van der Poel and Alaphilippe, while the area is home surf for Bettiol, who crossed the line in fourth position last year.
The 163 kilometres race takes in 35 kilometres of dirt roads in the final 70 kilometres, with several sectors including steep climbs and equally testing descents. The finale is expected to ignite when the riders enter the Passo del Lume Spento on the unpaved side. It’s a 13.5 kilometres drag and gradients punch up to 16% in the first part.
The descent continues onto a gravel sector of 7.6 kilometer, most of which runs uphill, while the beginning of the last dust sector appears at the foot of the last climb. A short section at double digit gradients continues as a false flat – still on gravel – onto the Passo del Lume Spento. This time the riders tackle the ascent on tarmac – 5 kilometres at 7% – before the race ends with a downhill of 3 kilometres and a short and sharp finish climb to the line.
Climbing legs, bike handling, grinta – crucial characteristics to win the Giro’s take on the Strade Bianche.
Favourites 11th stage 2021 Giro d’Italia
*** Alberto Bettiol, Egan Bernal, Giulio Ciccone, Simon Carr
** Davide Formolo, Aleksandr Vlasov, Romain Bardet, Matteo Fabbro
* Gianni Moscon, Pello Bilbao, Marc Soler, Gianni Vermeersch, Gianluca Brambilla
Another interesting read: route stage 11 Giro d’Italia 2021.
Giro d’Italia 2021 stage 11: routes, profiles, more
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