Given the route both options are viable, although one could argue that the parcours better suits the breakaway. The race does not finish uphill, but in descent. On the other hand, you’ll highlight the pinkness of the maglia rosa by winning such a race of attrition.
Whether they will last until the finish line in Cortina d’Ampezzo or not, a huge battle for the breakaway is to be expected. Shortly after the start La Crosetta appears, a 11.6 kilometres climb at 7.1%. Back in the valley the route serves two uphill kicks before continuing on a sheer endless false flat to the base of the first of three big climbs.
After 110 kilometres the riders enter the Passo Fedaia (14 kilometres at 7.6%, very steep in the last third) and via the Passo Pordoi (11.8 kilometres at 6.8%) they reach the last climb. The Passo Giau is a tough test of 9.9 kilometres at 9.3% before a 17 kilometres downhill leads onto a final drag on cobbles. The last 500 metres go up at 5.2%.
The 17th stage of the 2012 Giro featured the same finale and the race boiled down to a clash of GC rivals. ‘Purito’ Rodríguez bested Basso, Hesjedal, Uran, Scarponi and Pozzovivo in the uphill sprint in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
How the race unfolds depends on the GC, so we’ll update this article during the Giro.
Favourites 16th stage 2021 Giro d’Italia
*** Egan Bernal, Simon Yates, Aleksandr Vlasov
** Pello Bilbao, Marc Soler, Davide Formolo, Thomas De Gendt, Jefferson Cepeda
* Remco Evenepoel, Daniel Martin, Hugh Carthy, Romain Bardet, Vincenzo Nibali
Another interesting read: route stage 16 Giro d’Italia 2021.
Giro d’Italia 2021 stage 16: profiles
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