The riders race along the Lago Maggiore into Switzerland. After leaving the shoreline in Locarno the route continues on the flat until Roveredo, at kilometre 65. Gradually the road changes from flat to false flat to… the Passo del San Bernardino. Starting in Soazzo, the climb is 23.7 kilometers long and the average gradient sits at 6.2%.
The descent is almost as long as the climb, but not as steep. Once the riders reach the village of Splügen – at an elevation of 1,460 metres -, the Passo dello Spluga kicks in. This is a climb of 8.9 kilometres with an average gradient of 7.3%.
A fast descent of almost 20 kilometres takes the riders into the Valle Spluga. After a short detour around the Lago di Isola the last climb of the Giro d’Italia. The Alpe Motta is 7.3 kilometres long and slopes mostly around 9%. But since the fifth kilometre is nearly flat the average gradient sits at 7.6%.
How the race unfolds depends on the GC, so we’ll update this article during the Giro. Let’s hope there will be several riders in the maglia rosa mix and we’ll see long-distance mountain attacks by climbers with the ambition to move up in the GC. After all, this is their last chance, as the Giro concludes with a pan-plat individual time trial.
Bernal was outstanding the first two weeks of the Giro, but he lost time in the recent mountain stages. On both occasions Yates was the best GC contender and on both occasion the decisive move took place on the finish climb.
Yates is almost 3 minutes down on and if he wants to win the Giro he has to pull off a ‘Froomey’. In 2018, Yates himself was outstanding in the first two weeks of the Giro. Then came the Colle delle Finestre. Froome bravely attacked with almost 90 kilometres to go and soloed to victory. Yates suffered and struggled and lost 38.51 minutes. One day and his pink dream was over.
Is Yates going to relive that pink dream the other way around on this Giro? For instance with a long-distance attack on the Passo del San Bernardino…
Favourites 20th stage 2021 Giro d’Italia
*** Simon Yates, João Almeida
** Daniel Martin, Aleksandr Vlasov, Egan Bernal, Koen Bouwman
* Daniel Felipe Martínez, Damiano Caruso, Romain Bardet, Hugh Carthy
Another interesting read: route stage 20 Giro d’Italia 2021.
Giro d’Italia 2021 stage 20: profiles
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