One could argue that the race finishes on a ski slope. With 3 kilometres remaining the riders cross the parking lot of a small ski resort before entering the unpaved and steep slopes. A sophisticated version of a cyclocross race.
Presumably, the finale opens when the riders enter the Ovindoli climb with some 40 kilometres remaining. The 15 kilometres ascent at 4.3% leads onto an exposed plateau. On undulating roads the riders continue towards Rocca di Cambio before a short climb and the ensuing descent make way for the finish climb.
The last 6 kilometres rise at 6% to the line. The first half is easy, but this changes dramatically when the riders leave a tunnel, cross the parking lot, and climb the last 3 kilometres on a dust road to the line.
It goes without saying that a GC clash is on the cards, but it remains to be seen whether this will be for the stage win. Although being far from flat, the route is not extremely challenging until the last ascent. The gradients on the intermediate climbs hardly exceed 5%. Which is perfect for the breakaway to carve out a comfortable lead. When the attackers can start the last kilometres with a large enough gap, the winner is likely to emerge from the breakaway.
Favourites 9th stage 2021 Giro d’Italia
*** Giulio Ciccone, Alberto Bettiol, Matteo Fabbro
** Marc Soler, Davide Formolo, Pello Bilbao, Gianluca Brambilla
* Simon Yates, Egan Bernal, Remco Evenepoel, Romain Bardet, Daniel Martin
Another interesting read: route stage 9 Giro d’Italia 2021.
Giro d’Italia 2021 stage 9: profiles
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