The last week of the Giro serves three mountain stages and one ITT for climbers, so it’s fair to say that the week opens in style.
The first part of the race does not bode ill at all. In fact, the first 60 kilometres are as flat as it gets. Which means all climbing is crammed together in the rest of the race. The riders tackle the Passo di Santa Barbara (12.7 kilometres at 8.3%), the Passo Bordala (4.5 kilometres at 6.7%), and the climbs to Matassone (11.4 kilometres at 5.6%) and Serrada (17.7 kilometres at 5.5%). Then they have some time for a breather in the valley in the run-up to the finish climb. Not too long though – just 10 kilometres.
And that last climb hits hard, as the first 3 kilometres go up at 9%. If there are still some breakaway riders up the road, this is the spot to get rid off lesser climbers. And possibly go solo. Whether or not this will lead to triumph is another story. How far are the GC riders behind? Are they eyeing up the stage win?
Monte Bondone adds up to 21.4 kilometres and it slopes at 6.7%. The gradients level off in the middle section, while the average gradient between kilometre 12 and 19.5 sits at 8.2% is. The last 2 kilometres go up at 3.5%.
Attackers or GC riders – that’s an often heard question prior to mountain stages. Given the flat opener it’s a likely scenario that the breakaway will not be packed with the best climbers. On the contrary. In which case the attackers will suffer in the mountains and ultimately become an easy catch for the GC riders.
Favourites 16th stage 2023 Giro d’Italia
*** Primoz Roglic, Geraint Thomas, João Almeida
** Hugh Carthy, Damiano Caruso, Thibaut Pinot, Ilan Van Wilder
* Sepp Kuss, Thymen Arensman, Bauke Mollema, Lorenzo Fortunato
Another interesting read: route 16th stage 2023 Giro.
Giro d’Italia 2023 stage 16: profile, route finale
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