The 18th stage serves 3,700 vertical metres on a 161 kilometres route. The elevation gain is clustered within two sections. After a flat opener of 30 kilometres the Passo delle La Crosetta throws in 11.6 kilometres of climbing at 7.1%. Right after the descent the route climbs to Pieve d’Alpago, a village that’s perched on a hill of 3.4 kilometres long with an average gradient of 5.4%.
The riders descend onto a flat intermezzo that’s to last about one hour before a 7.3 kilometres climb at 4.8% leads to another flat section of 10 kilometres, which ultimately leads to the centre of the action.
First the Forcella Cibiana, which is a 9.6 kilometres climb at 7.8%. There are almost 26 kilometres left to race at the summit. The first 8 kilometres go downhill before a 4 kilometres of false flat precedes the climb that’s likely to be decisive. The ascent to Coi is 5 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at almost 10%.
After moving through Coi, the riders fly downhill – partly just as steep as the ascent – to reach Mareson-Pecol, a mountain village at the base of the finish climb. The last 2.7 kilometres climb at 6.4% to the line.
The next stage – stage 19 – will feature the most vertical gain of the entire Giro, while stage 20 is a monster of an ITT, packing 1,050 metres of climbing into the final 9.8 kilometres. It’s a fairly safe bet that the GC riders will save energy for the two days ahead. Moreover, the climb to Coi may be hard, the finish is not situated at the summit, which is likely to keep the GC riders from attacking, as there is little to gain. This should open up the way for a successful breakaway.
Favourites 18th stage 2023 Giro d’Italia
*** Bauke Mollema, Ben Healy, Vadim Pronskiy, Jefferson Cepeda
** Thibaut Pinot, Jack Haig, Joe Dombrowski, Alessandro De Marchi
* Geraint Thomas, Primoz Roglic, João Almeida, Hugh Carthy, Eddie Dunbar
Another interesting read: route 18th stage 2023 Giro.
Giro d’Italia 2023 stage 18: profiles, route finale
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