With their stunning scenery, the Dolomites always provide one of the showpiece stages of the Giro, and while there’s no summit finish today, a total of 4,500 metres of climbing makes for a tough afternoon and one on which there could be a reshuffling of the GC – the race may not be won today, but it’s likely that someone’s chances of winning will suffer irreparable harm. Descending skills could prove invaluable today, and they're the subject of the third video preview provided by IG Markets, with two riders on teams they sponsor - Dan Lloyd of Team IG Sigma Sport and Team Sky's Michael Barry - giving an insight into how the pros go downhill.
The Falzarego, Passo Duran and Forcella Staulanza are tough, but they are mere antipasti to the main course of the Passo Giau – 10 kilometres of climbing at an average gradient of 9.3 per cent, with ramps of 14 per cent in places. After the summit, there’s a descent of just under 8km to the moneyed ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
GT: It goes pretty high today, so the weather could play a part. It could be a cold day, you’re at the back end of the race, so a lot could happen. You’d probably say a breakaway could stay away but it depends, it could be a few GC guys going and trying a move. Nibali’s not here, but someone like that who can go downhill pretty fast, if they can get a little gap at the top, they could always hold that down to the finish, even someone like Vandevelde who is not going for GC, it could be one of the days they look to do something.
For more on this year's race read our full Giro d'Italia Preview.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.