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Giro d'Italia 2017: Stage 20 preview

Josh Cunningham
25 May 2017

We look ahead to the final decisive road stage of the Giro, featuring the infamous Monte Grappa

Page 1 of 2Giro d'Italia 2017: Stage 20 preview

The final road stage of the 2017 Giro looks set to be a thriller, with the race for the overall so tight (a mere 90 seconds separates the top six riders) and many riders with a need to gain time ahead of the final time trial in milan. 

The 190km stage from Pordenone to Asiago features a rolling opening half, before the climb of Monte Grappa ramps up out of the Venetian faltlands to begin a distinctly mountainous second portion.

A long descent follows the Grappa, before some kilometres of flat in the valley, and finally the cruscendo of the category one climb to Foza. 

 

The Monte Grappa is a relatively steady climb, but will take the riders up over an elevation gain of 1,300 over its 24km, making it no slouch. 

Riders that need to take time out of Dumoulin ahead of the final time trial - which is almost everybody - could think about an early attack here, but it is a climb that will play to the Dutchman's strengths, and assuming he does not have a bad day, he should be difficult to unseat. 

The second climb to Foza is a different beast however, with an average gradient of 7.1% and ramps up to 11%, it is much more suited to the likes of Quintana, Nibali, and Pinot, and if they haven't already, then the attacks will surely come here. 

But even if damage is done on the road up to Foza, with 15km of rolling roads from the top of the climb to the finish, the race could easily come back together again.

Having company will be essential for anybody chasing after being dropped on the climb, or else gaps of a few seconds could turn to minutes as they are left behind. But the same is true for anybody who has escaped on the uphill; maintaining a lead over a group of riders will be infinitely more difficult than if it were a summit finish. 

The addition of these 15km dramatically changes the dynamic of the stage, which by nature of the closeness at the top, they could therefore have a big impact on the outcome of the overall race.

With everything very much in the balance, the final road stage of the 2017 Giro should prove quite the spectacle. 

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Page 1 of 2Giro d'Italia 2017: Stage 20 preview