Wednesday marks the longest stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia, a 243 kilometre slog from Assisi to Montecatini, Italy's most famous spa town.
The likes of Nibali and Visconti live within a stone’s throw, and the region is a magnet for cyclists. Mario Cipollini won his 42nd (and final) stage here in 2003, beating Alessandro Petacchi in an unforgettable sprint. Back in 1969 Eddy Merckx won a road stage here on the first Monday of the race, then time trialled around the town to win again the following day. He continued to dominate the Giro until they threw him off the race on stage seventeen for you know what…
The day is best suited to either a long breakaway or, if the bunch are still feeling feisty, another sprint showdown. Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) will know the road to Montecatini as well as almost anyone in the field. Cavendish spends much of the racing season in Quarrata, just a short ride away.
In this video (courtesy of IG Markets) Daniel Lloyd and Dario Cioni take us through the race route, the art of breakaway riding and how the sprinters’s teams will hope to keep the peloton together for another possible sprint.