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A taste of things to come
The race's third weekend features two crucial stages. The first packs a huge sting in its tail in the forbidding shape of Monte Grappa. There are no fewer than nine different approaches to this summit that has been used three times in Giro history - 1968, 1974 and 1982. As you would expect from the Giro, the race tackles it from Semonzo, which presents a difficult route for riders. The road averages a tad under eight per cent for its 18km with ramps of 14 per cent, then drops steeply back to the plains before a short kick up to the finish in Asolo.
Monte Grappa will break up the race but perhaps not the leading contenders. If the favourites are grouped, expect Colnago-CSF Inox team leader Domenico Pozzovivo to make a lone bid for glory. The flyweight climber has impressed this season.
"The Grappa's really tough and long. That said, the descent is so long that a lot of riders who have been dropped will regain touch before the valley. I know Asolo well because my wife's from just up the road. I can see a small group going away early and staying clear, then 30 or 40 approaching Asolo together and breaking up on the last hill."
Vertical climb: 2,110m
Highest point: 1,675m
Terrain: High mountain
Category: Road Stage