Stage Fifteen - Sunday 21 May
Busto Arsizio-Lecco (Pian dei Resinelli)
172 kilometres, High mountain stage
Bluffers guide: Following a transfer to Busto (near Malpensa), the race heads due east for the Italian lake district, specifically to the foot of Lake Lecco. There it will encounter Valcava, the first of the five climbs which will reconfigure the GC, with a beautiful dénouement at Pian dei Resinelli. Fifty years ago the great Spanish climber, Angelo Soler, triumphed here, and today’s winner will be cut from the same cloth, a specialist scalatore. A massive day…
Buon appetito: Rusumada is a creamy drink, a Brianzola variation on the traditional zabaglione. Usually taken as a dessert, it’s prepared with egg yolk, sugar and red wine (as distinct to the normal Marsala wine used elsewhere).
Local hero: Ivan Basso (Liquigas) – Basso’s favourite training climbs are a few valleys to the west of the fearsome Valcava and the final schlep up to Pian dei Resinelli. However the 2006 and 2010 Giro champion is close enough to home to feel at a distinct advantage today.
Bergonzi says: “Super-hard. These aren’t Alps, and nor are they Dolomites, but these are the kind of climbs you find on the Tour of Lombardy. The Valcava was once a kind of symbol of that race, and it’s recently been reintroduced. Then finally there’s Pian de Resinelli, which isn’t as long as Cerviere, but is really steep. Somebody in good form, who’s looked after themselves and is still pretty fresh, can really make the difference here… “
Stage 15 Map
Stage 15 Profile