Stage Eighteen - Thursday 24 May
San Vito di Cadore-Vedelago
139 kilometres, flat stage
Bluffers guide: A stage finish at Vedelago, just west of Treviso and close to where the Italian leg of our odyssey began a fortnight prior. This is Veneto, where Liquigas has its base and where cycling matters a great deal. Traditionally one of the poorest regions in the north, it was once home to a huge bike building industry, and remains fertile ground for aspirant cyclists. Here the cycling culture is probably rooted deeper than that of any of the other nineteen regioni, and over a century thousands have pitched in at the Giro.
Buon appetito: Sopa Coada is a delicious pigeon liver broth, typical of this part of Veneto. It’s made with bread, Parmesan cheese and onion and it is, quite frankly, to die for.
Local hero: Sacha Modolo (Colnago) – Arguably the pick of a bunch of emerging Italian sprint talents, Modolo underlined his credentials in 2011 with second behind Mark Cavendish in London’s Olympic Test Event. Born in Conegliano, he’ll doubtless be uncorking a bottle of the Prosecco produced in these parts if he wins today.
Bergonzi says: “On paper it looks like a stage for the velocisti, but I can’t see it. At this point their teams are extremely tired, and the likelihood is that they will want a day off chasing stuff down and trying to keep it together. They’ve still got the big stage in their legs, and they’ve too more crazy days on the horizon. In four days we’re talking about almost 14,000 metres of climbing all told, and so I reckon today will be pretty much about saving energy.”
Stage 18 Map
Stage 18 Profile