Stage Nine - Monday 14 May
San Giorgio del Sannio-Frosinone
171 kilometres, flat stage
Bluffers guide: Up into Southern Lazio for a flat hike to the Ciociaria, the mythical Neolithic uplands east of Rome. Expect colour, folklore, a long breakaway and (probably) a gallop. Like many Central Italian cities, Frosinone was all but flattened by the allies during WWII, but its magnificent duomo somehow survived. Still today it dominates the skyline.
Buon appetito: Sagne coi faggioli is handmade pasta served with a tomato and bean broth, is a Ciociaria speciality. The local red wine is Atina, a luscious cabernet Sauvignon.
Local hero: Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas) – A reliable gregario, Agnoli has made the Liquigas line-up in the last four giri. Hailing from Alatri, near Frosinone, he ought to enjoy a relatively quiet day on his home roads.
Bergonzi says: “Another Tirreno type stage. The percorso suggests it’s for the sprinters, and I remember seeing Freire win here. My guess is that it’ll be a rider of his ilk, but I’ve a feeling they won’t all come in together. There are lots of little climbs to get over, and it’s one where a brave rider who goes at the right moment and gives it everything has a chance.”
Stage 9 Map
Stage 9 Profile