UPWARD TRAJECTORY A genuine Alpine behemoth worthy of any Giro. Hostilities begin on the interminable drag up the mighty Sestriere, first disastrously attempted in 1914 (they had 16kg bikes with no gears), then to Jafferau. This was the scene of Josè Manuel Fuente’s long distance attack/implosion at the 1972 Giro. By today’s standards, the Jafferau isn’t very long or very steep, at 7km and 9 percent. It’s still Jafferau, however, on the second Saturday of the Giro. It’s also the first day in the Alps proper so come what may, this will be an absolute belter.
Stefano Zanatta says: "Sestriere is basically a very long drag so while you won’t see much happen on it, its effects will be felt on the climb to Bardonecchia. There’s a long way to go, so it’s possible they will neutralise one another until the final few kilometres. Then again, if one of the GC group is under par, the rest may well inflict some damage. If you’re losing time on this stage, though, you’re probably going to have a rough time in the Dolomites."