Stage 13: Cervia to Monselice
Date: October 16, 2020
Stage start: 11:40am CEST
Stage type: Hilly
The Giro’s northward track continues with this stage across the pan-flat River Po plain to the finish town of Monselice, where a 40-kilometre circuit features some testing hurdles for the sprinters to clear on what could be their last chance for success until the back end of the race’s final week.
Unless the wind intercedes, in which case this could become a very complicated stage indeed, there are no significant obstacles in the opening three-quarters of the stage. The route runs mostly on straight and wide roads, heading through the first intermediate sprint at Rovigo and arriving at the second at Galzignano Terme after a first passage through Monselice.
Leaving Galzignano Terme, the riders will enter the Euganean hills, ancient volcanoes that overlook the Padovan-Venetian plain, where there are two fourth-category climbs. The first to Roccolo (averaging 8.3 per cent over 4.1km) comes in two parts, the first rising up the Muro di Vallorta, where the gradient briefly touches 20 per cent, and the second continuing to Roccolo, where there’s another abrupt ramp that’s almost as steep.
Leaving Rivadolmo there’s a second “wall”, this time the Muro di Calaone, which is just a tad under 10 per cent gradient for 2.1 kilometres. Like the Vallorta, it takes a narrow, twisting route through dense woodland and offers the chance for punchy climbers to ambush the sprinters. Cresting this climb, there are 16 kilometres to cover io the finish, initially winding through a series of small villages until, on the approach to Monselice, the road runs straight and wide. This will give the sprinters’ teams an opportunity to reel in any riders who have taken flight.
The run-in is comparatively straightforward, until an extremely sharp left-hand bend 400 metres from the line. The battle to be in the vanguard at this point will be especially fierce, as whichever team secure it will probably win the day.
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