Stage 13: Ravenna-Verona
Date: May 21, 2021
Stage start: 12:35 p.m. CEST
Stage type: Flat
This stage pays tribute to writer and philosopher Dante Aligheri on the 700th anniversary of his death. It starts in Ravenna, where’s he’s buried, and finishes in Verona, where he spent some time in exile. On what’s the 90th anniversary of the maglia rosa, it also honours the first rider to wear the pink jersey, Learco Guerra, with an intermediate sprint in his home town of Bagnolo San Vito. As well as taking the overall title in 1934, “The Human Locomotive” won 31 Giro stages.
With the high mountains set to arrive with a big bang the next day and just one more clear sprint opportunity beyond this, stage 13 might be the last fling for those sprinters who’ve got their sights set on doubling up at the Tour de France. Although a handful of hopefuls will no doubt coalesce in a breakaway, being off the front of the race today looks one of the most hopeless of tasks. Starting close to the Adriatic, the stage runs across an immense plain that’s billiard-table flat.
The route scampers to the first intermediate sprint at Ferrara, the only potential difficulty being the wind. If it does blow, this could be a very complicated day indeed because the terrain is so open. The Guerra tribute sprint is the next landmark of note, coming 77km after the first intermediate gallop. Continuing through Mantova and Vigasio, the finish in Verona arrives after another 54km of pan-flat riding on wide roads, where the sprinters’ teams shouldn’t have any difficulties chasing down the break.
Verona’s not hosted a road stage finish since 1997, when Mirco Gualdi took victory. Since then, it’s hosted the race’s final time trial on three occasions, in 2007, 2010 and, most recently, in 2019, when Chad Haga won the stage and Richard Carapaz was confirmed as the overall champion.
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