Stage 15: Rivarolo Canavese to Cogne
Date: May 22, 2022
Race times: 12:15-17:15 (CEST)
Stage type: Mountains
With almost 4,000 metres of climbing on the menu and a summit finish, the final day before the second rest day is a quintessential Giro d’Italia Alpine stage.
The riders have 93.2km to gather their wills and strength as they ride through the Valle d’Aosta region of north-western Italy, near to the Swiss border. Beginning in the picturesque Piedmont town of Rivarolo Canavese, it’s a cruel false flat almost all the way as they travel along the Dora Baltea river valley north, and then west, with the Alps looming up ahead and growing ever closer.
After an intermediate sprint in the village of Pollein, the serious climbing gets underway, with the category one ascent up to the ski resort of Pila first up. The climb presents a 12.2km challenge at an average gradient of 6.8 per cent. What goes up must come down, however, and the riders will descend on the opposite side of the climb back to the river before crossing over it and heading to Verrogne.
From the descent into the next climb, there is only around 6km of flat riding before the next ascent. The climb at Verrogne is also a first category. It’s a little longer, at 12.8km, and with an average gradient of 7.6 per cent, it’s a steady slog to the summit.
From there, another long descent pitches riders almost immediately into the final climb of the day, up towards the pretty Alpine town of Cogne, where the finish line lies, in the heart of the breathtaking Gran Parasido National Park. It’s rated category 2 but with a couple of serious ascents already in the legs, despite its relatively relaxed and ever-decreasing gradient, the peloton will feel every metre of its 22.4km length, especially as it ends in what will feel a false flat into the centre of Cogne.
After the likely ripping of the GC battle on stage 14, stage 15 represents a chance for the more pure climbers to drive home their advantage. Expect the likes of Richard Carapaz and Simon Yates, the true front-runners for the maglia rosa to emerge victorious in the overall battle, as the day will take no prisoners when it comes to exposing those who are not up to challenge.
Katy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has published interviews, features, and previews in Cycling News, Rouleur, Cyclist Magazine and the British Continental. She also writes opinion pieces on her own website writebikerepeat.com and is a frequent contributor to the Quicklink podcast.
She is obsessed with the narrative element of bike racing, from the bigger picture to the individual stories. She is a cyclocross nut who is 5% Belgian and wonders if this entitles her to citizenship. Her favourite races are Ronde van Vlaanderen and La Vuelta.
In her spare time Katy is a published short fiction and non-fiction author.
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