Stage 17: Ponte di Legno to Lavarone
Date: May 25, 2022
Race times: 12:30-17:10 (CEST)
Stage type: Mountains
Beginning at altitude, in the gorgeous winter sports resort of Ponte di Legno, the bunch must ascend even further on stage 17 before they are allowed to come back down to earth. The uncategorised Passo del Tonale will challenge the riders to 500 metres of climbing over the first 8.7km of the stage, which will make for an awkward start to stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia, already nearly three weeks deep into the season’s first grand tour. The mountain pass goes past the ski resort of Val di Sole, recently used to host a snowy UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup event.
The breakaway will likely not establish itself until the peloton begins the descent, and what a descent it is. Travelling west to the stunning bridge at Mostizzollo, the peloton then turns south and passes into the Trentino region. Over 70km of almost constant downhill, the drop from the mountains into the Non Valley comprises almost half of the day’s distance, and should provide viewers with a stunning spectacle in terms of the scenery on offer.
The route moves east away from the river after that to begin ascending once again. First comes the third-category Giovo (5.9km at 6.8 per cent average, with a maximum gradient of 12 per cent), before 33km of undulating terrain leads the riders into the day’s first intermediate sprint. Then come two category 1 tests. The first is Passo del Vetriolo. This 13.5km climb averages 7.5 per cent gradient, so it’s a potent challenge which will undoubtedly cause big splits in the bunch, while the GC riders pay close attention to one another.
They will leave it until the final climb of the day to launch decisive attacks, if they are able. The Menador, or Monte Rovere, climb is short but intimidating: just 7.9km long, but with an average gradient of 9.9 per cent, the climb is an absolute beast, particularly given it gets worse the higher the riders climb – the penultimate kilometre hits a maximum gradient of 15 per cent.
From here it’s 8km to the finish line, and those going for the stage win should be aware that they face another climb, as the finish line goes slightly uphill into Lavarone, yet another picture postcard resort on the Alpe Cimbra in the South Tyrol-Trentino region of Northern Italy.
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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