Stage 18: Borgo Valsugana to Treviso
Date: May 26, 2022
Race times: 13:50-17:15 (CEST)
Stage type: Flat
Closing in on the end of the year's first Grand Tour, a flat stage will come as a welcome relief to the peloton on stage 18 and allow the general classification riders to sit back to an extent. There’s no reason to suggest the day will end in anything other than a bunch sprint, aside from the fact that the challenging Alpine stages may have claimed a few victims of time cuts and seen some of the pure sprinters step off the race. Whoever is left will have one last chance at a precious stage victory before the fast men hand back over to the GC riders, climbers and time triallists for the final three stages.
Departing from the cultural centre of Borgo Valsugana, with its canals, fine art and blend of Renaissance and Baroque architecture, the race route travels south-west towards Treviso, a city in the region of Veneto famous for being the home of Prosecco. The peloton might feel like breaking open the bubbles when they look at the stage profile for the day – after a few gruelling days in the saddle they will make short work of the pair of category four climbs that are the only bumps in the road. The Muro di Ca’ del Poggio is the second of the two and certainly the one that will give the riders the most difficulty – it’s a punchy ramp, only 1.1km in length but with a steep pitch of 12.3 per cent, it’s possible that a breakaway could use it as a springboard to launch an attack. With 50km still to ride in the day though, it’s unlikely to cause any major ripples.
The bunch will also have more road furniture to contend with, given the more urban setting of the day’s stage, so it will be important for the riders to stay alert on a day when it’s likely they’ll be tempted to switch off.
Any sprinters who’ve made it this far will be in with a chance of a final stage victory. Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) has proven himself capable of getting over some hefty peaks many times in the past, and the last time the race finished in Treviso, in 2013, the Manx Missile won the day. Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) and Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) are just a few of the names who might be left to challenge him.
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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