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Giro d'Italia 2022 - Stage 7 preview

Stage 7: Diamante to Potenza

Date: May 13, 2022

Distance: 196km 

Race times: 11:55-17:15 (CEST)

Stage type: Hilly

Stage 7’s start and finish locations translate from Italian as ‘diamond’ and ‘power’. The riders will be hoping to have sparkle and dazzling power in the legs in what promises to be a challenging day in the saddle.

Diamante is a true jewel of the Italian coast. With UNESCO blue flag beaches, white-washed walls and historical architecture, the town is a feast for the eyes. Beginning just south of the previous stage’s finish location of Scalea, the riders might feel a sense of déjà vu as the first 16 kilometres are basically identical to the final 16km of stage 6. That’s the beginning and the end of the similarity though, as after a reasonably-flat opening stretch of around 40km the rest of the stage is constant undulation.

It’s Friday the 13th but hopefully the day will not prove unlucky for too many. With four categorised climbs and a total of 4,510 metres in elevation gain, once the race departs the coast the climbing begins in earnest, as the Giro tackles its first mountain range, the Apennines. First up, the second-category Passo Colla: 9.3 kilometres at an average gradient of 4.5 per cent. While the GC contenders will be keeping an eye on one another during the course of the day, at this stage in the race it’s possible the day could be one for the breakaway, with strong climbers such as Lennard Kämna, Esteban Chaves or Bauke Mollema possible candidates for victory.

The toughest test of the day is the category 1 Monte Sirino. It’s a long slog of 24.4 kilometres up to a ski resort – the snow should have melted by the time the riders make it to the summit but it will provide a stark contrast to the sun-drenched coasts of the last few days.

Next up the riders must deal with the category 2 Montagna Grande di Viggiano before they take on second-category Monte Scuro (6.1 kilometres at 9.7 per cent) and third-category La Sellata (7.8 kilometres at 5.9 per cent). While this concludes that day’s categorised climbs, the run-in to the finish in Potenza is far from simple, a short 2.3km climb with 7km remaining.

The final 350 metres, while not classed as a summit finish, do go uphill at around 8 per cent, topping out at 13 per cent, meaning that if a single rider hasn’t made a break for freedom yet, the battle to the finish line will be a barnstormer. So, too, the arrival of the GC contenders as they scrap for precious seconds.

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 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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