Giro d'Italia 2023 stage 18 preview

Thursday sets the stage for a series of three climbing days that serve as a crescendo for the 2023 Giro d’Italia. There are five categorised climbs on the 161km route for stage 18 with the finish at Val di Zoldo. It has been 18 years since the Zoldo Alto climb was featured in the Giro, where Paolo Savoldelli out-sprinted fellow Italian Ivan Basso at the mountaintop finish for the stage win.

A flat start in the Veneto region from Oderzo lasts for only 20km before the first wall approaches, the category 1 Passo della Crosetta, with a consistent gradient of 7% for 11.6km. Once across the top at Cansiglio, the route undulates and twists downhill for 23km through the Piave valley to the short 3.4km category 4 climb at Pieve D’Alpago. Heading deeper into the Dolomites, the route uses 25km of false flat roads that tip slightly uphill to the intermediate sprint at Pieve di Cadore, then enters the Boite valley and climbs the first category Forcella Cibiana (9.6 km, 8% gradient), with two sections reaching 15% gradient. 

After a long descent then enters the Val di Zoldo, the final 14km feature back-to-back category 2 ascents, separated by only 2.1km. Up first is the Coi, with narrow, uphill pitches of nearly 20% near the top of the 5.8km climb. The finish is just 5km from the summit atop the not-as-menacing Val di Zoldo, with eight switchbacks that lead into a long 300-metre suitable for another sprint contest.

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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