no one has ever raced it. Thomas versus Roglic -

no one has ever raced it.  Thomas versus Roglic -

Of Marco Bonarrigo

The Giro takes place in an anomalous and mysterious stage: Roglic is stronger in the time trial but the Welshman is the master of regularity on difficult routes. You need inspiration, head, courage or madness


After 82 hours of racing, the Giro d'Italia takes place in an anomalous, terrible, mysterious stage that no rider has been able to try. From Tarvisio to Monte Lussari you will first pedal for 10,800 meters at 50 per hour and then climb vertically and at walking pace in the last 7,500. To complicate life there are a obligatory change of bikea difficult choice of gears, a road so narrow and winding that only a motorbike mechanic will be allowed to follow the riders.

The dosage of forces is a puzzle: in the first section (13'/14') we need to push the ratio but without overdoing it. At the entrance to Val Saisera, there will be two assistants for each team on the roadside: one will pick up the time trial bike, the other will hand out the uphill one, pushing the athlete for a maximum of 25 metres, under penalty of disqualification. The uphill section - half an hour or so - atrocious: 7,500 meters at 12% average, a Mortirolo that twists on itself with 10 curves and 10 inclined switchbacks up to 22%. With slopes like this, following the rhythm marked by the power meter on the handlebar makes no sense, you need inspiration, brain, courage or madness.

Today we will know if Roglic (who is 26" behind Thomas) erased that 19 September 2020 from his nightmares when, starting in yellow in the final time trial of the Tour (climbing to the Planche Des Belle Filles), he melted like an icicle in the sun in the last kilometers giving the title to Pogacar. Roglic will start penultimate, Geraint three minutes later with the advantage of receiving the intermediate passes of Primoz by radio.

Statistics say Roglic is stronger in the time trial but the Welshman is the master of consistency on difficult courses, yet neither have ever faced such a ferociously uneven course. At the average speed of the Giro, the 26" gap between the two is equivalent to 300 metres, Almeida's 59" to 600. A badly approached hairpin, a small moment of mental crisis, one tooth more or less on the chainring are enough to cancel or multiply it. The time trial of Monte Lussari is also a huge organizational effort: the road is so steep and narrow that the riders will start in three heats spaced 40' apart to make the track safe.

May 27, 2023 (change May 27, 2023 | 07:29)

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