What a weekend at the Giro! We had the return to, and then loss again, of form for Chris Froome and Simon Yates, 4/9 to win outright at Ladbrokes taking yet more time out of the field. He holds a 2:11 second advantage over Tom Dumoulin – ahead of the final six stages.
Trento - Rovereto, 34.5km (Individual Time Trial)
One of the defining days of the race. 34 kilometres from Trento to Rovereto which undulated in the last 10 kilometres but is mostly flat and will see big gaps, coming at the end of the second week – and after a rest day to boot.
Unashamedly for the time trialists, the main battle will be between Tom Dumoulin, who’s 23/10 at BetBright, and Simon Yates for the Magalia Rosa, with Dumoulin needing to take back 2 minutes and 11 seconds to take the race lead ahead of a mountain packed final week.
Dumoulin, the world time trial champion, is aiming for his second time trial win of the race and he will be challenged by the same names that contended in the opening time trial in Jerusalem, such as BMC’s Rohan Dennis and Lotto’s Victor Campenaerts. Watch out also for Jos Van Emden of Lotto Jumbo, Trek’s Ryan Mullen, and the Katusha pairing of Tony Martin and Alex Dowsett.
Riva del Garda - Iseo, 155km
The last ‘’flat” stage before Rome which finishes with a circuit through Iseo but the sprinters are exhausted by now and this looks a breakaway stage, especially given the uphill start and climb through to Lodrino. Cycling betting fans will want to pay close attention here.
The dominance of Viviani, Bennett and Yates means that many teams haven’t had a stage win so the early fight to get away should be very fierce. Androni-Sidermec, Bardiani-CSF, EF-Education, Israel Cycling Academy and Wilier-Triestina will all want men in the break early and some of the bigger teams might let riders go too.
Abbiategrasso - Prato Nevoso, 196km
The beginning of the race’s end. 183 kilometres of flat until the climb of Prato Nevoso, 13.5km at 6.9%. The climb was used in the 2008 Tour when Simon Gerrans won the stage from a breakaway and the favourites came home soon after with some gaps between the leading contenders. The climb is toughest about three kilometres in, when the average is 8-10%.
Venaria Reale - Bardonecchia, 181km
Perhaps the queen stage of the race. The road rises for the first 40 kilometres and 28 of them are officially under the name of the Colle del Lys, which is marked as 28 kilometres long and includes a 6 kilometre stretch at 7.1% in the middle of the climb before the last eight kilometres.
There’s a descent before 30 kilometres of flat and then the big mountain of the day – the Colle delle Finestre. 18.9 kilometres long, this year’s Cima Coppi (highest point) averages 9.2% and also has incredible gravel slopes to captivate the viewers. It tops out very far from the finish but the riders bounce straight into the third category climb of Sestriere, and the Ski Station.
There’s then a long descent down to Oulx, and a 13km ride to the final climb of the day. The Jafferau is an extremely hard finale, 7km at 9% and without much relent at all. The last time it was climbed in the Giro, Mauro Santambrogio of Vivi Fantini just beat Maglia Rosa Vincenzo Nibali, with Carlos Betancur nine seconds behind.
Susa - Cervina, 214km
Last chance saloon. 126 kilometres of flat before the Col Tsecore (16 km, but with many sections that are exceeding 12% over the last 4 km), Col de St.Pantaléon (16.5 km at 7.2%) and Cervinia (19 km at 5%) before a false flat to end the serious racing at this year’s Giro D’Italia.
Rome - Rome, 118km
The end is here! The Giro will finish in the nation's capital, Rome with a short 118km stage around the city's narrow streets as the race turns its back on Milan. By this point the Magalia Rosa will have been won, and so will the white and blue jerseys, so you should see the traditional procession between the winners of the jerseys and their teammates.
The one jersey that may well still be up for grabs is the Maglia Ciclamino, or the points jersey, with Elia Viviani, who’s 4/11 at Paddy Power and Sam Bennett, 3/1 at Bet365 hoping to make it here to fight out one last time.