The problem of stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia is two-fold. First and foremost the length: at 216km it is quite something on any day of the week. But the second point is that from kilometre 25 onwards there is no flat; only up and down.
Stage 10: Campi Bisenzio – Sestola: 216km
Make no mistake this is going to be a stage that hurts . . . . everyone. Despite being so up and down in terms of elevation though it has just four categorised climbs throughout the day. The Passo Della Collina is the first, peaking at 38km into the stage, then comes the Pietracolora which precedes a stretch of the course which is 64km in length that makes us go ‘hmmmmmm’.
The final two climbs will finish off the riders, but a big part of the damage my well have already been accomplished by then. The long slope up to San Dalmazio and Serramazzoni will help with that in particular. A strong team is simply a non-negotiable must-have in this stage and Astana will be among the favourites to get out there and make their presence felt.
Make no mistake Astana are the muscle team for a stage like this, along with Movistar but there will be a number of other riders all in with a chance of impressing here. Look out for AG2R La Mondiale and the combination of Domenico Pozzovivo and Jean-Christophe Peraud. Rigoberto Uran of Cannondale will be there or there abouts doubtless, as will Nippo-Vini Fantini’s Damiano Cunego, Orica GreenEDGE’s Esteban Chaves, Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka and Trek-Segafredo’s Ryder Hesjedal
Team Sky will be an interesting commodity. They are somewhat spoiled for choice with great climbers in their line up; but none of them have really taken the lead role in a grand tour. Mikel Landa was subordinate to Fabio Aru last year at Astana in the Giro d’Italia, but he showed that he has the basic ingredients to be a challenger himself. Will this be his opportunity? Will stage 10 be his proving ground?