Assisi to Montecatini to Terme Length of the course: 255 KM
From the Podium Cafe preview: At first glance it looks flat, as inevitably a day for Cavendish as Tuesday's stage was for Rodríguez. Not so fast. The stage includes two categorized climbs. The first, the Poggio alla Croce, summits after 154 kilometers of racing. I hear you muttering over there. But Gaaavvvv, why should we care about a category 3 climb midway through the stage? Well, maybe you shouldn't. But you should care about the launchpad of a climb that comes inside the final 15 kilometers of racing. This is a classic Giro pattern: the stage that looks flat, but includes a nasty surprise close to the finish. The climb in Vico runs 3 kilometers and summits with 12 kilometers left to race.
Will it ruin the chances of the sprinters? Really, it's hard to say. Certainly, it adds an element of uncertainty to the proceedings. A feisty rider from the early breakaway could use this climb to escape for a stage victory. A team riding hard could dislodge a sprinter like Mark Cavendish. This kind of stage is what the Giro does best. Unpredictable, just the way I like it.
Note that I opted for Cavedish, Goss and Renshaw in their stage predictor game, a sure sign things may not end in a bunch sprint. Though, I am in 12th as of the latest update.
|Oolong investigates the strange object on her cat chair.|
Wine: 05 Talenti Brunello di Montalcino (I had this one on hand as it was originally scheduled as a 2011 Wine of the Giro)
From the producer's website:
Brunello di Montalcino, is the red wine which constitutes the "heart" of the Talenti winery, produced with 100% Sangiovese grapes since 1981, it grows in the company’s best vineyards. After careful vinification the wine matures in oak barrels (26 and 18 hl) with a small percentage ageing in tonneaus of 500 l for two and a half years, followed by 12 months ageing in the bottle before being sold.
When on the shelf, the wine is ruby-red in colour with an intense, characteristic and delicate aroma, harmonious, with a hint of vanilla and red fruit, wide and warm taste. Persistent, very harmonious and tasty, with a structure and complexity which gives the wine longevity.
I say: A good week for the wines of the Giro continues. Minerals, flowers and fruit. Rich and juicy.