Giro d'Italia 2014, stage eight description, map and profile: Saturday May 17
When Saturday May 17
Category Medium mountains
It’s the second weekend of the Giro and the organisers have thrown up a juicy-looking stage to entertain fans enjoying a Saturday off work.
In what is comfortably the most difficult day’s racing so far, the peloton will face three mountains in the Marche region of central Italy. First up, 132km into the stage, is the Cippo di Carpegna.
It may only last 6.8km but, with an average gradient of almost nine per cent, this will be the most challenging climb the riders will have had to have face up to now. The climb was also one of Marco Pantani’s favourite training sites; its inclusion is part of this year’s controversial tribute to the late Italian.
Once the riders are done descending the Carpegna, the road immediately tilts uphill again to the finish. For nine kilometres, they ascend the steady Villaggio del Lago, before enjoying a brief respite in the shape of a three-kilometre descent, from where they head uphill again towards the Montecopiolo summit some six kilometres further up the road.
The gradient isn’t exceptionally steep for the most part, until a 13 per cent stretch at the finish line that will ensure a desperate slog to the finish line between the GC riders.
Did you know?
The starting town of Foligno was where the first printed edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy was published, back in 1472. The riders begin their own descent into hell in the climbs today, but won’t reach the deepest levels until they reach the Alps and the Dolomites later on.