Only 29 seconds separate the leader Geraint Thomas and the third-placed Primož Roglič before the grand finale of this year’s Giro. Today is the first of three mountain stages with an altitude of 3,700 meters and a target ascent.
The 18th stage from Oder to Val di Zolda is 161 kilometers long and contains five categorized climbs. The most strenuous will be right at the end, when the cyclists will first climb the Forcello Cibano (9.6 km; average gradient 7.8%) and after the descent to the two-headed final climb – the Coi pass (5.8 km; 9.7%) ) – this one will be particularly demanding – and then to the finish at Val di Zolda (2.7 km/6.4%).
The stage is not as difficult on paper as it was on Tuesday, but it is to be expected that the leading third will again test each other and exploit any weaknesses of the rival. Action is expected especially on the Coi Pass, where the ramps are close to a 20% gradient. This climb suits Roglič better than Thomas and Almeida, but only if it is 100%.
In the total, Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) is 18 seconds ahead of Portuguese Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates), while Roglič is 29 seconds behind. The rest of the riders have already dropped out in the fight for the final victory.
The stage will start at 12:20 p.m. and end around 5 p.m. We will follow it in the special application MMC-živo.
Today is followed by two more challenging mountain tests. The nineteenth, royal stage from Longarone to Tre Cime di Lavaredo (183 km) brings 5,400 meters of altitude and is the highest point of this year’s Giro, while the penultimate stage or the time trial on Saturday is the climb to Svete Visarje (7.3 km/12.1%) right next to the Italian – the Slovenian border.