News: Vincenzo Nibali promises to fight in the string of five mountain stages and is confident to take the lead of the Giro d’Italia from Tom Dumoulin.

After two weeks of nervous racing, of jabs and body blows, attacks and chases, Giro d’Italia race leader Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) leads Nairo Quintana by 2:41, with Thibaut Pinot third at 3:21 and Vincenzo Nibali at 3:40. All fighting for a shot at a podium place or in the top ten.

Last year, Nibali managed to turn things around when Steven Kruijswijk crashed in over the top of the Colle dell’Agnello, he gained time and then snatched the pink jersey from Esteban Chaves on the final mountain stage to Sant’Anna di Vinadio.

Nibali has yet to impress at the Giro d’Italia. He and his coach Paolo Slongo claim that his form and his numbers are up there, if not better than last year, but he has struggled on the one off fast climbs to the finish at Blockhaus and Oropa.

While Dumoulin’s lead is significant, but the overall classification is still short. It expected to open up significantly after the 222km haul from Rovetta to Bormio.

Stelvio Stage

The double climb of the Stelvio offers the perfect stage for a heroic attack, something that will make the 100th edition of the Corsa Rosa special.

The 222km stage starts in Rovetta near Paolo Savoldelli’s home in Clusone high up the Val Seriana. The first 60km will be fast and furious as riders try to get in the break of the day. Whoever makes it will need strong legs and a will of steel.

The stage includes the easier but still steep Monno side of the Mortirolo after 60km but it is only an antipasto to the main meal of the double Stelvio whopper.

The riders will pass through Bormio after 122km leaving 100km of racing. The climb to the summit from Bormio is 21.7km long, with an average and largely constant gradient of 7.1%. The Stelvio tops out at 2758m and is this year’s highest climb, where the first rider across wins the Cima Coppi prize.

After a total of 5300 metres of climbing, the stage concludes with the dizzying 20km descent to the finish in Bormio. It could see attacks pulled back but could also inspire others attacks. The Stelvio stage will entertain right to the very end.

Previous winners in Bormio after similar stages in include Fausto Coppi, Charly Gaul, Erik Breukink, Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego.

Source: Cycling News

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