Welcome to hell: Giro d’Italia poised for fireworks as race heads to Mortirolo in brutal mountain stage

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giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results - GETTY IMAGES

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results – GETTY IMAGES

07:00 AM

What’s on today’s menu?

The peloton may be tackling the easier side if the Mortirolo in today’s hellish looking stage, but do not let that fool you into believing there is anywhere for the riders to hide. With in excess of 5,000 metres in vertical elevation – I’ve read anything between 5,047m and 5,440m – raced over three category one climbs, and the often overlooked uncategorised Teglio, this is going to be one of the toughest tests the riders will face over three weeks of racing. It is, in short, a monster of a stage. Riders will crack and lose time, other will find their climbing legs and excel. I expect there will be a huge battle in the race for pink, but will a breakaway rider prevail and take the stage?

Once again, it is difficult to say whether the stage will be contested by a breakaway rider or a group of general classification contenders. I suspect an awful lot of riders will be hoping to get into a breakaway, including some that may be looking to act as satellite operators later in the day – when they drop back from the break, or sit up, and assist their team leader – but that may be easier said than done. Should a breakaway form, then the likes of Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), who won in the rain here in 2019, may fancy another crack. The Italian looked sprightly on Sunday and had Monday to recuperate, but was that long enough for him to fully recover?

Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) went well in this region in that 2019 stage, too, but was unable to match Ciccone on the final climb on Sunday, but again, much will depend on his powers of recovery. Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) stands a good chance of making it a third stage win, but the Briton will have to ride a canny race, balancing up whether he needs to get into a breakaway or hang with the general classification group. Yates, of course, offers no threat to the general classification riders and so if the stage is contested by them he can simply ride in the wheels saving his legs for the finale. Sounds easy when written out like that, but trust me it is anything but – this is not PlayStation cycling.

Of the general classification riders, you would have to say course appears to favour Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) or Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe), and it will be fascinating to see how both teams tackle the stage: it would be great to see some more aggressive riding from one of them, much like we saw in Saturday’s stage to Turin, but I fear they will adopt a more conservative approach on what is only the first day of an extremely tough third week.

So, what does the stage look like?

Stage 16 profile - giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest resultsStage 16 profile - giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

Stage 16 profile – giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

Here’s what the roadbook says about the stage…

A queen stage across the Alps, with over 5,000m vertical altitude gain. The stage begins in Valsabbia, going up, and takes in a long climb (nearly 30km) leading to the 2,000m Goletto di Cadino (below).

Goletto di Cadino - giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest resultsGoletto di Cadino - giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

Goletto di Cadino – giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

The route drops into the Val Camonica (with a few level crossings along the way) and goes up again, reaching Edolo. The route then tackles the Passo del Mortirolo (below) coming from Monno. Three kilometres before the summit, the road narrows and the gradients rise.

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest resultsgiro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

A technical descent follows, leading to Grosio on narrow road (quite steep at points). After a flat stretch, the route goes up again, heading for Teglio (on narrowed roadway, with gradients even exceeding 15% at points – see below), and then descends rapidly towards Tresenda, before the closing ascent up the Valico di Santa Cristina.

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest resultsgiro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

The road, wide and well-paved in the first part (with two short tunnels along the way), narrows as soon as it switches towards the summit. The route winds its way in hairpins through the woods, with sharp gradients, dropping sharply and rapidly into the finish.

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest resultsgiro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

The descent from the Valico di Santa Cristina to the ‑1,500m marker is highly technical, on narrow road and with sharp gradients. In the closing stretch (below), the route rises steadily at around 3% all the way to the finish (on Tarmac).

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest resultsgiro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results

Live coverage of stage 16 to get under way at 12.30pm (BST)

07:00 AM

Catch up: Highlights from Sunday’s stage

Saturday’s stage was always going to be a tough act to follow, and though interesting enough, there was very little to get too excited about from a general classification perspective. I am sure, though, that stage winner Giulio Ciccone and his Trek-Sefagfedo team, who the previous day lost the maglia rosa with it slipping off the shoulders of Juan Pedro López and into the arms of Richard Carapaz, found little reason for complaint. Indeed, after suffering a fairly miserable period off the bike, Ciccone ​was back to his brilliant climbing best and put on a superb display as he soloed away to his first stage win at the Giro d’Italia since 2019. Watch the highlights . . .

06:55 AM

Ciao!

Hello and welcome to our live rolling blog from stage 16 at the Giro d’Italia, the 202-kilometre run from Salò to Aprica.

Following Monday’s rest day, the third and final week of the Giro gets under way later today with a brutal mountain test that features 5,250 metres in vertical elevation gain. While the general classification appears evenly poised at the top of the standings, this last week include no fewer than four mountain stages, along with the final day time trial in Verona. Hopefully the next few days will provide some exciting stages and engaging battles for the various jerseys up for grabs. But what do the standings currently look like?

Richard Carapaz - giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results - GETTY IMAGESRichard Carapaz - giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results - GETTY IMAGES

Richard Carapaz – giro ditalia 2022 live stage 16 cycling updates results race latest results – GETTY IMAGES

Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) will be be dressed in the maglia rosa – the leader’s pink jersey – for the second consecutive day having taken top spot in the general classification in Saturday’s barnstormer of a stage, won by Simon Yates (BikeExhange-Jayco).

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) will again wear the maglia ciclamino (cyclamen jersey) as overall leader in the points classification, a competition the Frenchman won in 2020.

Having already won a stage, Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) climbed to the top of the standings in the mountains classification after taking maximum points at the summit of the first of the three climbs on Sunday. As a result, the Dutchman will wear the maglia azzurra, or blue jersey, during today’s stage.

Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) will wear the maglia bianca, the white jersey, for the 12th successive day, but only the second by right as overall leader in the youth classification – the Portuguese previously wore it on behalf of Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo).