After a day of respite which benefited the sprinters, the Giro regains height, with an 18th stage arriving at the top of Val Di Zoldo.
There are only four stages left to take part in this Giro 2023, and that of this Thursday will not be the least difficult! The 128 riders still in the running will be entitled to a stage with four stars of difficulty (out of a maximum of five) between Oderzo, a small town northeast of Venice, and Val di Zoldo, a valley in the Dolomites south of Cortina d’Ampezzo, which will host the ski events of the Olympic Winter Games in 2026.
161 kilometers will be on the program for this day, a priori without rain. The departure will be given at 12:30 p.m. After a rising false flat, the riders will begin the first big piece of this stage, the Passo della Crosetta, classified in the first category, with 13.5 kilometers of climb at an average of 7.1% and a peak of 11%. After the descent, a fourth category climb will be on the menu: the Pieve d’Alpago (3.4km to 5.5km). The descent then a long rising false flat will await the peloton then, until Pieve Di Cadore’s sprint.
Two climbs in quick succession to finish
🇮🇹 Giro d’Italia 2023, stage 18 ( @Tour of Italy )
📍12:30 (Oderzo) – 🏁 17:15 (Val di Zoldo). 161km
📺 @eitbkirolak | @eurosport – @gcntweet … : 12:00#Giro #crowd pic.twitter.com/e2hzHiBwDq
— Tropela Association (@tropela) May 25, 2023
The second first category climb will mark the rest of the route, with the Forcella Cibiana and its 9.7 kilometers of climb at an average of 7.7% (two peaks at 15%). The second sprint of the day will be judged at the foot of the descent, then two second category passes will be in quick succession on the route of the peloton: the Coi (5.8km at 9.7% including a peak at 19% just before the summit) and the final ascent of the Val Di Zoldo after two kilometers of descent.
This last climb, made of eight switchbacks, is short but tough: 2.7 kilometers at 6.4% on average and a peak at 10% in its first third. The opportunity for Geraint Thomas, Joao Almeida and Primoz Roglic, the top three in the general classification who are less than 30 seconds away, to fight a big battle?