Sunday 16 May - The 9th stage of the Giro is a tough test of 158 kilometres in the Appennine mountains. The route takes in 3,400 vertical metres, while the finale at Campo Felice is extremely steep and unpaved in the last kilometres.
The stage kicks into gear in Castel di Sangro before the first 13.1 kilometres run false flat uphill on the unclassified Colle della Croce. The first classified climb begins after 22 kilometres. The Passo Godi – also known as the Valico di Monte Godi – is 15.5 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 3.8%.
A long descent leads onto an unclassified climb of 12 kilometres at 4% before the route plunges down to Castel di Ieri to enter the Forca Caruso. This ascent comes with virtually the same statistics – 12.7 kilometres at 4.3% -, but KOM pretenders will be able to gain points at the summit.
Another downhill leads onto the penultimate ascent of the day. The climb to Ovindoli is 12.4 kilometres long and averages 5.31%. After moving through the mountain village the riders continue on an exposed plateau towards Rocca di Cambio, a village on a hill.
A short drop ushers in the finish climb to ski station Campo Felice. The ascent is 6.6 kilometres long and slopes at 5.8%, but that’s just part of the story. The riders disappear into the Galleria Serralunga, which is a tunnel, in the last 3 kilometres. Shortly after coming out of it the tarmac turns to gravel and the final 1.6 kilometres go up 8.6.
The second intermediate sprint – in Rocca di Combia – comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds, while time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three riders on the line.
The 9th stage of the Giro d’Italia starts at 12.30 and the race is expected to finish around 17.10 – both are local times (CEST).