Wednesday 19 May - Stage 11 is the Giro's take on the Strade Bianche. The 162 kilometres route includes 35.2 kilometres on gravel roads. The last one is situated just before the last climb.
It was meant to happen one day. The famous dust roads of Tuscany on the Giro. Like the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix on the Tour de France, this provides an opportunity for the specialist to shine, while GC riders might have second thoughts about the desirability of a ‘dusty finale’.
The first half of the race is played out on flat to rolling terrain before the first dust road begins in Torrenieri, with 70 kilometres left to race. Which means half of the remaining distance is on gravel.
The hardest gravel sector is situated on the Passo del Lume Spento. It’s 13 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 3.5%, but this statistic is biased, as virtually all climbing is packed in the first half. This section averages 8.5% and punches up to 16%.
After reaching the summit there are still 40 kilometres remaining. The riders fly down to Castelnueva del Albate to enter the next sector – descending at first before climbing out of the valley in the last 5 kilometres.
The last dust road is predominantly flat, 5 kilometres long, and leads onto the… Passo del Lume Spento. But this time the pass is tackled from another side. No gravel this time, but the riders climb 4.4 kilometres on tarmac to the top, while the average gradient sits at 7%. The first part is steepest and features a section at 12%
A 3 kilometres downhill leads onto a trying last kilometre in Montalcino. The final 200 metres ramp up at double digit gradients.
The second intermediate sprint 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 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia starts at 12.55 and the race is expected to finish around 17.15 – both are local times (CEST).