Wednesday 26 May - The 17th stage of the Giro adds up to 193 kilometres, but the real action is packed inside the last 55 kilometres. First the Passo del Valentino, then the brutal Sega di Ala.
Four years ago the Giro last visited Canazei and it was Pierre Rolland who climbed to victory from the breakaway. This time the riders follow the same route in the first 35 kilometres, but the other way around. The route descends to Cavalese and continues to Sover before the first uphill sector appears. The Sveseri climb is short but steep.
In fact, it is the only uphill action in the first 140 kilometres of racing. The route descends to Trento before continuing on the flat until the Passo San Valentino appears. The ascent is 14.8 kilometres long and averages 7.8%.
After 10 kilometres in the valley the riders enter the finish climb. The Sega di Ala makes its debut on the Giro d’Italia – in fact, the ascent featured only once before in a pro bike race. On 19 April 2013 Vincenzo Nibali climbed to the stage honours and GC triumph on the Giro del Trentino (now Tour of the Alps), besting then-reigning Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.
The Sega di Ala is 11.2 kilometres long and extremely irregular. The average gradient sits at 9.8%, while the climb levels out to 5.3% in the last 1.7 kilometres. The preceding 2.5 kilometres are a perfect launch pad for attacks as this section rises at 12.1%.
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 17th stage of the Giro d’Italia starts at 12.00 and the race is expected to finish around 17.15 – both are local times (CEST).