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Double Monte Grappa for a thrilling finale


Facing Monte Grappa once would be a big blow for everyone, tackling it twice in one stage means squeezing every last drop of energy out of the entire peloton. The last altimetrical difficulties of the Giro d’Italia 2024, in fact, will be nothing short of deadly and will be faced with 19 fractions in the legs.

With a total distance of 181 km, the race will start in Alpago and, after crossing the Prosecco Hills, with the ascent of the now famous Ca’ del Poggio Wall (4th cat.), will arrive at the foot of Monte Grappa after 85 km. The riders will tackle the climb from the Semonzo side, going from sea level to an altitude of 1700 metres in 18.2 km, with an average gradient of 8.1% and a couple of short false-flat sections that make it seem less hard than it actually is. At the summit, there will be 78 km remaining and a long descent of almost 30km will bring the peloton back to Semonzo, where the second ascent of Monte Grappa and the last great battle of this Giro will begin. This climb, followed by a fast 32km descend towards Bassano del Grappa, will in all likelihood give us the winner of the 2024 Giro d’Italia.

The ascent is the same one that, in 2014, provided the backdrop for the splendid time trial won by Nairo Quintana in the Maglia Rosa: the Colombian started last and beat the young Fabio Aru by 17 seconds, who nonetheless secured a place on the lowest step of the podium in that Giro, behind Rigoberto Uran. On that day, Monte Grappa was stormed by fans, just as it will probably be this year, also due to the unique opportunity of seeing the riders not once but twice.

Monte Grappa, however, is not only a climb, but also a descent, all the more so if it has to be tackled twice. For information, ask Vincenzo Nibali who, in 2010, after reaching the summit from Semonzo, swooped down towards Asolo, overtaking Cadel Evans, Michele Scarponi and teammate and final winner Ivan Basso. The Sicilian won the stage – the first of the seven – and propelled himself towards his first of the 11 podium finishes in a Grand Tour.

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