Having defeated the other nominees, namely Perugia-Montalcino, Canazei‑Sega di Ala and Verbania‑Alpe Motta, stage no. 9, Castel di Sangro‑Campo Felice has been designated as the most spectacular stage of the 2021 Giro.
All of them were fascinating, thrilling and packed with action, from start to finish. The riders have attacked and fought back, turning over the GC.
So why has this stage won over the others?
Here are just a few assumptions. Maybe it’s because of the 2,000 metres of dirt roads leading to Campo Felice – and gravel roads are undeniably synonymous with entertainment.
Maybe it’s because we were still in the first part of the Giro, which implied that everything was possible, and we just couldn’t wait to find out what could happen.
Maybe it’s because we were amazed to finally see Gianni Moscon’s back in top shape when he came to the fore at the last km, ploughing on until he split the peloton, hence paving the way for his captain to attack.
Maybe it’s because we held high expectations for Ciccone on a stage that would finish in his homeland – and eventually he delivered, taking second place a mere 7’’ behind Bernal.
Maybe it’s because of the emotional footage of Attila Valter kissing the pink jersey on worldwide broadcast, right after realising he had lost the overall lead.
Maybe it’s because that was the day Egan Bernal took his first Maglia Rosa, and never let it go since then.
These are just assumptions, but one thing is for sure: the Castel di Sangro‑Campo Felice has been the most spectacular stage of the 2021 Giro d’Italia.