There are days when cycling is no longer just a sport
On the one hand, cycling becomes a sin to be endured, whether because of the route or because of adverse weather conditions. On the other, it becomes a symbol of things that are bigger than oneself. And so today, on stage 6 of the Giro-E 2021, the 50 participants were able to experience Great Cycling, albeit dampened by the presence of motors installed on the bike frames, which alleviated their suffering.
From Castelsantangelo sul Nera to Ascoli Piceno. First four-star stage of this 2021 edition. Apennine route, all inland: 82.4 kilometres for 2100 metres of positive elevation gain. First real uphill finish, because the one in Sestola flattened out just before the finish line; this one, instead, is sharp. A day of real cycling, hard, and for this reason, beautiful.
Start in Castelsantangelo, immediately uphill. 10 kilometres, second category. Very beautiful scenery. Arrival at Forca di Gualdo after 10.4 kilometres at 7.4% with peaks of 12%. Then a slight descent, very technical, into the Val d’Orcia plain. Then the second climb of third category, much shorter than the previous one, with the arrival at Forca di Presta.
Descent, again. Long, tough. A monotonous stretch towards Ascoli Piceno and here, once through the city, the last climb, the most beautiful of the day: 15 and a half kilometres towards the finish in San Giacomo. At the start, with a view over the city of Ascoli. The last four kilometres to the finish line are very demanding. A route all hairpin bends, a small Stelvio. An average gradient of 6.1 percent with peaks of 10 percent in the last stretch. Beautiful. Real cycling. Adverse weather conditions: rain at Forca di Presta and bitter cold.