In terms of the much hoped GC action, the second week of the Giro d’Italia 2023 did not provide us with much excitement. Fortunately, the breakaways took care of that, with attacks and counter-attacks in the pouring rain, last kilometre catches and heart-stopping sprints. In the third and final week, however, none of the big favourites will have the chance to hide any longer.
The first chance to shake things up will come as early as tomorrow, with the 203-kilometre Sabbio Chiese-Monte Bondone. Five KOMs on the menu: the Passo di Santa Barbara (1st cat.), the Passo Bordala (3rd cat.), the Matassone (2nd cat.) and Serrada (2nd cat.) will pave the way to the epic Trentino climb of Bondone, a mountain traditionally capable of turning mere riders into cycling legends. The final climb, tackled from Aldeno side, is quite uneven (21.4 km at 6.7%), with the toughest sections being the first 3 km (at 9%) as well as the stretch from km 12 to 19 (8.2%). A day to mark in red for Maglia Azzurra chasers as well.
Leaving aside the final catwalk in Rome, the only relatively uneventful day this week – at least in terms of general classification – should be the Pergine Valsugana-Caorle, 197 km as flat as a pancake, taking the peloton to the Adriatic coast, for what should be the sprinters’ penultimate chance. The pitfalls will be back on Thursday, with the 161-kilometre Oderzo-Val di Zoldo, the shortest road stage of this Giro, once again excluding the final stage in the capital. After the opening Passo della Crosetta (1st cat.), the riders will be faced with an explosive finale, first with the ascent of Forcella Cibiana (1st cat., 9.6 km at 7.8%), to be overcome with 26 km to go, and then, after the descent, with the climbs towards Coi (2nd cat., 5.8 km at 9.7%) and, immediately after reaching the Zoldo Valley, Palafavera (2nd cat., 2.7 km at 6.4%).