Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Giro della Valle d'Aosta Stage 1: Give me a break

After the short but sweet prologue, it is time for the first road stage of the Giro della Valle d'Aosta. While the race is still not in the Aosta Valley, it does give the racers a good taste of what is to come for the rest of the week. The race once again starts in Morillon, Haute-Savoie before looping around the department to take in such bustling metros as Cluses, Taninges and Onnion.

The town of Cluses, formerly known for their watch making and fishing reels.
Photo: WikiCommons
The stage takes in 4 categorized climbs as well as the unclassified finish at Les Esserts. Yes, the same climb that was used in the prologue will be used as the finishing climb. And it isn't the only time they will be going by Les Esserts. The race starts with a small loop that goes through Cluses and hits the Category 2 La Frasse before coming back into Morillon and heading up the same Les Esserts climb. It goes 40 meters higher and goes over the Pont De Nant Taffon (The Bridge of Nant Taffon) before descending back into Morillon and heading for the other big loop of the day.

A sweet view of Onnion
Photo: WikiCommons
The next bit of the stage is flat until the sprint at Vuiz en Sallaz. Once there, it is uphill for the next 11 kilometers out of the Vallée Verte to the summit of the Col de Plaine Joux. A small descent into Onnion is a small respite before 12 kilometers of roughly 6.5% average but it kicks up near the end, where there is a stretch of 3 kilometers that averages around 9.6%. It is a category 1 climb for a reason and it isn't the last climb of the day.

Up the Col de la Ramaz from Mieussy
Once off the Col de la Ramaz, the race has a descent and a small flat section through Taninges to Morillon, where for the 3rd time in two days the riders would be climbing the 5.4 kilometer up to the mountain ski area. Must be a getting a bit boring, no?


It isn't the hardest day but the finale is going to be a cracker. The bigger question is if a breakaway will get leeway or will the powers that be take the reigns? I'm going with a solo breakaway taking the win.

1. Davide Gabburo (General Store)
2. Odd Eiking (Norway)
3. Robert Power (Australia)

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