Giro Under 23: the final surprise
A spectacular finale
Maybe it was the sparkling, benign influence of the exquisite local Prosecco that encouraged the organisers to design such a spectacular conclusion to the Giro d’Italia Under 23 Enel. The two-stage format and an innovative formula are almost certain to make this an unforgettable day.
The area is the home of so many outstanding competitors, such as Sacha Modolo, Marzio Bruseghin and Guido De Rosso (the first winner of the Tour de l’Avenir for amateurs and then an Italian Champion), the home of illustrious youth teams (the famous Zalf, a seedbed for future champions which produced the first Italian winner in this Giro), the home of captains of industry who gave cycling the mass appeal it now enjoys (Teofilo Sanson), and the home of famous stages and celebrated finishes such as that of Alessandro Petacchi. In all likelihood the stage will culminate with a sprint, given the short distance covered by the route (riders will arrive by 10.30 am to give them an opportunity to recover) but a couple of tough climbs before the definitive handover of the Pink Jersey in the afternoon could settle the placing for the King of the Mountains classification.
Here the spectacular nature of the course combines with the exciting experience of witnessing something totally new in the cycling world.
First, the course itself, which is far from easy – it starts with a downhill stretch but features three significant challenges, including a finale that leads not only to victory in the stage but, as if by magic, to victory in the Giro. With no room for doubt or finicky calculations, it’s all made possible by a daring, yet simple, idea. While traditional chronometer stages always start with the leader setting off last, this time it’s exactly the opposite – the wearer of the Pink Jersey will start before the rest of the field, enjoying an advantage that corresponds to the position they hold in the rankings.
For example, if the leader is a minute ahead of the runner-up, he will start a minute before the second-place rider. If he succeeds in defending this advantage he will cross the finish line as winner of the whole Giro, but if he fails to beat all of his rivals, then the title will be lost. Whoever arrives first will have two reasons to celebrate, with no need for arithmetical contortions. It can’t be clearer than that!