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31-07-2021 | Wouter Fioole

Giro delle Dolomiti: 5. Rosengarten

A new day, a new stage. I still haven't gotten yesterday's smile off my face. The party that took place in the bar below my hotel room has disturbed my sleep, but not my mood.

The Sella Ronda, what a ride that was. However, when I arrive at the start I can hear the squeaking and creaking. It's not the heavy braking during the descents, but the muscles and joints and the accompanying complaints from the participants. Yesterday's day has clearly taken its toll on many of them. "Yay" I think, still a chance to keep my top 50 position.

Video: Peter Hoogerwerf

Today, the ride to the top of the Passo Nigra is on the program, including the time segment of the day. Followed by a short but steep climb to Obergummer (from Untergummer), where the Giro Sprint is laid out. Total just under 90 kilometers and just under 2200m+. Much easier than yesterday.

The climb to the Passo Nigra consists of two parts. The first part we ride up together. We stop after the flat middle section for a wet and a dry and then ride to the timed segment. Today I slightly underestimated myself (unlike day 1). I knew that the first few kilometers the percentages would barely get below 10, so I rode up in a controlled manner. In the end I had a lot left on the flat part at the top and in the slight descent to the finish. Anyway, goal achieved: top 50 is in!

Giro Sprints concept

I haven't really discussed the Giro Sprints before. That concept is simple: a 2 kilometer uphill strip and the man and woman with the fastest time get to pick up a bottle of wine in the evening. Totally there were supposed to be four of these sprints, however, stage 2 was cancelled. In stage 3, the sprint section was scheduled before the segment that counts for the general classification. So then a lot of top riders were not interested because they wanted to save their legs. Today the sprint was afterwards so they also went full speed up. Since it was 2km at 9% and only the winner wins, I didn't even try. Tomorrow I will go for it! Then the average is only 6% which should suit me a lot better. I will report how it went. As well as the report of the final team time trial that I, with the "Dutch Dynamite" composed here on the spot, will ride...

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