This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
Bluffers guide: A transition stage which probably won’t affect the front end of the race, but will offer the GC deadbeats a chance to salvage something. Falzes (Pfalzen to the locals) lies in the heart of the Val Pusteria. Whilst, therefore, it’s Italian by cartography, its culture and values are emphatically Tyrolean. The natives speak German, live in Italy, regard themselves as neither. Confused? You’re not alone. Best is just to enjoy the race and watch the scenery – it’s breath-taking.
Buon appetito: Knödel (or “canederli” in Italian) are large (typically 4-6cm in diameter) poached bread dumplings. Here they make them with egg and milk, and often fill them with cheese. Best of all is when they are stuffed with onion and speck, the dry-cured smoked ham produced exclusively in South Tyrol. Sensational…
Local hero: Manuel Quinziato (BMC) – A rock music aficionado and part-time law student, Quinziato is one of the more interesting members of the Italian gruppo. BMC may keep him back for the Tour – or decide that a 16th stage which passes through his native Bolzano is a perfect excuse to deploy him at the Giro.
Pier Bergonzi says: “We’re arriving at the heart of the Giro now. When we think of Falzes we recall Damiano Cunego’s victory in 2004. That was the day that he took the jersey, and announced himself as the winner of that Giro. This is a much easier stage than that day, though, and it’s not really a climber’s stage. It’s more for a rouleur in that it’s predominantly uphill but there’s not really a climb as such. My guess is that there will ferocious attacks from the off, maybe by teams who are desperate because they haven’t achieved anything yet.”
© RCS Sport