Stage 19: Marano Lagunare to Castelmonte Sanctuary
Date: May 27, 2022
Race times: 12:10-17:15 (CEST)
stage type: Hilly
Marano Lagunare lies just a few kilometers west of the border with Slovenia, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. A small fishing community, the town plays host to the start of stage 19 of the Giro, which begins on the coast before heading north, inland, and towards the Julian Pre-alps.
The parcours rises steadily as the peloton head towards the first of two intermediate sprints for the day just outside Buja, before they encounter two third-category climbs, one short and tough at the caves of Villanova (3.7km at 8 per cent) and one longer, shallower ascent – the Passo di Tanamea (12.1km at 4.6 per cent).
From here, the race descends and crosses the border with Slovenia where the riders will take on the most significant challenge of the day, the category one climb of Mount Kolovrat. At 10.3km in length and with an average gradient of 9.2 per cent, the climb is likely to split the bunch, with any attacks probably coming early given the difficulty of the first half of the climb, which includes pitches of up to 15 per cent .
The ascent gradually eases off in the final couple of kilometers and at the business end of the race, the GC contenders will be looking for any opportunity to maximise any advantage they have achieved over their rivals on the climb.
Crossing back into Italy on the descent from Kolovrat, the riders spend just under 32km going downhill, concluding with a flat section and a second intermediate sprint.
Beginning at the attractive town of Cividale del Friuli, the final climb up to the sanctuary of Castelmonte is a category 2 test and also provides one of the few summit finishes of the race. It’s 9km at an average gradient of 5.4 per cent, although the numbers don’t tell the full story of the climb, which has flat sections and even a short downhill within it. The final 3km average 8.6 per cent, and with a maximum incline of 13 per cent, the finale should prove to be a true spectacle.
The finish line before the impressive fifth-century Roman garrison of Castelmonte provides a dramatic backdrop to what promises to be a lively day of racing, and which will likely see a strong breakaway rider win the day, along with the potential for movement within the overall standings.