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Marathon for the Strongmen
The Dolomites are behind them and the Alps are coming up, but this transitional stage 18 will be no sinecure for the survivors. In theory, at 231 kilometers, it’s the longest one in the three weeks. But last year, when a similar marathon stage was on the Giro agenda at this point in the race, and torrential rain greeted them at the start, the riders decided to strike and get driven to a new start point — to ride a stage of 124 kilometers rather than 258. If the weather is better this time, the full distance will be raced, and with four short hills in the final 35 kilometers, expect a big breakaway to fight for the stage win there rather than wait for a sprint finish in Stradella, a town of 11,000 due south of Milan. Tips? Maybe De Gendt will get the stage win that he’s probably been seeking since the start.