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The smooth, wide, but lumpy roads before the uphill finish in Assisi, Umbria

May 14 update: Stage 10 starts in Civitavecchia on the west coast of Italy and is the only time the Giro d'Italia will touch the Tyrrhenian Sea in 2012. This area often hosts the opening stages to the rising-in-popularity March stage race, Tirreno-Adriatico, considered Italy's second most popular stage race.

From Civitavecchia, this 187 km stage will head northeast past Viterbo and Terni on smooth, wide but lumpy roads (see photos above). Although there are no GPMs (categorized climbs) along the way other than the cat 4 climb at the finish, it is expected to be a lively stage.

The finishing climb to the town centre in Assisi (Umbria region, photo left) is typical of the finishes at the Tirreno-Adriatico race. The last 5 km are tricky with narrow and steep sections including the San Damiano “Wall”, a 1.5 km @ 11.2% climb with a maximum of 15%. From there, the race follows a 1 km slight descent then enters the old town center for the final uphill km on a stone-paved road via a narrow passage. It's a spectacular finish, see the Assisi recon video below.

Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) will be the two main favorites for this stage. A win by Rodriguez would likely see him gain the Pink Jersey. — Steve

(Assisi photo credit: globetrotter)
Giro Notebook, Stage 9: ‘Purito’ top danger to Ryder’s pink jerseyvelonews
Streetview of the narrow run into Assissicyclingthealps