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The final climb to Piani Resinelli (bottom photo) is narrow, steep (averaging 7.8% for 7.8 km) and tree-lined, but it doesn't go to the top of the mountain (peak in the background)
May 19 update: Although, this mountain stage ends in a summit finish like yesterday's Stage 14, Stage 15 is quite different. The climbing is spread over four categorized climbs in the Bergamo Alps that are shorter with steeper average grades. Sunday's climbs also undulate more on narrow, well-worn roads.
Starting from Busto Arsizio, we'll head east through the Lombardia region of Italy past the south ends of Lago di Como and Lago di Lecco. This area has a rich history with cycling and the Giro d'Italia; we'll start south of Varese and finish north of Bergamo and many professional riders live in this region of Italy including Ivan Basso. The course of the October classic Giro di Lombardia intersects with Stage 15 and Lecco is host for the finish of both. Lecco has also hosted three Giro d'Italia stages in the past, but not since 1984.
Like Stage 14, this stage is backloaded. The first 70 km out of Busto Arsizio are flat, then for the next 100 km there isn't a straight, flat road on the course as the race passes over the four categorized climbs. (see the climb details below).
Although, Lecco is a host of this finish, the stage finishes with a climb to Piani Resinelli, a small hilltown just north of the city. The climb averages 7.8% over 7.8 km and features 15 switchbacks on a well-paved but narrow road. This will be a nerve-recking stage for the GC favorites as the series of narrow climbs and descents will split the peloton into small groups. Damiano Cunego has won Giro di Lombardia three times on these sort of roads that require excellent descending skills and he'll be one of the favorites for this stage while the steep finish suits Joaquim Rodriguez, who wants the Pink Jersey back before Monday's rest day. — Steve