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Giro 2020 - Stage 4: Catania – Villafranca Tirrena 140 km *Spoilers*

blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 15,618
edited 6 October in Pro race
Stage 4: Catania – Villafranca Tirrena 140 km
Tuesday, October 6th, 11:15 BST

The 4th stage of the Giro d'Italia is 140 kilometres long. The riders ascend and descend the 20 kilometres long Portella Mandrazzi around the halfway mark, while the last 30 kilometres are flat.
The last stage in Sicily is the shortest of the whole race.



The stage profile could best be described as unusual, with what at first glance looks like a huge lumped right in the middle of mostly flat terrain.



The first part of the route runs along the Mediterranean coast. The route moves through Chianchitta before turning inland at kilometre 38, just before the stunning beautiful town of Taormina.





Slowly but surely the riders approach the only climb of the day, the Portella Mandrazzi. The ascent is 19.5 kilometres long and the average gradient hovers around 4%. The summit is crested at an elevation of 1,125 metres.



The top however is at 65 km to go, with a long descent to come and an even longer flat stretch. The descent is 25 km long, very fast with wide roads. After that, the final 40 km are all flat, with the last 20 directly along the coast.




This should be a good breakaway stage, with the climb right in the middle the sprinters’ teams won’t be able to push on. If the likes of Sagan or Matthews wants the stage win however, some pure sprinter might get into trouble. There is also some chance of wind in the final section of course.

Favourites stage 4 Giro d’Italia 2020
*** Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews
** Arnaud Démare, Elia Viviani, Fernando Gaviria,
* Davide Ballerini or Álvaro José Hodeg, Davide Cimolai or Rudy Barbier

Catania

Catania is located on the east coast of the main Italian island, Sicily. The city is located on a plain, located between the Ionian Sea and the slopes of majestic Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the City expanded beyond the historic Baroque center and new residential neighborhoods were created: the boulevard Regina Margherita and the course Italy, where beautiful Liberty-style villas arose.

The city is currently inhabited by about 300,000 people.



Food

Catania cuisine is one of the richest and tastiest in Sicily.

The great richness and ease in the redevelopment of raw materials and the love for “flavorful” cuisine, combined with the culinary contaminations fruit of the numerous foreign dominations over the centuries, make Catania a gastronomic reference point of the island.

Famous is the sea salad with octopus, shrimp and ox eyes (molluscs typical of this sea) boiled; equally popular are marinated masculins (Ionian sea anchovies marinated in oil and lemon), salted anchovies, raw ox eyes seasoned with lemon or roasted on charcoal, peppered with mussels (suffering, with abundant pepper, lemon and chopped parsley) “u mauru” ( raw seaweed topped with lemon), “u zuzzu” (pork jelly), “u sangeli” (bloody).

Among the first dishes deserves the place of honor pasta alla Norma, which takes its name from a Celtic masterpiece by Vincenzo Bellini: tomato sauce, fried egg, basil and abundant grated salted ricotta.



Other notable dishes are pasta with cuttlefish black, topped with a sauce prepared with tomato extract, cuttlefish and black of these tasty shellfish; pasta with masculini (fresh anicies in a sautéed onion, peas and fennel rizzu); pasta’ ncaciata, seasoned with cauliflower cooked in an onion pan and seasoned with salted anchovies, olives and caciocavallo.

Meat and fish are served everywhere, with a fondness in the capital for horse-meat, often accompanied by side dishes that, in reality, are real unique dishes:

Parmigiana (fried eggplant casserole), Caponata with eggplant and tomatoes, fennel salad, orange salad (sliced and seasoned with oil, salt and pepper), vegetable dishes and other typical vegetables.

The rotisserie is one of the most renowned in Italy. The main pieces are the Arancini, crispy squabpy rice-filled, Siciliana (thin puff pastry filled with tuma and anchovies), salted crispelles (sweet dough pancakes, stuffed with fresh ricotta or anchovies), the shaded ones ( made with bread dough stuffed with plenty of tuma and anchovies, or vegetables, or cauliflower, baked).



Typical desserts are ricotta Cannoli, Sicilian Cassata, but above all marten fruit or real pasta (soft almond-based pasta with multiple forms of colored fruit); rice-crystals or traditional “olivette di Sant’Agata”. The famous ice creams and Granita (tossed on demand with hand-crafted cream). Among the latter the most popular flavors are almond, lemon, coffee, chocolate, mulberry, peach.



The most representative wines on the territory of Catalonia are, without a doubt, those that are produced on Mount Etna.
The Volcano gives the wines characteristics of minerality and great elegance, due to the strong thermal excursions between day and night and the peculiar pedoclimatic conditions.
“Mountain” wines at particular latitudes, on an island famous for the large number of hours of sunshine during the year: this is the great richness of volcanic wines, along with soils rich in variegated mineral components.
It is on Mount Etna that they have been cultivated for hundreds of years, with the traditional tree vine, the Nerello Mascalese, the Nerello Cappuccio, the Carricante, the Minnella and the Catarratto, all vines that contribute to the production of wines classified as Etna Doc, on all slopes of the Volcano.



Villafranca Tirrena

It rises almost to the extreme eastern tip of Sicily a few kilometers from Messina, extending from the Tyrrhenian coast to the slopes of the adjacent hills where we find the villages of Serro and Calvaruso. Thanks to the geographical position, the excellent road and rail connections and the logistical possibilities it enjoys, the town is a perfect destination for those who love to enrich their stay from a cultural and naturalistic point of view.





"Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
«134

Posts

  • petecopeteco Posts: 176
    Excellent stage introduction again thanks. Stayed at Taormina a few years ago, stunning food and scenery, and loads of cyclists out on the hills.

    Pete
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 15,618
    Forecast suggests they will have a cross/tailwind finish today of about 20kph.
    Could be just enough puff to put the pressure on and cause a few gaps in the peloton.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,001 Lives Here
    edited 6 October


    Gorgeous picture BS.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,841
    According to Gazzetta Thomas won't start.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • phil485phil485 Posts: 324
    RichN95. said:

    According to Gazzetta Thomas won't start.

    Was just about to ask the question.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 50,001 Lives Here
    Might as well write the race off as a chipper then (apparently).
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 2,863
    No G according to a number of sources now.
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,073
    Yep, cycling news states it.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 10,657
    I'm wondering if S4C has any regrets now.
  • jam1ejam1e Posts: 978
    Fractured hip apparently.
  • gweedsgweeds Posts: 2,182
    Well that blows.
    Napoleon, don't be jealous that I've been chatting online with babes all day. Besides, we both know that I'm training to be a cage fighter.
  • He made it to the top of Etna with a fractured hip? He’s a hard censored , I’ll give him that.

    Such a shame for him, I’m gutted really.
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,641
    So, this stage, sprint or break?

    Given the state of the GC, can't see any team trying to get rid of the sprinters on the climb, sadly.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 15,618
    Speaking on Tuesday morning, Ineos Grenadiers Doctor Phil Riley said: “Geraint had an MRI and a CT scan this morning which revealed a small undisplaced fracture in the lower part of the pelvis which wasn’t picked up on the X-rays yesterday. As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it’s an injury that could easily be aggravated.”

    So, it's the 2013 Tour injury revisited.
    Doubt he'll be back this season.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,641

    Speaking on Tuesday morning, Ineos Grenadiers Doctor Phil Riley said: “Geraint had an MRI and a CT scan this morning which revealed a small undisplaced fracture in the lower part of the pelvis which wasn’t picked up on the X-rays yesterday. As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it’s an injury that could easily be aggravated.”

    So, it's the 2013 Tour injury revisited.
    Doubt he'll be back this season.

    Shame. I was hoping that he'd be able to make the Vuelta.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 15,618
    DeadCalm said:

    Speaking on Tuesday morning, Ineos Grenadiers Doctor Phil Riley said: “Geraint had an MRI and a CT scan this morning which revealed a small undisplaced fracture in the lower part of the pelvis which wasn’t picked up on the X-rays yesterday. As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it’s an injury that could easily be aggravated.”

    So, it's the 2013 Tour injury revisited.
    Doubt he'll be back this season.

    Shame. I was hoping that he'd be able to make the Vuelta.
    15 days until the Vuelta starts, so I guess it's still a possibility.
    15 days into the 2013 Tour and he was going better.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 20,353
    Can imagine there's a healthy Dose of AhFuckIt this time though...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,261
    DeadCalm said:

    So, this stage, sprint or break?

    Given the state of the GC, can't see any team trying to get rid of the sprinters on the climb, sadly.

    One for the scenery, I expect.
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,641
    Lovely footage of Caicedo's family there.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 23,841

    I'm wondering if S4C has any regrets now.


    They covered the Giro last year as well.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • DeadCalmDeadCalm Posts: 3,641
    edited 6 October
    Brian Smith convinced that Bora or Sunweb will try to shake out the sprinters. I imagine Kellerman and Maijka might have something to say about that.

    Edit : Hatch makes exactly that point.
  • amrushtonamrushton Posts: 742
    Highlights are on Quest (Freeview Ch.12) @7pm. dan Lloyd/Wiggins/brian Smith
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 3,744

    DeadCalm said:

    Speaking on Tuesday morning, Ineos Grenadiers Doctor Phil Riley said: “Geraint had an MRI and a CT scan this morning which revealed a small undisplaced fracture in the lower part of the pelvis which wasn’t picked up on the X-rays yesterday. As a precaution he will be withdrawn from the race as it’s an injury that could easily be aggravated.”

    So, it's the 2013 Tour injury revisited.
    Doubt he'll be back this season.

    Shame. I was hoping that he'd be able to make the Vuelta.
    15 days until the Vuelta starts, so I guess it's still a possibility.
    15 days into the 2013 Tour and he was going better.
    If he was able to walk better this morning than last night, seems like a good sign.
    4 or 5 days off bike followed by 5 easy days followed by a few harder days with a couple of liveners thrown in... he might not have tippety top form for the first part, but could come into it for the latter.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,451
    amrushton said:

    Highlights are on Quest (Freeview Ch.12) @7pm. dan Lloyd/Wiggins/brian Smith

    The Quest highlights aren't great., Poor picture quality, Wiggins has a lot to say but little time so ends up rushing everything. The commentary from Hatch and Smith is stilted and repetitive. I only have the ITV4 Tour and Vuelta coverage as a comparison, but it really is in a different league.

    With Thomas out, it's hard to find the enthusiasm to watch. I don't remember Quest being this poor last year.
  • diplodicusdiplodicus Posts: 574
    Watched the Quest highlights last night-more adverts than cycling. Like Wiggins but not keen on his presenting style.

    G Thomas is incredible, riding that with fractured hip. I came off on a wet manhole cover a few years back and could barely drag myself to the side of the road. Thought I'd broken something, but turned out it was just bruised hip. I must be a right wuss :o
  • Matti66Matti66 Posts: 112
    It did take an MRI scan to find the fracture , so I assume! Its not a terrible injury . And yes a deep bruise on the hip is very painful and can take some recovery.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 15,618
    Peter Weening in another bidon hitting accident,
    Looks to be concussed but they have let him carry on.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 2,457
    Lawson Craddock rode pretty much the whole TdF with a hairline fracture in his shoulder blade in the hope (ha!) that it'd get better enough to actually let him do something later on in the race. Apparently it wasn't going to be made any worse so they let him carry on. The whimpering as he went into hard braking corners was quite alarming though. AVV riding the worlds despite a broken wrist is probably the most recent "hard as anything" moment.

    Oops - bidons take out Pieter Weening. Gets back up though.
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,756

    I'm wondering if S4C has any regrets now.

    They've covered it in the past when Thomas wasn't even in the race I think.
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 4,936
    Thanks for the opening post Blazing... stunning photos and all those food descriptions have made me very hungry!!!
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