Giro d’Italia 2024 – Stage 16

It is time for the last week. The Maglia Rosa sits firmly on the shoulders of Tadej Pogacar. I think it was expected by most. Now we get to the point where AG2R, INEOS and Bora-Hansgrohe are in a very dangerous spot, as teams will hope to gain time by joining the breakaway. Pogacar shouldn’t care who ends up on the podium with him. Luckily, both INEOS and AG2R do look very good in the mountains.

The rest of the top 10 is an open battlefield. You have Tiberi and Arensman’s battle for the youth jersey, merely split by 19 seconds and the flying Dutchmen looks to have the upper hand just now. Bardet, Zana, Rubio and Hirt fill out the top-10. The four of them have just 2:22 between them. The next group, who will hope to move into the top-10 throughout the week are Fortunato, who had a poor day on stage 15. Storer who will be attempting another breakaway. Piganzoli sits behind him, it is his first Grand Tour and very often the younger riders don’t recover well after the last rest day. The last within the zone is Pozzovivo, who surely must have a few breakaway-attempts left in him.

The route

206.8 km and 3600 meters of climbing. Giogo di Santa Maria takes the riders up to 2500m of altitude. A twisty descent back to the valley where the riders head east. From there, they take on Passo Pinei and Monto Pana. I think I’ll categorize them as the same climb but just break the down as usual.

So it is called the Stelvio here, the “real Stelvio” is from the other side. It is a climb that takes close to an hour, and it is as difficult as the finale climb they did for stage 15 which included both Passo di Foscagno + Mottolino.

From the top, the riders have 149 km left. From the bottom after the descent, the riders have 125 km left. You have plenty of time for a pee break, eat and drink. Perhaps not if you are in the grupetto. As you can see, it is a 89 km section with less than 500 climbing meters. Then the finale begins with 35 km left, or at least the climbing begins here.

It is very odd to try and get the hang of the last 35.4 km of racing. It is 3.7% in general but very uneven. I think the boys over at SanLuca do a better job portraying it.

Passo Pinei. I will break it into bits.

This is the Fiè allo Sciliar is the intergiro sprint. It is the first portion of climbing. Don’t mind the 68%, it is likely just a tunnel. It always makes a fuss for me.

Then we have the last part of the Passo Pinei. The climb in total is 23.5 km at 5%. The last ramp up is 5.6 km at 6.9%.

So when does the last kicker start? Monte Pana is in total 5.9 km at 6% but it does not tell the full picture.

It is the last section that I’m mostly interested in. After 200 km and Stelvio in the legs, it likely can make a difference. 2000m at 11.7% is a muro. According to my research, it has not been used before in the Giro d’Italia or any other WT race.


The clever reader may have spotted it already. It always rains in Trentino Alto Adige. After atleast a week of 20 degrees, it will change tomorrow. This too can come as a shocker when the weather goes from A to B.

It means the GC teams will be very awake on the first smaller climbs in order to get safely to Giogo di Santa Maria (HC). It will rain the entire morning, the good news is no new snow the next 24 hours. Every bit of road will be wet. And for the 50-hairpins-descent, I would personally take it slowly.

The rain then picks up in the finale, which will have the temperature fall and it will feel a lot colder than it is.

How will the stage unfold?

It is on paper an easier day then many others. You have all the climbing in the first 50 km and the breakaway then sails away and fights for the stage win. The weather just plays a large role tomorrow, especially at the start. 2000 meters of climbing in the first 54 km. I can’t recall ever to have seen it.

In all honestly, let the maniacs from the breakaway daredevil the descents. That is truly not the goal for Pogacar, Thomas, Martinez or O’Connor to risk it all 170 km from home. Then in the valley they can make the choice, is it a day worth hunting down a breakaway for Pogacar? The finale does not suit G, perhaps Martinez would want a GC battle with bonus seconds here? O’Connor will likely offer on the the brothers to join the breakaway, I think it suits APP more.

You need to be an excellent climber to get in the breakaway. If you don’t get over the Giogo di Santa Maria (HC) either with the best of the peloton, getting in the breakaway will be difficult And descender too. It should happen on Giogo di Santa Maria (HC).

The finale is more tricky. Who is willing to attack early? Perhaps even before the intergiro sprint starts? It must also be someone who can handle a cold day on the bike.


Pogacar – we know he thrives in rain and the ramp near the end is an area where nobody can match him. It will be a long day in the valley for Mikkel Bjerg and first Giogo di Santa Maria first. I think UAE will make the call in the valley.

Martinez – he should be the second best among the GC men. Impressive on Mottolino, he has a good kick to him. Plus, as a Colombian he will thrive with high altitude and rain.

APP – I think he is the man who should join the breakaway for AG2R. It is not a stage that suits O’Connor a lot. He took a stage win in Tour of the Alps and did well on the rainy stage 3. Plus good on the rainy days in Paris-Nice, he can cope with the weather.

Caruso – what are the objectives for Bahrain-Victorious? I think the white jersey is tipping in the favor of Arensman, if I know how well he goes in week 3. Caruso has been fairly unlucky this race, but 17th in Mottolino is a very good sign. A rest day to heal up. He doesn’t mind the rain too.

Lopez – I will keep believing in the Tour of the Alps level. He doesn’t mind rain or high altitude. It is the finale that does not suit him a whole lot, he is a pure climber. One thing going for him is his excellent descending, it plays a role tomorrow.

Storer – his biggest wins have come in completely different weather. He tends to enjoy the warmth of the sun and 30 degrees C. I think that will be the issue for him tomorrow, the weather. Still, it will be his legs that do the talking and he has looked well these past few weeks. He just needs to be more aware of the fuga de la fuga.

Rubio – is he too far up in the GC? I mean with the rain jackets on tomorrow, he stands an excellent chance at getting up the road. He enjoys rain and altitude but we will see if the GC men will allow it. The finale is not optimal at all, he is a pure climber.

Sheffield – Hear me out. He is clealy in good shape. On stage 10 he sat with the best and went back to help Arensman. In Tour de Suisse 2023, he climbed very well before that terrible accident. He is a great climber and I think it is time they let someone else than Narvaez get up the road.

Steinhauser – form does the talking here. A great shout.

Valter – he was playing Icarus just for the heck of it. I think he is looking better and better after a tough start to the race.

Who will win?

For certain one of the hardest stages to predict for me.

I will take a stage win for Damiano Caruso.

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