Stage 13 is the flattest stage of the 2021 Giro d'Italia. There are less than 200 metres of climbing across the 198 kilometres on offer between Ravenna and Verona.
This follows Andrea Vendrame's breakaway victory on stage 12 where he outsprinted Chris Hamilton to claim his first Giro win.
Stage 13 profile
The flattest stage of the race. We have spent the previous couple of stage previews analysing a plethora of climbs and gravelled sections, but none of that is on offer here. Instead, the GC men will take a backseat as the sprinters return to the fore, perhaps for the final time at the 2021 Giro d’Italia.
The stage is fairly lengthy at almost 200 kilometres, and leaves from the city of Ravenna. The first intermediate sprint takes place at kilometre 67 in Ferrara. By this point in the race, we’ll likely see a small breakaway who will sweep up the majority of the points. Behind, Peter Sagan will look to solidify his position in the lead of the maglia ciclamino.
The next noteworthy point is the bonus seconds sprint which occurs in the comune of Bagnolo San Vito. If the breakaway has been caught, we could have a ferocious sprint between some of the GC contenders, mirrorring Remco Evenepoel and Egan Bernal’s stage 10 battle.
From here, 53 kilometres remain until the finish in Verona, where the sprinters will ready themselves for what could be their final chance at the Giro this year. We’ve witnessed some highly technical sprint finishes in Novara, Cattolica and Termoli, but there will be no such worries here. The road is almost entirely straight after entering Verona with two roundabouts the only obstacles before the finish line.
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Firstly, it would be sensible to note the sprinters that are no longer at the Giro d’Italia. Caleb Ewan abandoned whilst wearing the maglia ciclamino on stage 8. The Lotto-Soudal sprinter had blown away the competition twice before leaving and his absence opens the door for others. Tim Merlier DNF’d at the first rest day due to fatigue, pushing that door open a little wider still.
It was Bora-Hansgrohe who capitalised on stage 10 when they dropped an array of pure sprinters before leading Peter Sagan to victory in Foligno. With no climbs here to reduce the opposition, this isn’t a stage that shouts Peter Sagan.
However, the Slovak has demonstrated some of his best form at the Giro d’Italia and will want to further secure his position leading the maglia ciclamino. Don't count him out.
Although UAE Team Emirates have won a stage with Joe Dombrowski, it hasn’t been the ideal race for them. Fernando Gaviria and Juan Sebastián Molano haven’t quite clicked, which was most visibly seen when they collided on stage 2, effectively ending their chances at stage glory. Seemingly, they are slowly improving — Gaviria was a race-best 2nd on stage 10. Could this finally be the Colombian's day?
Cofidis have already had a successful Giro d’Italia — they hadn’t won a WorldTour race since 2019 before Victor Lafay’s success on stage 8. However, Elia Viviani is still looking for another Giro win, just three years after he won four stages at a single Giro when riding for Quick-Step. Simone Consonni has sublimely delivered his countryman to the front on numerous occasions, but Viviani’s best result at the race is third. With Ewan and Merlier out of the way he’ll be eyeing a return to the top step of the podium.
Trek-Segafredo have a genuine chance with Matteo Moschetti. Just 24 years of age, the talented Italian is now riding his third Grand Tour. This is the furthest he has gone into a three-week race and although he is still searching for his first podium, he does have multiple fourth-place finishes to his name. Not the top favourite, but a rider that cannot be dismissed.
Now 31, Davide Cimolai is enjoying his most successful Giro d’Italia to date. He has been on the podium three times already, something he had never achieved prior to the race. However, now without Alessandro De Marchi, Alex Dowsett and Krists Neilands, Israel Start-Up are down to bare bones. Can Cimolai go on to win his first Grand Tour stage in Verona?
Dylan Groenewegen is still surviving the Giro d’Italia after nine months away from racing and fought over the 4,500 metres of climbing on stage 12 for another chance here. After a promising fourth place on stage 2, the Dutchman is yet to claim another top-5. With no more stages suitable for the purest of sprinters, this is Groenewegen’s last shot at returning to the pro peloton with a win.
Giacomo Nizzolo's wait for Grand Tour stage glory continues on. The Italian has recorded a cruel 11 runner-up finishes at the Giro d’Italia without a single victory over his career. He added two more this year, beaten by Tim Merlier and Caleb Ewan on those occasions. With both now departed and no tricky climbs which could push him out the back, could this finally be Nizzolo’s day at the Giro d’Italia?
Although Lotto-Soudal and Alpecin-Fenix have lost their lead sprinters, they still have options for a solid result in the form of Stefano Oldani and Gianni Vermeersch. Filippo Fiorelli, Andrea Pasqualon and stage 12 victor Andrea Vendrame are other names to look out for.
The UAE Team Emirates sprint-train crossed the finishline in Novara bashing their handlebars in frustration. Molano and Gaviria haven't quite got it right just yet, and in what could be their last chance, we are backing them to finally do so. Gaviria is still just 26, but already has seven Grand Tour stages to his name. None of those have come with UAE, but that could change in Verona.
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