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Abruzzese grand finale between Pescara and L’Aquila, but watch out for pitfalls!


If the riders were hoping for a peaceful final catwalk to close the Giro d’Italia Women, they better think again. The 117-kilometre Pescara-L’Aquila, in fact, although short, is suitable for late attacks and the athletes will have to keep their guard up until the very last kilometre.

After about 20km, the girls will tackle the long, but very smooth climb of Forca di Penne (21.1 km at 3.3%), immediately followed by the ascent of Castel del Monte (13.7 km at 4.7%), which will be overcome exactly 50 km from the finish. A few ups and downs will lead to the punchy and explosive finale, first with the climb of Acquasanta (1.7 km at 7.2%) with 4 km to go, and then the final wall towards the finish in Via Crispi in L’Aquila, with the last kilometre climbing at 7%. Will the GC leader have a strong enough team round her to control the race and secure the Maglia Rosa?

Founded as a Roman port, today Pescara is an important commercial and tourist hub. The beating heart of the city is its seafront promenade, ideal for strolling and outdoor activities well into the night, thanks to its numerous restaurants, bars and clubs enlivening the summer evenings. The city centre is also home to the Vittoria Colonna Museum of Modern Art and the birthplace of the famous poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, now a museum. The local cuisine is a triumph of flavours, with fresh fish dishes and Abruzzo specialities.

Located in the heart of Abruzzo and surrounded by the majestic mountains of the Apennines, L’Aquila is an elegant city, and although severely damaged by the devastating 2009 earthquake, its charm and atmosphere are undeniable. The city is famous for its imposing Basilica of San Bernardino and the Fountain of the 99 Spouts, an ancient fountain with as many water jets, a symbol of the city’s origins. Also worth mentioning is the University of L’Aquila, which contributes to a lively cultural environment.

The list of cycling events that have chosen Pescara as their arrival or departure venue is pretty much endless. The city also has its own Classic for professionals, the Trofeo Matteotti, won by some of the greatest ever such as Gino Bartali, Ercole Baldini, Roger De Vlaeminck, Felice Gimondi and Francesco Moser, and has often been part of the Giro d’Italia. In 2022 it hosted the start of the stage to Jesi, while the last finish was in 2013, with victory for Adam Hansen. This year it also hosted the arrival of the first stage of the reborn Giro d’Abruzzo, won by Enrico Zanoncello. The grand finale of that stage race, which took place in April, was in L’Aquila and the winner was Pavel Sivakov. The capital of Abruzzo has in turn staged several Giro starts/finishes and is particularly linked to two iconic breakaways, the 1954 one which allowed Carlo Clerici to win the general classification, and the 2010 one, with victory for Evgeni Petrov in the Giro won by Ivan Basso.

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