99th Giro d'Italia (Giro99) Stage 9 in Chianti

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Chianti Classico Time Trial Stage Radda in Chianti to Greve
Posted by Sean (01/04/2016)

Stage 9 of the 99th Giro d'Italia (Giro99)
15 May 2016

The special time trial in the Chianti hills could prove to be the decider for the 99th Giro d’Italia. The professional riders vying to be outright winner of the tour and the keeper of the coveted pink jersey, the Giro 99 Maglia Rosa, may well be the one who crosses the finishing line in Greve on 15 May with the best time.
This time trial, in the first of three classic stage races of the 2016 season, is crucial. Hardly your classic, flat, open-road sprint, here the organisers have set out a 40.4 km run with 750 meters elevation gain, so riders will face climb after climb, with some sharp inclines, too, such as when they leave Castellina. And, if that were not difficult enough, there will be many technical downhills, including tight bends, to negotiate at high speed.
Image source: www.giroditalia.it/eng/stage/tappa-9/

The special route, created to mark the 300th anniversary of the Chianti Classico Consorzio, will weave through the Gallo Nero vineyards, olive groves and oak forests – a stunning backdrop for a bike ride. Excitement is already building in the local towns and villages, where most people are thrilled to be hosting such a prestigious event – despite the inevitable disruption. By throwing the spotlight on the region, many feel it will help local businesses. Plus there is the added bonus of the eagerly awaited, newly paved roads that are being lovingly prepared for the Giro 99 riders.
As well as the chance to watch the race if you’re in the area on race day, keen cyclists can try the route out for themselves once the event has moved on. First you need to decide whether to start at Radda and finish at Greve, like the Giro 99 riders, or the other way round – in either case, you’ll need support to pick up from Greve to bring you back to Radda, the ride is 40km with 750 meters elevation gain.
For hardcore cyclists, there’s also the option of completing the 70km loop, to and from Radda. You’ll need to steel yourself for a further 30km in the saddle, including three tough climbs. The first, out of Greve, is gradual, the second, out of Dudda through Lucolena to Badia Montemuro, is steep. Then, at the finish, is a 2km climb up to Radda.
Image source: www.giroditalia.it/eng/stage/tappa-9/

There are some wonderful places to stop for food and drink en route. At 22km, you’ll find Madonna di Pietracupa, where George Clooney and his new wife Amal Alamuddin called in during a recent visit – though they arrived by scooter. At 28km, eat or just enjoy a drink on the beautiful terrace at Osteria La Piazza.
If you’re attempting the full loop, you’ll discover one of my favourite places to stop on a bike ride, Botteghina di Dudda, at 50km. And a great place for sandwiches or a full-on grill is L'Osteria del Rifugio del Chianti, 57 km  There isn’t so much climbing to do from here, so you could even allow yourself a glass of Chianti.

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