What's Cool In Road Cycling

Giro ’16: Stage 9 Chianti TT Preview

Stage 9 – CHIANTI CLASSICO STAGE (ITT) – Radda in Chianti – Greve in Chianti – 40.5km
This Individual Time Trial is very wavy and winding: undulating and slightly uphill all the way to Castellina in Chianti (split time 1), undulating and mainly downhill up to Madonna di Pietracupa (split time 2). Here, the roadway narrows for about 4km. Next on the route are two climbs; the second one is steeper and leads to Panzano in Chianti (split time 3). Here begins the final descent leading into the finish.

Final kms
The final kilometres run downhill all the way up to 2km from the finish line, along wide and mainly straight roads, just bending slightly at points. 300m from the finish there is a final bend, nearly a U-shaped curved, leading into the old town centre and to the finish. The home straight is 180m long, on a 6m wide, flat asphalt road.

Radda in Chianti, in the province of Siena, is a small, picturesque village in the hilly area between Val d’Arbia and Val di Pesa. The old town centre is partly surrounded by mediaeval walls. Major landmarks include Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo Minucci, the Romanic provost church of San Niccolò, the parish church of S. Maria Novella, Villa d’Albola and the castle of Albola, rising on a hill among the forests. The hamlet of La Croce is home to a Roman archaeological site.

CASTELLINA IN CHIANTI (time-recording point) – km 11.6
Next on the route is Castellina in Chianti (first time-recording point), a lovely town with a few major landmarks, including the “Rocca” (fortress). The tumulus of Montecalvario and the necropolis of Poggino, located in Fonterutoli, are part of the Etruscan legacy of the town. The stage course runs past Macia Morta (at the watershed between Val di Pesa and Val d’Elsa) and the Romanic parish of San Donato in Poggio.

MADONNA DI PIETRACUPA (time-recording point) – km 22.3
The route is now in the province of Florence, in the “Parco Botanico del Chianti” botanical park.Madonna di Pietracupa is home to the Madonna delle Grazie Sanctuary.

PANZANO IN CHIANTI (time-recording point) – km 33.7
The road heads towards the Roman parish of San Leolino and Panzano in Chianti (a hamlet in Greve), with its imposing castle.

This municipal capital features a unique triangular-shaped main piazza, with a monument dedicated to Giovanni da Verrazzano, who was born here (1485-1528). As an explorer and seafarer of the American Atlantic Coast, he was the first to reach, among other destinations, the bay of New York, on 17th April 1524. He was given credit only quite recently, and in 1964 a famous, architecturally daring bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn and spanning over the mouth of the Hudson river was named after him.

Given its strategic position, Greve in Chianti has always been a major, busy trade centre. Its rich civil, religious and military architectural heritage reflects the town’s long history. Major landmarks include the village of Montefioralle, a mediaeval settlement with an elliptical layout, surrounded by walls leading to the majestic Cassero (fortification), as well as the church of St Stefano. The main church in Greve in Chianti is the provost church of Santa Croce. Major civil landmarks include Villa Brody, Villa Vignamaggio and Teatro Boito. The chapel of the Castle of Verrazzano is home to a wood painting by Domenico Bigordi, known as Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), a famous Florentine painter. Other castles include those in Uzzano, Vicchiomaggio and Mugnano.

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