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Giro d'Italia
GIRO’16: Good Morning Pinerolo!
The Cima Coppi, the highest pass of the race, awaits. Stage finish in France.

Pinerolo, 27 May 2016 – Good morning from Stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia, Pinerolo to Risoul (162km), featuring the long-awaited Colle dell'Agnello, this year's highest pass at 2744m, and the uphill finish at Risoul in France.

The group, 160 riders strong, passed km 0 at 12.42. Did not start: dossard nr 26, Ciccone.

WEATHER
Pinerolo: Cloudy. Wind: E 6km/h. 21-22°C
Risoul (Finish): Cloudy. Wind: SW 18-22km/h. 14-16°C

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JERSEYS
Maglia Rosa
(pink), General Classification, sponsored by Enel - Steven Kruijswijk (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)
Maglia Rossa (red), Sprint Classification, sponsored by Algida - Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek - Segafredo)
Maglia Azzurra (blue), Mountains Classification, sponsored by Banca Mediolanum - Damiano Cunego (Nippo - Vini Fantini)
Maglia Bianca (white), Young Rider Classification, sponsored by Eurospin - Bob Jungels (Etixx - Quick-Step)

POINTS AND TIME BONUSES
During the stage, 80 King of the Mountains points are up for grabs, with time bonuses of 13 seconds and 31 points towards the points classification.

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1 - Steven Kruijswijk (Team Lotto NL - Jumbo)
2 - Esteban Chaves (Orica Greenedge) at 3'00"
3 - Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) at 3'23"
4 - Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) at 4'43"
5 - Ilnur Zakarin (Team Katusha) at 4'50"

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Stage 19 – Pinerolo - Risoul – 162km
Finish: Approx. 17.15
Race Headquarters: Espace Rencontre Risoul 1850

Route
This is a high mountain stage featuring a summit finish, and “home” to the Cima Coppi. The route runs constantly uphill (on deceptively flat roads) over 80km, all the way up to Casteldelfino. Here the road starts to climb up Colle dell’Agnello (Cima Coppi, 2744m). The following 40km run mostly downhill and lead to Guillestre, at the foot of the final climb. There are a few tunnels around km 135.

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Final kms
The last 13km run entirely uphill, with an average 7% gradient and 15 hairpins. The roadway is very wide and well surfaced. The home straight, 150m in length, on a 6m wide asphalt road, has an 8% uphill gradient.

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POINTS OF INTEREST
PINEROLO – km 0

BAGNOLO PIEMONTE – km 15

The town is known for its “Luserna stone” quarries; this material comes in different shades of grey and was used in the construction of many local buildings, including the feudal complex of Malingri, with its wide gardens.

BARGE – km 19 and REVELLO – km 31
Next on the stage course are Barge, with its distinctive castle and tower, and Revello, with the imposing Cistercian Abbey of Staffarda, built in Romanesque-Gothic style and dating back to the late 12th century.

SALUZZO – km 39
The route crosses the bridge spanning the Po River, entering Saluzzo. The town has retained its original mediaeval district, which rises in the hillside area; it has a wonderful castle (referred to as Castiglia) along with quaint houses dating back to the 15th century and beyond, all built in red terracotta bricks, among flights of steps and narrow alleys. Major landmarks include the early-16-century cathedral, Casa Cavassa (a lovely Renaissance palazzo) and the church of San Giovanni.
Saluzzo was hometown to Silvio Pellico (1789-1854), writer, poet and patriot, and to Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813), engraver, typographer and printer, who designed a famous set of typefaces that was named after him.

VERZUOLO – km 46 and PIASCO (intermediate sprint) – km 50
The route enters Val Varaita, a major woodworking area. Verzuolo, with its grandiose mediaeval castle, was home to the businessman Flavio Briatore (1950). Piasco (intermediate sprint) is a major harp manufacturing centre, and home to a dedicated museum. Next are Venasca, where the road starts to ramp up, Brossasco and Frassino, picturesque villages on the Varaita River, which have preserved their Occitan languages and customs.

SAMPEYRE (intermediate sprint) – km 75
Sampeyre (intermediate sprint) is the major centre of the valley. It is renowned for active holidays such as mountain biking, along with other traditional activities.

CASTELDELFINO – km 86 and CASTELLO (feed zone) – km 91
This territory is home to a large pine forest, called Pineta dell’Alevé. The artificial lake of Pontechianale, nearby, also referred to as Lago del Castello (feed zone) is a reservoir for the local hydroelectric power plant.

PONTECHIANALE – km 92
The tiny hamlet of Chianale, considered as one of “the most beautiful villages in Italy”,hosted the finish of a stage running from Varazze to Valle Varaita, won by Marco Saligari. The stage finish was moved here from Briançon in 1995 because of an avalanche on Colle dell’Agnello, and victory went to the Swiss rider Pascal Richard. Pontechianale hosted another stage finish in 2003, which Dario Frigo won.

COLLE DELL’AGNELLO (Cima Coppi) – km 106
The Colle dell’Agnello summit (Cima Coppi, 2,744m) is the third-highest mountain pass in Europe after Col de l’Iseran (2,770 m) and Passo dello Stelvio (2,758 m). A boundary stone marks the Italian-French border.

FONTGILLARDE – km 117 and MOLINES-EN-QUEYRAS – km 122
The route enters France right after clearing the summit. The Queyras Valley offers a wonderful view of majestic mountaintops and lovely little villages, in a Regional Nature Park with the River Guil flowing at the bottom of the valley. The first built-up area, Fontgillarde, is a little less than 2,000 metres high and next on the route is Molines-en-Queyras, a popular, well-equipped ski resort.

CHÂTEAU-QUEYRAS – km 132
It is home to an imposing castle towering over a rocky spur.

GUILLESTRE – km 149
The village, at the bottom of the valley between the Vars and Izoard passes, has a lovely stone church. Mont Dauphin at the top of the rocky plateau on the confluence of the Guil and the Durance, has a fortress, built (in pink marble of Guillestre) by the famous architect Vauban (1633-1707), at the end of the 17th century. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site where, from along the walls, there’s a magnificent view of the surrounding mountain scenery.

RISOUL (KOM) – km 162
Risoul is a large, modern and well-equipped ski area. In 2014, the Tour de France held a stage going from Grenoble to Risoul 1850. Victory went to Rafal Maika, while Vincenzo Nibali wore the yellow jersey, staking a claim to the final victory in Paris.

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TV COVERAGE
TV coverage of the 99th Giro d’Italia will reach all four corners of the world: 184 countries will see the Corsa Rosa on 29 different networks, 24 of them live.

ITALY
RAI – Radio Televisione Italiana, the longstanding host broadcaster, provides extensive coverage of the Corsa Rosa. The action is live in three separate programmes: “Prima diretta” ("Pre-Live") on Rai Sport 1, “Giro in diretta” ("Giro Live") at 15:10 - 16:15 in simulcast on Rai 3 and Rai HD, and “Giro all’arrivo” ("Giro on the Finish Line"), with the last hour of racing until 17:15. The traditional post-race analysis programme "Processo alla Tappa" ("The Stage on Trial") ends at 18:00.
When the race reaches Italy, the stage start will be covered in Rai Sport 1's "Giro Mattina" ("Giro Morning"), showing the signing in ceremony, with interviews, the start of racing, and local colour. The strand "Journey through the Italy of the Giro d'Italia" will show historical and cultural anecdotes and features.
For viewers unable to watch the stage live in the afternoon, the evening show TGiro ("Giro Bulletin") will tell the story of the day's racing from 20:00 on Rai Sport 1, followed by Giro Notte ("Late Night Giro"), with 90’ of stage highlights from 22:45 on Rai Sport 2. The Corsa Rosa will be streamed on the website www.rai.tv.

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AROUND THE WORLD
In Italy the Giro can also be seen live on Eurosport, broadcasting to 53 countries across Europe from 14:15, with race commentary in 19 languages.
In France, the stages are live exclusively on beINSports, with reports and features from the scene.
The Dutch public broadcaster NOS is showing three hours of live racing of the first three stages in the Netherlands, as well as the final 90 minutes of the weekend stages in Italy, plus daily highlights of every stage.
Free to air race coverage is live in Flemish via VRT, in Danish on TV2 Denmark, in Switzerland via SRG SSR, in Spain via Teledeporte and EITB and in Kazakhstan, in highlights, on Kaz Sports.
The Corsa Rosa is live in South America on ESPN, with Portuguese commentary in Brazil, English commentary in the Caribbean and Spanish across the rest of South America. Colombian fans have a wide range of options, with live coverage on RCN and Señal Colombia. TDN is showing the race live in Mexico and Central America. beIN Sports is covering the Giro in the United States of America and RDS is providing French-language coverage in Canada.
The Giro d’Italia is also on the small screen in the Middle East and North Africa thanks to live coverage on beIN Sports, while in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa the Giro is on the Supersport channels.
In Asia, the Corsa Rosa in available in 16 countries via Eurosport Asia Pacific; J Sports is covering the race live and exclusive in Japan. LeTV is doing the same in China.
Race highlights are on FPT Telecom in Vietnam, while the Thai public can enjoy the key parts of the stage on both True Visions and NOW26.
The huge interest that Australia has shown in the Giro continues in 2016: SBS is showing all 21 stage live, while Fox Sports is showing highlights. In New Zealand, Sky is showing the race live and in highlights.
Finally, the Corsa Rosa is being shown worldwide via SNTV - Sports News Television and Sport24, the 24 hour sports channel for airline and cruise ship passengers.

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GIRO D’ITALIA – RIDE GREEN
During yesterday's stage, around 3.6 metric tons of rubbish were collected, 84% of which will be recycled. Over 42 tons of rubbish has been recycled so far at the Giro.

#Giro

PHOTO CREDIT: ANSA - PERI / DI MEO / ZENNARO

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