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New pitfalls on stage 7: the simmut finish in Zocca

06/06/2024

Not yet time to celebrate at the Giro Next Gen 2024. If the Valpolicella stage might well deliver a definitive blow to the general classification, the last two fractions are also hiding pitfalls and should not be underestimated. Stage 7, the Montegrotto Terme – Zocca of 180 km, features a very easy first part followed by a tricky uphill finish in the town of Modena, not to mention the fact that it is the longest stage of this edition.

The final ascent is just over 11 km long and the average gradient is 4.3%. However, since the climb is interrupted by a false-flat section of about 2 km, its profile might look easier than it actually is. The most complicated section is the last one, since the ramp leading to Zocca features constant gradients of over 10%.

The riders will depart from the Terme Euganee area, one of the most important thermal areas in Europe: Montegrotto, in fact, is widely renowned for its thermal waters rich in minerals, used since Roman times for their curative properties. Zocca, on the other hand, straddles the ridge that divides the Panaro valley from the Reno and Samoggia valleys. An exceptional position, which gives the town a distinctive fine air that, especially in summer, is a welcome respite from the city heat. Here, visitors can enjoy exclusive local food such as borlenghi (a very thin and crispy crêpe), tigelle and ciacci (another type of focaccia), as well as a large number of dishes made from chestnut flour: castagnacci, mistocche, polenta.

For Zocca, this is a first time in top-level cycling, but Montegrotto Terme it is a pleasant return, since in the 1970s and early 1980s this town was a classic finish of the Giro del Veneto, with winners of the calibre of Franco Bitossi, Roger De Vlaeminck, Giuseppe Saronni and Francesco Moser.

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