• Astana's Vincenzo Nibali may take the Giro d'Italia lead after Stage 15 (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
There is a singular talent needed for the Stage 15 individual time trial of the Giro d'Italia. You must be able to climb because it only goes one way, and that's up.
Cycling Central

22 May 2016 - 9:34 AM 

The 10.850km heads uphill from Castelrotto (Kastelruth) to Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm). After a first false-flat drag (1800 metres), the route climbs steadily over the next 9km, with an average 8.3 per cent gradient.

The road is wide and well paved. Straight stretches alternate with hairpins that feature a high bend radius. Split time is taken at km 4.4.

The final kilometres run entirely uphill, with constant slopes at an average gradient of 8 per cent, and a maximum gradient of 11 per cent, on wide, well-paved roads.

The route takes in a series of hairpins in the stage finale. The finish line lies at the end of a 180 metres long, 6 metre wide asphalt home straight.

So a man with climbing credentials will win and not a pure specialist against the clock. This means the majority of the main general classification contenders will feature.

Experience against the clock will matter, so expect Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) to put in a strong performance along with Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale). Both are excellent against the clock while possessing strong climbing legs.

It will also be a good opportunity for Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) because a different kind of power is required.

On the other hand, race leader Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) has much to prove on this terrain. But with a rest day approaching he will have the luxury of leaving everything out of the road in defence of his position.