Giro 2014 Route stage 20: Maniago – Monte Zoncolan

Giro 2014 Monte ZoncolanSaturday, May 31st – 167 kilometres from Maniago to the feared Monte Zoncolan. A summit finish, and a climb with max gradients of 22%. A spectacular day's racing ahead and the Maglia Rosa will finally be decided after three weeks of battle. (Slideshow route/profile)

Today starts rather innocently. After leaving Maniago, a small steel town (knives, scissors) in the northeastern part of Italy, there really is nothing too exciting in the first part of the race. Some negligible hills and after about 70 kilometres a false flat. This goes on for the next 20 kilometres, and then we get the first real climb in Ampezzo.

Passo del Pura is located at an altitude of 1,428 metres. The road to the top is narrow with a lot of switchbacks. Over 11.25 kilometres riders gain 869 vertical metres. The average gradient is therefore 7.7 %. We’re just getting started…

Descending 6.5 kilometres the riders reach the valley and the irregular climb to Sella Razzo awaits them – the climb has some flat section. some short downhills so the diesels won’t particularly enjoy this one. It’s 15.85 kilometres to the summit at 1,730 metres. The steepest part of 15% is just before the top, while the average gradient of the climb is a modest 5.2%.

After a long descent of almost 30 kilometres, the mythical mountain awaits the riders. Monte Zoncolan begins in Ovara, this is the toughest side of the mountain. It’s 10.1 kilometres to the top at 1,735 metres with an average gradient of 11.9%, while the steepest bits are up to 22%!

The winner of this Giro may only be decided on the last metres of the penultimate stage…

Giro 2014 stage 20: Images and more

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