Giro 2018 Favourites stage 14: King Zoncolan!

The 14th stage is arguably the toughest leg of the Giro d'Italia. Just take a look at the inhumanly steep Zoncolan. Awe-inspiring? Yes. But it's certainly not the only double digit monster of the day. Who'll be the King of Zoncolan? (Slideshow route/profile)

The 14th stage of the Giro is a race of attrition with super-steep climbs. Monte di Ragogna’s hardest ramps go up at 16%, the steepest stretches on the climb to Avaglio are 15%, Passo Duron starts out with 18%, and Sella Valcalda is the easiest climb of the day before the horror-road up the Zoncolan begins. The final ascent is 10.1 kilometres and averaging 11.9%, while the the most vertical incline is a whooping 22%. Monte Zoncolan features 4 gruelling kilometres with an average gradient of 15.4%.

Expect a large breakaway that ends up fragmented as riders tire. It’s possible a strong man survives to take a stage win if the peloton gives them too much leash early on in the stage. Yet, it would do justice to the iconic Zoncolan if a big name is to raise his arms on the top.

Given the relentlessness of the final climb, it seems set for a thoroughbred climber to take the stage – be it a survivor from the early break or one of the GC-contenders.

Maglia rosa Simon Yates is the best climber on the Giro d’Italia until now. He won stage 9 on Gran Sasso and stage 11 in Osimo, while he was being a gentleman when he offered team-mate and early attacker Esteban Chaves the 6th stage on Mount Etna. Has he been over-playing his hand too soon in by racing so hard, so early – or is he simply on stellar form and able to perform like that well into the Giro’s last week? Monte Zoncolan will give first hint. That said, Yates has no choice but to gain as much time as possible on Dumoulin before the boot is on the Dutchman’s foot in the 16th stage – the ITT on the day after the rest day.

Favourites 14th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia

*** Simon Yates, Thibaut Pinot, Miguel Ángel López, Robert Gesink
** Tom Dumoulin, Domenico Pozzovivo, Chris Froome, Giulio Ciccone
* Fabio Aru, Michael Woods, Wout Poels, Ben O’Conner, Richard Carapaz

Read also: route 14th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia.

Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 14: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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