It’s the sixth time that Monte Zoncolan serves as a finish in the Giro d’Italia. The race climbed the mountain before in 2003, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2014. Except for the first time, the Giro took the most demanding way up the Zoncolan, approaching the climb from Ovaro, which will be no different in 2018.
Following the start in San Vito al Tagliamento the riders face four intermediate climbs before the final haul up the mountain of horrors. At kilometre 40 the Monte di Ragogna looms, which is a short and sharp toil. The first 2 kilometres feature solely double digits before the climb ‘flattens out’ to 9.8% in the last 750 metres.
A hilly 60 kilometres stint leads to the foot of the next ascent. The climb to Avaglio is 4.5 kilometres and it’s the middle section that’s demanding. For 2 kilometres the average gradient is 13%, while the lower and higher slopes are much milder.
Although insanely steep at times, the first 110 kilometres of the race are just a warm-up. The Passo Duron appears with 50 kilometres remaining and it’s a 4.4 kilometres toil at 9.8% with its nastiest ramps at 18%.
Back in the valley and it shortly goes back up again. The Sella Valcalda is 7.6 kilometres at 5.6%, although that statistic is biased as the first half is nothing special, but at kilometre 4 the slopes go up and hover around 8 to 10% for 2 kilometres.
After the descent the route turns left to follow the Torrente Degano River for a while. Another left turn in Ovaro and the riders tackle the Zoncolan – or is the other way around? The first slopes are relatively easy, but then torture really kicks in. The section from kilometre 2 to kilometre 6 is averaging a grueling 15.4% before the following 2 kilometres go up at 13.9%. Monte Zoncolan is a monster of 10.1 kilometres with its average gradient at 11.9%.
The winner follows in the footsteps of Gilberto Simoni (2003 and 2007), Ivan Basso (2010), Igor Antón (2011) and Michael Rogers. The Australian took the win in 2014 after his breakaway companion Francesco Manuel Bongiorno was impeded with 3 kilometres to go. The Italian trailed Rogers when a spectator gave him an unsolicited push. Thrown off balance, he was forced to unclip in order to prevent himself from falling. Oblivious Rogers carried on and Bongiorno never saw him again until after the finish line.
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the last of two intermediate sprints (at kilometre 57.8 and at kilometre 138.1) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 14: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom
Details Monte di Ragogna
Details Avaglio climb
Details Passo Duron
Details Sella Valcalda Ravascletto
Passo Duron en Sella Valcalda in 3D
Details Monte Zoncolan
Profile final kilometres
Monte Zoncolan in 3D
3D bird’s eye route
Video final 5 K
San Vito al Tagliamento and Monte Zoncolan at Google maps