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: Monte di Ragogna, Avaglio, Passo Duron, and Sella Valcalda. The Duron – which is a 4.3 kilometres ascent at 9.8% – is crested with 40 kilometres remaining, while the Sella Valcalda is tackled with 26 kilometres left to race. The climb amounts to 6.5 kilometres and the average gradient is 6.2%.
After the descent the route turns left to follow the Torrente Degano River for a few kilometres. Another left turn in Ovaro and the riders hit the Zoncolan. The first slopes are doable, but 2 kilometres up the climb the torture really kicks in. Monte Zoncolan is a monster with ramps of up to 22%. The distance of the climb is 10.1 kilometres and it is averaging 11.9%.
The winner steps in the shoes of Gilberto Simoni (2003 and 2007), Ivan Basso (2010), Igor Antón (2011) and Michael Rogers. The Australian took the win in 2014 after his break away 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.
Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 14: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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