The 14th stage is pretty straightforward, so easy to control by the GC teams. The 205 kilometres long race takes in just two climbs. First the Forcella Monte Reste – 10.5 kilometres at 5.9% and with the summit almost 60 kilometres before the finish -, and then the finale on the Zoncolan.
Of course there is always the possibility that the teams with pink on their minds don’t want to control the race to begin with. In that case, the best breakaway climber can step up on the Zoncolan. Hopefully the 2014 scenario does not repeat itself, when Bongiorno’s hopes were thwarted by an overenthusiastic fan. The Italian and Michael Rogers were the last remaining attackers and the fan wanted to offer a helping hand by pushing him up the climb. Bongiorno was forced to put a foot on the ground and watched the Australian edge away from him and solo to Zoncolan glory.
What’s it going to be this time? A triumph at Monte Zoncolan is of added value on any palmares, so we should expect the GC riders to go for it. Yates will be especially eager to put down a marker. He was the best climber on the last preparation race ahead of the Giro, the Tour of the Alps, an he came very close to winning at the Zoncolan in 2018. Yet, Froome held off the chasing Yates to win the stage with a lead of 6 seconds.
The Zoncolan is tackled on the Sutrio side this time. The 14.1 kilometres ascent climbs mostly at 8 to 9% until it eases out to 4.5%, only to bounce back with double digit gradients in a brutal finale. The last 3 kilometres rise at 13%, while it even ramps up to 27% inside the last 500 metres.
How the race unfolds depends on the GC, so we’ll update this article during the Giro.
Favourites 14th stage 2021 Giro d’Italia
*** Simon Yates, Egan Bernal, Hugh Carthy
** Remco Evenepoel, Aleksandr Vlasov, Romain Bardet
* Bauke Mollema, Nicolas Roche, Domenico Pozzovivo, Marc Soler, Jai Hindley
Another interesting read: route stage 14 Giro d’Italia 2021.
Giro d’Italia 2021 stage 14: profiles
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