Giro 2019 Favourites stage 16: Gavia and Mortirolo in exhausting test

Bauke Mollema - Giro 2019 Favourites stage 16: Gavia and Mortirolo in exhaustive testThe 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia is arguably the hardest task in 2019's first Grand Tour. The gigantic Alpine stage includes an vertical gain of more than 5,000 metres, while the route amounts to 226 kilometres. (Slideshow route/profile)

Including two massive ascents, the race to Ponte di Legno is the tappone, or Queen Stage. The race travels over the Passo Gavia, which is the highest peak of the entire Giro at an elevation of 2,618 metres. The Gavia is the Cima Coppi of 2019.

Following two warm-up climbs, Passo della Presolana and Croce di Salven, the Gavia appears after 115 kilometres, shortly after the first passage in Ponte di Legno. The ascent is 16.5 kilometres long and slopes at 8%. The route drops down into Bormio and continues to Mazzo to tackle the monstrous Mortirolo. Steep, long and gruelling – the Passo del Mortirolo is 12.1 kilometres and its average slope sits at 10.1%.

The riders descend into the valley to return to Ponte di Legno on the same road as before. This is a section of 15 kilometres with shallow gradients, but it will hurt after such on onslaught.

All the more since the route amounts to 226 kilometres, the 16t stage of the Giro is likely to turn into a race of attrition. Thomas De Gendt thrives in these conditions, yet it remains to be seen if we will see a clash of GC contenders or a successful the breakaway. In favour of the attackers is the fact that the GC riders have a number of mountainous days a head of them.

Obviously, how the race unfolds depends on the GC, so we will update this article in good time.

Favourites 16th stage 2019 Giro d’Italia
*** Thomas de Gendt, Bauke Mollema, Ilnur Zakarin
** Rafal Majka, Ion Izagirre, Giulio Ciccone
* Simon Yates, Mikel Landa, Vincenzo Nibali, Primoz Roglic

Check out the route of stage 16.

Giro d’Italia 2019 stage 16: profiles

Click on the images to zoom

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