The Giro Rosa was at the Zoncolan before, but compared to what the riders have to endure today that was really nothing. For starters, in 1997 the Giro Rosa didn’t climb all the way to the top. Furthermore, the Zoncolan was tackled from Sutrio, which is the easy side of the mountain. Fabiana Luperini won that stage to cement her overall lead and eventually win the 1997 Giro Rosa. Holding four overall wins, the Italian is the Giro Rosa’s record holder until this day.
The stage starts near the Slovenian border, in Tricesimo. Following a 30 kilometres loop the route once again moves through the starting point before continuing to the north. The course is flat to rolling until the finale haul to the Zoncolan.
The final climb begins at kilometre 94.6 in Ovaro. The first 2.1 kilometres of the Zoncolan are averaging more than 9%, and the bad news is: this is the easy part. In the following 4 kilometres the road goes up at 15.4% – and yes, that’s the average gradient. For about 2 kilometres the climb continues at 13.9% before it’s time for a breather. That is, the next 2 kilometres will feel like that as the gradient drops to 8%.
Monte Zoncolan is a monster. The 10.1 kilometres climb is averaging 11.9%, while the steepest ramp at 22% looms after approximately 4 kilometres of climbing.
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (at kilometre 74.9) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 9th stage 2018 Giro Rosa.
Giro Rosa 2018 stage 9: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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