Giro d’Italia organisers announce gruelling penultimate stage, Mortirolo and Stelvio feature
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Giro d’Italia organisers announce gruelling penultimate stage, Mortirolo and Stelvio feature

by Shane Stokes at 6:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
State route of 2012’s stage 20 was conceived after fans’ social media access

giro dContinuing their pledge to both design testing, experimental courses and also to engage with their fans through social media, the organisers of the Giro d’Italia today unveiled details of what should be a spectacular penultimate day of the 2012 event.

The riders will face a massive showdown in the Alps, with the overall contenders scrapping it out on the Mortirolo and Stelvio climbs, with the finish line on top of the latter. At 2,757 metres it will, they say, be the joint highest-ever finish in the race after the same final climb in 1975.

Importantly, they said that fans’ input was used in designing the route of the stage. “This is the outcome of a poll where the Corsa Rosa fans had the chance to choose the climb-that-cannot-be-missed in the next edition of the Giro, which will start from Herning, in Denmark, on 5th May,” said the organisers.

“Fans picked the Stelvio and the Mortirolo among 32 ascents that have made the history of cycling. [There were] thousands of votes, with a tie that did not allow further objection.

“With a huge organisational effort, the Giro d’Italia managed to include both the legendary climbs in
the route of what will be the “Giro 2012 FAN STAGE”, and - most probably - the stage where the
next edition of the Corsa Rosa will find its winner.”

New race director Michele Acquarone recently indicated that the 2011 edition of the race was too demanding in terms of the amount of transfers the riders faced. He wants to see a route that doesn’t impose the same scale of logistical demands but, as today’s news shows, there is still scope for major challenges on the bike.

The 20th stage will be 218 kilometres in length and feature a total altitude gain of approximately 5,900 meters. It will begin in Caldes, pass through the Val di Sole and, after the Tonale, will face the Aprica Pass. The riders will descend, then tackle the climb of Teglio da Bianzone – which includes sections of up to 14 percent – before descending again.

The concluding tough sections will begin with the 11.4 kilometre, 10.4 percent average climb of the Mortirolo, complete with 21 percent maximum gradient, then the daunting ascent of the Stelvio. This is 22.4 kilometres long, averaging 6.9 percent and hitting pitches of twelve percent.

This year’s race was won by Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank SunGard), who beat Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liguigas Cannondale). Next year’s contest will begin in Herning, Denmark, on May 5th and run for three weeks.

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