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Giro Stage 15 Preview: Mestre - Monte Zoncolan

Stage 15 :: Sunday May 23, 2010
218km :: Mestre - Monte Zoncolan

Zoncolan - do not beg him for forgiveness.  Zoncolan - do not ask him for mercy.

How do these specs grab you:  four rated climbs totaling 32km; 21km come in the last 80km; the lowest average gradient for any of those finishing climbs is 6.2%; the stage ends as a summit finish on the most brutal of those three climbs.  Gruesome.

Monte Zoncolan is 10.1 km long and averages 11.9%.  I just looked at my protractor and saw it weep.  This is how you pay the peloton back for 2 days of beach riding.  Also, the feed zone is in a town called "Spilimbergo" which makes me think of Steven Spielberg's non-union Mexican equivalent.  Drink up, Judah Ben Hur.

Gavia's Floppy Hat Wisdom:

ed: Gav is on the water about an hour and a half north of where I'm under it this weekend... this is not conducive to coordination of stage preview commentary :)

Frinking's Corner:

Another mountain finish! Firework again.. Exploding riders. Get them out the Top 10 stage.. The provisional top 10 is a little more normal after this stage.. Long flat roads first.. After that mountains. Much mountains. Liqui is going to shake it up early so everybody is isolated.. Except Kiserlovski, Agnoli, Szmyd, basso and Nibali.. Hey.. I see something similair with yesterday.. If the f**k it up.. It is bad.. But you remember the 13 mnutes stage.. Everything is possible.

All right, son, roll them guns up, count the money, and put your seat belt on:

Action: A lot of people will see their GC hopes extinguished today. Monte Zoncolan constitutes ten of the nastiest kilometers in cycling, averaging some 11.5% (not a typo). The commentary over at climbbybike is a funny mix of respect and bile. I don't quite get the Giro history angle -- the race has only been here twice, both won by Gibo Simoni. Anyway, the earlier climbs will hurt enough, as will the distance. And there's a fairly decent chance the Giro will be decided here.

Pageantry: More all-business, although if they start in on the Pantani tributes, I'm going to hurl. The guy finished 5th here in 2003, his last good day on a bike, but as accomplishments go that's one shapeless lump of zirconium. Fortunately the day's events will keep a lid on the sidebar stuff.

The Plan: Same as last Sunday. And if you think watching the Terminillo was good training, well, watching this stage should really put my form over the top.

So there's Spilimbergo, giving everyone a bit of a bite before getting their lower extremities ripped off.  Pretty flat for the first part as they work their way to Sella Chichen Itza Chianzutan.

Sella Chianzutan 955m. Climb length is 10.9km rising 575m. It averages 5.3% and maxes at 9%. This is the appetizer.

Ok, here's the nastiest curving tail on this cur of a stage... a northwest counter(anti)clockwise loop that runs over these three climbs...

  1. Passo Duron:1069m.  4.3km long but rising 421m in that span.  It averages 9.8% but maxes out at 18%
  2. Sella Valcalda: 958m.  6.5km long and rising a similar 402m.  This averages 6.2% and maxes out at 12%
  3. Monte Zoncolan: 1730m.  10.1km long and rising 1200m (!!!!!!).  That averages 11.9% and maxes out at... ... 22%

Now. I want you to go in that bag and find Monte Zoncolan's wallet. Which one is it?

Here are the official materials from La Gazetta:

  1. Stage Map
  2. Stage Profile
  3. Timetable
  4. Climb Detail

Here's PodiumCafe's Google Earth map file for Stage 15.