The riders finished the Monte Zoncolan climb in a full-on, Minnesota-style thunderstorm. Between the darkness, the pouring rain, and the chaos, most of my photos, like this one of stage winner Igor Anton seconds after he finished, ended up blurry. But I'm posting a few of them anyway, to give an impression of what it was like up there.
More pics on the flip...
I've been to a fair number of mountaintop finishes, and the finish area on lo Zonky was the smallest I've seen. Race officials, cops, soigneurs, and photographers were all crammed into a tiny space, even before the cars, motorcycles, and riders began to arrive. As one of the carabinieri trying to clear a path for the riders said, "Mamma mia!"
The scene was craziest for the first few riders, but by the time Mikel Nieve finished in seventh position, things were a bit more orderly.
Peter Stetina finished as hail was falling, as can be seen from the Sky soigneur's jacket.
Dario Cataldo after his 20th-place finish:
Looking dangerously chilled, Di Luca scrambled to get some warm clothes on.
Spezialetti and Popovich finishing in the darkness:
You can see the rain falling in this picture of Richie Porte.
Anton was jubilant on the podium, while Contador looked relieved.
Susie Hartigan for Podium Cafe