MILAN, Sept 13, 2013 (AFP) – The fight for the 2014 Giro d’Italia could be
decided on a ride into “hell” as the formidable Monte Zoncolan will be tackled
on the penultimate stage, local organizers said Friday.
The race’s 97th edition will begin in the decidedly un-Italian city of
Belfast on May 10 before rejoining the continent for the remainder of the
Although the battle for the race leader’s pink jersey ends on the 21st and
final stage in Trieste on June 1, those fighting for overall victory are
likely to do battle for the final time on the 20th stage from Maniago to Monte
A long and steep climb with an average gradient of 11.9 percent and some
passages at a whopping 20 percent, it will feature for the fifth time since
It will be tackled from the most difficult approach via Ovaro, like three
of the last four times it has appeared, and could play a decisive role in the
destination of overall victory.
On the last four occasions, the climb featured on stages 12 (2003), 17
(2007), 15 (2010) and 14 (2011).
Local organizers cited two important dates — the 100th anniversary of the
First World War and the 60th anniversary of Trieste becoming part of Italy —
as one of the reasons for the climb’s inclusion.
During a short presentation Friday called “See you in hell”, governor
Debora Serracchiani said she hoped the spectacular images transmitted by “over
180 television channels” around the world would boost tourism.
“It will allow us to showcase our region to the world,” she said.
Italian Vincenzo Nibali is the reigning Giro d’Italia champion.