Most Memorable Grand Tour Stages 1985-2010

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Giro 1994, Aprica. Indurain attacking on the Mortirolo, Berzin cracking when he tried to follow him, Pantani going, Indurain cracking on the Valico di Santa Cristina, Pantani winning the stage and Berzin ultimately saving his maglia rosa by a fair margin, even though at one point it looked like he was going to lose it.
Ferminal said:
Agreed, I feel that history may overlook the events of this day perhaps in favour of the Montalcino and L'Aquila stages, but Mortirolo was truly epic, if only for Arroyo's fight.

And because, even in the gc there was more than 1 battle. There were 2 completely different ones.
1 The GC contenders and favourites vs eachother. Basso, Evans, Scarponi, Nibali all in there. Mainly the duel we had expected, Basso vs Evasn - the showdown.

But all the while they had to devote energy and perhaps even work together to fight battle number 2
2The GC favourites, especially liqui, vs the remenants of the Laquilla breakaway, or by this point, simply Arroyo and his 2 minute GC lead. Liqui couldnt just fight Evans. They had to put time into Arroyo as well.

And so we get this great, script of them dropping Arroyo and getting to fight it out for themselves. Its seemingly all over for David. He cracks and loses the majority of his GC lead on the mortirolo. Now battle number 1 takes centre stage. Its Basso vs Evans for the giro. As Basso wins this it looks all over.

And then comes the killer twist, to make this stage an all time great. Arroyo comes back on the descent. Its brilliant because given the nature of the stage, you dont just see the time gaps lowering, (with the commentators simply telling you that Arroyo is gaining time, and you having to take their word for it). No. You actually see Arroyo coming back because he reaches and passes everyone in front of him. First Sastre then Gadret. Then :eek: Evans. Evans :confused:. He was over a minute in front. And by the time the descent was over, he would go on to reach Vino as well, and gain back almost the entirety of his climb deficit. And then the conclusion. 5 riders meet up to work together against the 3 leaders. Ultimately the leaders take back the 2 minute time advantage and then some.

Evil wins in the end, but Arroyo lives to tell the tale. One hell of a script.

But the greatest complement i can give to this stage is that i remember that on this forum there were approximately 30 posts a minute. By that i mean, i and many others would read page 40, mostly 1 line comments, and by the time we clicked on 41 there had been 3 new pages. Eventually i got to 50 and i was 10 pages behind. I had to give up and just skip to 60 and i read others say they had to do the same.

A true measure of epic
Aug 26, 2009
Back on topic

skidmark said:
All of the ones of those that I've seen or read about are exciting. But this is a stage asking for Grand Tour stages from 1985-2010, and none of those examples are of Grand tour stages.

Glad to see we're back on topic!
Best GT stage for me was 1997 Tour, Ullrich's victory at Arcalis.
I was on the roadside on the Envalira climb and watched Ullrich slip back to his team car to ask if he should wait for Riis (no earpieces then) and was told to go ahead - which he did, gliding back up through the panting, puffing leaders, looking like he was out for a Sunday run. Later, I watched the replay of the stage in a café, and saw how he passed them all including a stunned and disbelieveing Virenque. Since then I bought the video, and that's the stage I'll watch again and again, thrilled by the strength and class of that young boy.