Stage 16: Pinzolo – Aprica 177 kms:Where legends are made

Stage 16: Pinzolo – Aprica 177 kms MTF
This......

This is the stage we've all been waiting for since that rainy afternoon in October when the 2015 parcours of the greatest race in the world was announced. A stage over a mountain so legendary, that every rider in this race will be trying to etch their name in the history books. It is the mountain where once the legend of Il Pirata was created, and where once the hopes of a third Giro-Tour double for Miguel Indurain were shatterd to bloody pieces. Claimed by many to be the hardest pass they've ever ridden, the Mortirolo towers over everything in this Queen Stage of the 2015 Giro d'Italia.

At 177km, this Queen Stage is not as long as in other years. Still, on the roads between Pinzolo and Aprica the riders will experience a level of suffering rarely seen before in a sport that is made only to make those who practice it suffer. It will start straight away, as the riders leave the starting town of Pinzolo where they will head north, with their wheels pointing to the sky straightaway. They will top the Campo Carlo Magno a good 13km further and 800m later to get a good taste of what's still to come. After that, they will descend through Dimaro, after which they will head west, where 11km of rare fals flats and flats will bring them to the foot of Passo del Tonale. A climb often visited in the Giro, it is not the hardest, but it has a history of being used in combination with some of the hardest climbs in the dolomites. Cresting the Passo del Tonale after 55.5 km with over 120 km still to reach the highest point in the stage. What's left of the peloton will then enter a long downhill to enter the racing circuit on Edolo. Luckily for us, and unluckily for the riders, this is not your average circuit. The riders will climb the famous, but not so hard climb of Aprica, that this time around has a short brutal part due to a shortcut they take. After reaching the summit of the 'easiest' climb of the day, riders will then descend to the lowest point of the day, in Tirano, where a rare 10km of flats and false flats will give the legs a tiny little bit of respite as the Passo Mortirolo looms high and steep to the east. The riders will then take a right turn to start one of the biggest challenges a cyclist can do. Climbing the Passo Mortirolo. At 12.4 kilometers at over 10%, this beast offers no sections of respite. After the first half kilometer, the gradient never goes below 7,5% and after 3km the gradient won't go in single digits until the riders are two thirds up the climb. Cresting the summit with less than 40km to go, a very, very technical descent will bring the riders back to Edolo, where they will enter familiar roads than nevertheless will not feel the same due to the horrors they've been through only minutes ago. By this time, solo riders and little groups will be shattered all over the road, and they will then have to continue their road to the finish in Aprica.

The last time we saw the Mortirolo Aprica combo, we saw one of the greatest stages of the century unfold, with Nibali, Basso and Scarponi distancing David Arroyo, who was still wearing the leaders jersey thanks to a crazy breakaway stage in l'Aquila. Thanks to an insane descent the spaniard almost managed to save his jersey, but the supposedly easy climb to Aprica ended his dreams for the most beautiful trophy in all of sports once and for all.

What to expect
Astana to go crazy right from the start, trying to isolate Contador before the start of Passo Mortirolo. Landa and Aru will then try and break the man who's never been broken in a leaders jersey in a GT before.






Start time: 11:55, May 26th











WINNERS AND LEADERS IN MORTIROLO STAGES (credit to Eshnar, as always)
1990 [Edolo] (Aprica) W: Sierra MR: Bugno keeps it
1991 [Mazzo] (Aprica) W: Chioccioli MR: Chioccioli keeps it
1994 [Mazzo] (Aprica – S.Cristina – Aprica) W: Pantani MR: Berzin keeps it
1996 [Mazzo] (Aprica) W: Gotti MR: Tonkov takes it from Olano
1997 [Mazzo] (Edolo) W: Tonkov MR: Gotti keeps it
1999 [Mazzo] (Aprica – S.Cristina – Aprica) W: Heras MR: Gotti takes it from Savoldelli
2004 [Mazzo] (Vivione – Presolana) W: Garzelli MR: Cunego keeps it
2006 [Mazzo] (Aprica) W: Basso MR: Basso keeps it
2008 [Mazzo] (Aprica – Tirano) W: Sella MR: Contador keeps it
2010 [Mazzo] (Aprica) W: Scarponi MR: Basso takes it from Arroyo
2012 [Tovo] (Stelvio) W: De Gendt MR: Rodriguez keeps it (but will lose it)

NOTE: Before the discovery of the Mortirolo, the Giro finished in Aprica only once: in 1962, the winner was Adorni.
 
Jun 24, 2013
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Re: Stage 16: Pinzolo – Aprica 177 kms:Where legends are mad

Robobasso to win obviously. Not sure he can take the maglia rosa cause he's not very good on the descent of the mortirolo and 1hour 30 is a lot but he'll be close i'm sure.



 
Re: Stage 16: Pinzolo – Aprica 177 kms:Where legends are mad

Billie said:
Robobasso to win obviously. Not sure he can take the maglia rosa cause he's not very good on the descent of the mortirolo and 1hour 30 is a lot but he'll be close i'm sure.



Shame he is useless now....oh wait he was pacing Roman while Alberto was left alone with 6 Astanas at 30km to go.
 
This is where Basso's experience will pay. Contador to attack and solo over the Mortirolo, only to be joined by Aru for the descent. Contador to offer Aru the stage in return for being paced down the mountain. Then Contador drops Aru in a seated attack on the gentle slope to Aprica.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re:

cellardoor said:
This is where Basso's experience will pay. Contador to attack and solo over the Mortirolo, only to be joined by Aru for the descent. Contador to offer Aru the stage in return for being paced down the mountain. Then Contador drops Aru in a seated attack on the gentle slope to Aprica.
That Basso was a force of nature, a destroyer, a real killer and sooooo awesome.
It's so sad to see today's Basso, every time he gets dropped I feel bad for him. :(
 
Jun 24, 2013
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cellardoor said:
This is where Basso's experience will pay. Contador to attack and solo over the Mortirolo, only to be joined by Aru for the descent. Contador to offer Aru the stage in return for being paced down the mountain. Then Contador drops Aru in a seated attack on the gentle slope to Aprica.
Rai should keep tv camera at all times with Ivan cause I really want to see who and how he convinces other riders not to drop him on the mortirolo descent. :p
 
Re:

cellardoor said:
This is where Basso's experience will pay. Contador to attack and solo over the Mortirolo, only to be joined by Aru for the descent. Contador to offer Aru the stage in return for being paced down the mountain. Then Contador drops Aru in a seated attack on the gentle slope to Aprica.
And Aru going like this
 
Apr 9, 2014
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Contador to obliterate everyone and put nearly two minutes into Aru. Betancur will cross second. Landa will gas bad as he tries to pace Aru.
 
Sep 16, 2009
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Re: Stage 16: Pinzolo – Aprica 177 kms:Where legends are mad

Landa needs to attack on Mortirolo after Astana ride the stage fast.
 

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