The 10 hardest mountains that ever featured in a GT

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I remember Colle San Carlo. At that time Ivan Basso was in "extraterrestrial" form but Pepoli managed to hold his wheel on ascent and win on descent. It is a very hard climb (11.5 pts) but a few kms too short to be in TOP10.

As for Finestre/Zoncolan debate I'm sure many would say Zoncolan is hardest but both are in the same "monster" cathegory. And If there was a mountaintop finish on Finestre (or ITT up there) I'm almost certain that time gaps there could be highest of all Giro climbs.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Ferminal said:
Too steady.

Should be used by the Tour nonetheless.
It could have been used in 2009, in the Martigny - Bourg-Saint-Maurice stage. It would have lengthened the stage by just 5 kilometers and would have added another HC climb to the list - but my guess is ASO didn't want the stage to be too hard. And anyway the Petit-Saint-Bernard would have followed (13.3 km @ 5.6 %) so the San Carlo couldn't have been decisive.
 
Linkinito said:
It could have been used in 2009, in the Martigny - Bourg-Saint-Maurice stage. It would have lengthened the stage by just 5 kilometers and would have added another HC climb to the list - but my guess is ASO didn't want the stage to be too hard. And anyway the Petit-Saint-Bernard would have followed (13.3 km @ 5.6 %) so the San Carlo couldn't have been decisive.
Yeh exactly, makes for a nice descent stage back into France. Plenty of random climbs in Aosta you can go up and down beforehand too if you're starting in Italy not Switzerland.
 
So hardest GT candidates are Crostis (16.1), Rettebachferner (16.0) and Zoncolan from Priola (15.8).

However I would love to see Grossglockner-Fuschertorl-Hochtor climb in a GT again (after xxx years) or Grossglockner-Edelweissspitze finish. That could be best mountaintop finish in history :)
BTW Grossglockner-Fuschertorl-Hochtor climb could be toughest ever in GT - it looses some difficulty score with short but steep descent of 1.8km@9%. However, we could argue if 9% descent gives more relief to cyclists than for example 6-7% descent.
 
Jul 28, 2012
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Surprising to see lots of Austrian discussion and no mention of the Kitzbühlerhorn? Tour of Austria does it each year, and by many accounts it's more difficult than the Zoncolan (in fact I think Daniel Friebe rated it the hardest climb in pro cycling in Mountain High).

I don't have the statistics at hand, but they're alarming.
 
Jul 28, 2012
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Austria > Tyrol > Höglern > Kitzbüheler Horn

Average: 12.9 %

Length: 9.7 km

Height start: 720 m

Height top: 1970 m

Gradient: 1250 m

...no thanks.
 
There's a lot of brutal stuff in Austria.

I was waiting for the dust to settle on the Giro before setting off on a thread investigating the possibilities in the country. The Österreich Rundfahrt is one of the most frustrating races in the world, since it tends to keep going for the same route with only minor variations year on year, and there are literally dozens of incredible climbs going unused.
 
Here is some TOP10 update:

1. Finestre 16.7
2. Zoncolan 16.6
3. Hochtor 16.5
4. Stelvio 16.4
*Galibier+Telegraphe 16.3
5. Fauniera 15.7
*Forcola di Livigno 15.6
6. Angliru 15.1
7. Rombo 15.1
8. Mortirolo 15
*Val Thorens 14.9
*Sierra Nevada + Monachil 14.6
9. Esischie 14.4
10. Manghen 14.3
Mt Ventoux 14.1
Agnello 14.1

Previously I omitted extremely tough Rombo climb (mentioned by other users - Giro 1988) as well as giant Val Thorens mountaintop climb (Tour 1994). As for Val Thorens it has a few kilometers of descent (similarly to Telegraphe+Galibier). That Tour stage must have been a carnage:

 
Krzysztof_O said:
Here is some TOP10 update:

Previously I omitted extremely tough Rombo climb (mentioned by other users - Giro 1988) as well as giant Val Thorens mountaintop climb (Tour 1994). As for Val Thorens it has a few kilometers of descent (similarly to Telegraphe+Galibier). That Tour stage must have been a carnage:

Back then the southside of the Glandon was qualified as a 1st category climb. IIRC that was also the last tour stage in line to be raced with an average speed of under 30km/h.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Krzysztof_O said:
Here is some TOP10 update:

1. Finestre 16.7
2. Zoncolan 16.6
3. Hochtor 16.5
4. Stelvio 16.4
*Galibier+Telegraphe 16.3
5. Fauniera 15.7
*Forcola di Livigno 15.6
6. Angliru 15.1
7. Rombo 15.1
8. Mortirolo 15
*Val Thorens
*Sierra Nevada + Monachil 14.6
9. Esischie 14.4
10. Manghen 14.3
Mt Ventoux 14.1
Agnello 14.1

Previously I omitted extremely tough Rombo climb (mentioned by other users - Giro 1988) as well as giant Val Thorens mountaintop climb (Tour 1994). As for Val Thorens it has a few kilometers of descent (similarly to Telegraphe+Galibier). That Tour stage must have been a carnage:

Actually most GC contenders ended together, however Pantani took over 1:30 on Indurain on this stage by attacking at 5 km from the finish. Which was quite incredible as he fell during the Glandon ascent and nearly withdrawn from the race.

The winning breakaway was done in the Madeleine, Pantani and Virenque attacked in this climb but the Banesto team always caught them.
Indurain still had a 7-minute lead on Virenque and Pantani after the stage.
 
I 1968 Giro climbed Blockhaus:



I conclude that it is from this side (http://www.climbbybike.com/profile.asp?Climbprofile=Blockhaus-Passo-Lanciano&MountainID=1536). But there is some concern regarding start elevation of the climb. From the profile it seems it's a couple of hundred meters lower than Pretoro. It could be 425 meters or even lower (about 350 meters If you base on profile). Anybody knows start altitude? It's one of the toughest ever mountaintop finish and surely on the brink of TOP10 (somehow depending on start point elevation). The other road up Lanciano/Blockhaus is even more difficult (with 2000 vertical meters in 26 kms of climb!).
 

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