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Giro d'Italia 2014

Date range:
May 9 - June 1
  • Giro d'Italia, ITA, WorldTour
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      21.7km
      Start location:
      Belfast
      End location:
      Belfast
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      219km
      Start location:
      Belfast
      End location:
      Belfast
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Armagh
      End location:
      Dublin
    • Rest Day

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      112km
      Start location:
      Giovinazzo
      End location:
      Bari
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      203km
      Start location:
      Taranto
      End location:
      Viggiano
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      257km
      Start location:
      Sassano
      End location:
      Montecassino
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      211km
      Start location:
      Frosinone
      End location:
      Foligno
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      179km
      Start location:
      Foligno
      End location:
      Montecopiolo
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      172km
      Start location:
      Lugo
      End location:
      Sestola
    • Rest Day 2

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      173km
      Start location:
      Modena
      End location:
      Salsomaggiore
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      249km
      Start location:
      Collecchio
      End location:
      Savona
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      41.9km
      Start location:
      Barbaresco
      End location:
      Barolo (ITT)
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      157km
      Start location:
      Fossano
      End location:
      Rivarolo Canavese
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      164km
      Start location:
      Agliè
      End location:
      Oropa
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      225km
      Start location:
      Valdengo
      End location:
      Montecampione
    • Rest Day 3

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      139km
      Start location:
      Ponte di Legno
      End location:
      Val Martello/Martelltal
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      208km
      Start location:
      Sarnonico
      End location:
      Vittorio Veneto
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      171km
      Start location:
      Belluno
      End location:
      Rif. Panarotta
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      26.8km
      Start location:
      Bassano del Grappa
      End location:
      Cima Grappa (ITT)
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      167km
      Start location:
      Maniago
      End location:
      Monte Zoncolan
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      172km
      Start location:
      Gemona
      End location:
      Trieste
  • Race history

May 25, Stage 15: Valdengo - Montecampione 225km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 16, 2014, 20:21 BST,
Updated:
May 06, 2014, 4:25 BST

May 25, 2014 - Valdengo - Plan di Montecampione, 225 km

LOCAL HERO
Want a genuine Giro d'Italia hero? How about the greatest of them all, the absolute number one. Coppi? Binda? Merckx? Not a bit of it. Ladies and gentlemen we give you… Felice Peli!

Who he? When the Gazzetta launched the race in 1909, a 19-year-old from Sarezzo, was quickest out of the traps. He gathered together the ten lire inscription fee and dispatched it, post haste, to Milan. As such, and given that he was the first to put his name down, he got to wear the number one dossard subsequently reserved for the previous year's winner. No Fausto Coppi perhaps, but he remains literally, if not perhaps qualitatively, the number one Giro d'Italia rider of all time. And that's not all. As a matter of fact he and Coppi do have a good deal in common. Both were butcher's apprentices, and both trained by delivering salumi on their pushbikes. So now you know…

SEE, HEAR, FEEL...
Pan-flat for 197 kilometres through the Po Valley, then the gloves will be off. The 20 kilometre ramp up to Plan di Montecampione doesn't boast the headline-grabbing gradients which characterize much of 21st century cycling, but gradients in themselves are neither here nor there. In the first instances because bike technology is so advanced these days (ergo they can fit pretty much any gear ratios they want) and secondly because when cyclists are going so slow that it's impossible to make a selection the gradients are often nullified anyway.

So there's a balance to be struck, and here it seems just about right. As supporters we want to see attacking, aggressive racing, and we also want to see the stage evolve. Long climbs like this still offer the best chance of that, as one very famous day at the in 1998 Giro testifies…

MOMENT IN TIME
Irrespective of his subsequent fall from grace, those who saw Marco Pantani's epic struggle with Pavel Tonkov here will never forget it. It took place on 4 June 1998, and it ranks as one of the greatest stages of the era. By the same token it also provides a hint at the collective amnesia which was starting to envelop cycling back then. Perceived wisdom has it that Pantani and Tonkov were operating on a level playing field, but the fact remains that the writing was already on the wall.

Following the stage one of Pantani's Mercatone Uno gregari, Riccardo Forconi, was thrown off the Giro. The official explanation was "irregular" blood values, but in reality everyone knew that it meant “manipulated” values. Tonkov's MAPEI team issued a press release alluding to Mercatone Uno being "overloaded", but the beauty and bravery of Pantani's performance was so irrefutable that the news was pretty much buried.

SCINTO SAYS
This a GC day, pure and simple. Montecampione is long and nasty, and history tells us that only the very best can win on it. I expect some pretty big time gaps amongst the top ten as well. Lose two minutes here and it's very unlikely you're going to get them back, so there's no question that somebody's Giro is going to get shipwrecked.

It's an important day in the sense that it honours Pantani, because it's impossible to overstate his importance to Italian cycling. Notwithstanding what happened to him, he delivered new fans and new sponsors to the sport, and we should never lose sight of that. I don't know whether you can use the term “genius” to describe a cyclist, but if you can then he was it…

2014 Giro d'Italia map for stage 15
2014 Giro d'Italia profile for stage 15