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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 29, Stage 18: Belluno - Rif. Panarotta 171km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 16, 2014, 20:25 BST,
Updated:
May 01, 2014, 6:21 BST

May 29, 2014 - Belluno - Rif. Panarotta, 171 km

LOCAL HERO
Everyone knows that the mountains of Trentino Alto-Adige have been defining the Giro for 70 years. That's because, for the most part at least, the snows have cleared by the time the race comes around. However in the 1930s, when asphalted roads were but a dream this far north, one man was tough enough (and foolhardy enough) to imagine he might make it as a bike rider.

His name was Riccardo Menapace and he came from Termeno. He won the 1936 Milan-Munich stage race, and two years later got a start at the Giro. Mussolini forbade big stars like Gino Bartali from riding that year, instead delegating them to ride the Tour de France. It meant more places for the much-maligned independents, and Menapace seized his chance. He finished the race third amongst the independents, but after the war took Austrian nationality. He was good enough to win the Tour of Austria in 1949 and 1950, the latter aged 35. Tough as old boots.

SEE, HEAR, FEEL...
We've made reference to the passing of the great framebuilding tradition. However a few of the artisans carry on regardless, and in Caldenazo resides perhaps the most celebrated of all. Dario Pegoretti produces stunning racing frames in "traditional" steel, but there is nothing traditional about him, his bikes or the extraordinary paint-jobs which are his trademark. They're inspired by his love of the music that reverberates around his workshop, so amongst other we have the "Big Leg Emma", in deference to the Frank Zappa track.

You won't find a Pegoretti bike in the carbon-obsessed, weight-fixated Giro peloton, and he refuses to conform to the dreary expedience of the mass-marketeers. That doesn't mean, however, that his bikes aren't some of the most comfortable, evocative and downright sumptuous creations around.

MOMENT IN TIME
Charly Gaul's 1956 epic to Monte Bondone is perhaps the most storied of all Giro stages. No less than 44 succumbed to the blizzard, and it's widely believed that many of those who didn't were bussed up the mountain in team cars. Legend has it that they were dropped off in view of the finish, and rode the final couple of kilometres to the line. What we do know is that the whole fiasco was universally condemned by riders, journalists and officials alike.

Tour de France director Jacques Goddet complained that, "You can't ask them to do such inhuman things, particularly in a stage race where they have to ride again the following day. […] Secondly, is this sort of excessive effort not the reason they increasingly resort to the "bombs" that they seem to have abused during this tragic day?"

Doping? Why it's as old as cycling itself…

SCINTO SAYS
The San Pellegrino will be ridden at tempo, with 60-80 riders going over the top together. Then there will be attacks on the second climb because there are mountains points to be won, and some will fancy their chances of getting to the finish.

The GC riders won't do anything until the last climb, and my guess is that 30-40 of them will hit it together. It's 16 kilometres long and consistently steep, but I'm not sure it will have a major effect on the race. They've two huge days ahead of them so I don't think anything much will happen until maybe the last couple of kilometres. That could change if one of the maglia rosa contenders is having a really bad day, but I doubt it. For me the winner will be a climber who has no GC aspirations, and the blue jersey might be won here.


2014 Giro d'Italia map for stage 18
2014 Giro d'Italia profile for stage 18