Gallery: The Monte Zoncolan in photos

2014 Giro d'Italia reaches its final test

After three weeks of racing the 2014 Giro d'Italia reaches its final major test on stage 20 with a ragged and weary peloton taking on the mammoth task of the Monte Zoncolan.

It’s one of the most revered and feared climbs in cycling but a relative new-comer on the professional circuit having made it’s Giro d’Italia debut in 2003. That year Gilberto Simoni romped away from a group of riders containing Francesco Casagrande, Stefano Garzelli, Yaroslav Popovych, Julio Perez Cuapio, and the late Marco Pantani.

When the climb was included in the corsa rosa four years later, Simoni was at it again, this time winning ahead of his then teammate Leonardo Piepoli and a young up-and-coming Andy Schleck.

The climb was left out until 2010 when Ivan Basso soared clear on his way to claiming the stage and eventually the overall title, with the climb used a year later as Igor Anton skipped clear of a group containing Alberto Contador.

More than one route to the top of the climb has been used in the past, and it returns for Saturday’s crucial stage. Movistar's Nairo Quintana will be looking to seal his overall win with another stage, while Fabio Aru (Astana), Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) – who incidentally was 17th on the climb in 2007 – will all be in contention.

Before then, enjoy this gallery of race photos, as well as our stage preview.

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