The spectacular Tre Cime di Lavaredo mountain peaks in the heart of the Italian Dolomites will provide the back drop to the final mountain stage of the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
Gazzetta dello Sport – the owner of the race - has revealed that stage 20 on Saturday, May 25, will end at the 2333m high Rifugio Auronzo, at the foot of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The Giro ends the day after with an expected road race stage to Brescia, meaning the climb to Tre Cime di Lavaredo will crown the winner of the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
The climb to the finish is only 11.5km long but ascends over 1000 metres. The first 7.5km climb is at an average of 7.5%, with the final 4km at a much harder 12% average.
Legendary Giro d'Italia race director Vincenzo Torriani was the first to include the climb in the race in 1967. However, the stage result was annulled after the tifosi pushed many of the riders to the summit because of the terrible weather conditions. Torriani included the finish again in 1968 and in 1974, when Gibi Baronchelli dropped Eddy Merckx and almost won the Giro. Merckx was forced to fight all the way to the finish and managed to pull back 47 seconds in the final kilometre and so hold onto the pink jersey by 12 seconds.
The Giro d'Italia last visited the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in 2007, when Riccardo Ricco won the stage ahead of then-teammate Leonardo Piepoli. Both tested positive for CERA the year after at the Tour de France. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) won this year's Giro d'Italia.
RCS Sport has already announced that another mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia will finish at the summit of the Col du Galibier in the French Alps. A mountain time trial is also expected to be included in the route. However the Giro will not be especially mountainous as current race director Michele Acquarone tries to attract the big-name riders and convince them that it is possible to target the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same season.
The full route of the 2013 Giro d'Italia will be unveiled in Milan on Sunday.