The Giro d'Italia will return to the Monte Zoncolan climb in 2010, according to Il Messaggero Veneto.
"It will be an important and long stage," said local organiser Enzo Cainero. Cainero and Giro organiser RCS Sport could sign an agreement as early as next week.
The Monte Zoncolan featured in two previous editions of the Giro d'Italia, 2003 and 2007, and saw Italian Gilberto Simoni win both. Like 2007, next year's course will climb from Ovaro up to 1750 metres. The 10.1 kilometre climb, along with a long, narrow tunnel, contains sections of 18 to 22 percent gradients, with an average of 11.9 percent.
The Zoncolan climb has a greater average gradient than many of Italy's other famed climbs: Mortirolo at 10.5 percent (over 12.4km), the Colle dell Finestre at 9.1 percent (18.6km) and Passo Gavia at 7.9 percent (17.3km).
Simoni won the 2003 stage when the climb started on the easterly side, from Sutrio. It's a longer ascent from Sutrio, 13.5 kilometres, but it has an average gradient of nine percent.
Race organiser RCS Sport will present the full Zoncolan stage details and the official route of the 93rd Giro d'Italia later this year. The race, May 8 to 30, starts with three stages based around Amsterdam, Netherlands, before transferring to Italy.
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