The penultimate stage of the 88th Giro d'Italia celebrates the Olympic Valleys of Sestrieres that will host the 2006 Winter Olympics and the riders who take the start will celebrate a world of pain. Starting in Savigliano south of Torino, Stage 19 makes a long, gradual 45km climb up to Sestrieres after 101km. After a long descent to Susa, the final 45km of this stage is simply brutal. The never-before used climb of the Colle della Finestre is a 18.5km monster, with an average gradient of 9.2%. Said to be harder than the Passo Gavia, the final 7.9km of Finestre is on a gravel "strada bianca" that will make the the climb even more difficult. Once over the Finestre, there's another descent and the final 12km climb back up to Sestrieres.
Images ©:Giro d'Italia