Monumental queen stage distills essence of Giro

Stage 10 - Tuesday, May 19: Cuneo - Pinerolo, 262km

Route: This is undoubtedly the queen stage of this year's Giro. The distance is epic, the climbs are iconic and the day is made for gnarly climbers such as Basso and Simoni, who revel in this type of tough terrain. It comes the day after the first rest day - riders had better make the most of the time off because they'll need it.

Originally mirrored on the stage Fausto Coppi won by an incredible 11 minutes in the 1949 Giro, stage 10 was meant to include the Colle della Maddalena, Col de Vars and Col d'Izoard, although it won't travel up any of these due to a combination of natural hazards (landslides) and a clash between Italian and French radio frequencies.

It's undeniable that the stage, which was designed to celebrate the essence of the Giro, won't garner the same level of intrigue as originally expected. With no Alberto Contador to dominate proceedings though, it's likely the attacks will be on tap throughout the day, which should compensate for the truncated climbing on offer.

Colle del Monginevro - This is the first of the two big passes, where there's no respite from la salita. An average gradient of 6.4 percent and maximum of 14 percent - which comes late in the climb - will likely be contested by a bigger selection than that which will fight for honours on the ascent to Sestrière.

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