Stage Twenty - Saturday 26 May
Caldes-Passo dello Stelvio
218 kilometres, high mountain stage
Bluffers guide: What is there to say? With Mortirolo and Stelvio in one crazy afternoon, it’s the history, the lunacy and the sheer unbridled magic of the Giro d’Italia in one afternoon. For what it’s worth Stelvio is again the Cima Coppi, but this is about guts and glory, about winning and losing the most beautiful race on earth. Just about as good as professional cycling gets…
Buon appetito: Forty different cheeses, speck, butter, apples, these valleys are a foodie’s paradise. Pizzocheri are a flat, ribbon pasta, made (usually by hand) of buckwheat. Served with cubed potatoes and vegetables, the locals on occasion add cheese and garlic. Much like todays stage, they represent a unique Dolomite experience. What are you waiting for?
Local hero: Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) – One of Italy’s more promising one-day riders, Gavazzi has moved this year from Lampre to Astana. He seems certain to make the starting line-up at the Giro, and will be close to home here. Aside from the more remote mountain communities the route passes close to Morbegno, where he was born.
Bergonzi says: “For all that I like the stage to Pampeago, this is the symbolic stage of the Giro d’Italia. Aside from all the history associated with Stelvio, we also have Mortirolo. Some say that it’s too far from Stelvio to make a difference, but I see it differently. It’s possible that somebody who is behind on GC will smash the race up on Mortirolo, and that it will become the stuff of legend. Stelvio? Obviously Coppi’s great exploit in wrestling the jersey from Koblet in 1953, Fausto Bertoglio and Galdos in 1975. Bertoglio wasn’t a great champion like Coppi, but everybody remembers him winning the Giro that day. This is the magic of the climb… “
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