Stage 15: Cesana Torinese – Col du Galibier (Valloire) Distance: 149km Highest point: 2,642m Category: High mountains
DAY OF RECKONING Galibier is synonymous with the Tour in July, not the Giro in May. For all that, and for all that the vagaries of the weather might have a hand to play, we’re all pretty much familiar with the drill by now. Rolling out of Cesana, they’ll negotiate Mont Cenis first, then tackle the tough Col du Télégraphe. That taken care of, they’ll begin 18 of cycling’s most storied and most punishing kilometres up to 2,642m. By close of business, we may or may not know our winner but we’ll certainly have a decent idea of our podium.
Stefano Zanatta says: "It’s a short stage but for me that means riders will have to take the initiative on the first climb. As the peloton has a rest day after this I expect the racing to begin on Mont Cenis. Regardless, Galibier will be spectacular. The climbers need to start making inroads and know they only have a limited number of chances. It will have a big part to play in the outcome – you can easily lose three minutes here, and with them, the Giro itself."