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Gallery: The Giro d'Italia and the Passo del Mortirolo

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Ivan Basso was the first rider over the Passo di Mortirolo in 2006

Ivan Basso was the first rider over the Passo di Mortirolo in 2006
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Cadel Evans feeling the pain of the steep Mortirolo slopes

Cadel Evans feeling the pain of the steep Mortirolo slopes
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Giro d'Italia 2015: 3D profile of the Passo del Tonale

Giro d'Italia 2015: 3D profile of the Passo del Tonale
(Image credit: RCS Sport)
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Antonio Colom rides past the Marco Pantani monument on the Mortirolo in 2008

Antonio Colom rides past the Marco Pantani monument on the Mortirolo in 2008
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Giro d'Italia 2015: Stage 16 climb of the Passo del Mortirolo

Giro d'Italia 2015: Stage 16 climb of the Passo del Mortirolo
(Image credit: RCS Sport)
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Leonardo Sierra was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 1990 when the climb was used by the Giro for the first time

Leonardo Sierra was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 1990 when the climb was used by the Giro for the first time
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The tifosi line the Mortirolo climb in 1994

The tifosi line the Mortirolo climb in 1994
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Claudio Chiappucci high up on the Mortirolo in 1994

Claudio Chiappucci high up on the Mortirolo in 1994
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Oliver Zaugg was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 2012 which was the first time it was climbed from the Tovo di Sant'Agata side

Oliver Zaugg was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 2012 which was the first time it was climbed from the Tovo di Sant'Agata side
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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1992 and 1993 Giro d'Italia champion Miguel Indurian on the Mortirolo for the first time in his career

1992 and 1993 Giro d'Italia champion Miguel Indurian on the Mortirolo for the first time in his career
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Evgeni Berzin on the slopes of the Mortirolo in 1994

Evgeni Berzin on the slopes of the Mortirolo in 1994
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Giani Bugno in the maglia rosa during the 1990 Giro d'Italia as the peloton makes its way up the Mortirolo

Giani Bugno in the maglia rosa during the 1990 Giro d'Italia as the peloton makes its way up the Mortirolo
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marino Amadori using his frame shifters up the Mortirolo in 1990

Marino Amadori using his frame shifters up the Mortirolo in 1990
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The peloton during its first ever Giro ascent of the Mortirolo in 1990

The peloton during its first ever Giro ascent of the Mortirolo in 1990
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Giro d'Italia used the Tovo di Sant'Agata side of the Mortirolo climb for the first time in 2012

The Giro d'Italia used the Tovo di Sant'Agata side of the Mortirolo climb for the first time in 2012
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Miguel Ángel Rubiano has to get off his bike on the sleep slopes

Miguel Ángel Rubiano has to get off his bike on the sleep slopes
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Bernie Eisel and Mark Cavendish willing themselves over the Mortirolo in 2012

Bernie Eisel and Mark Cavendish willing themselves over the Mortirolo in 2012
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Thomas De Ghent on the Mortirolo in 2012

Thomas De Ghent on the Mortirolo in 2012
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal on the Mortirolo

2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal on the Mortirolo
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marco Pantani making the Mortirolo his own in 1994

Marco Pantani making the Mortirolo his own in 1994
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marco Pantani was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 1994

Marco Pantani was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 1994
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Ivan Gotti was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 1999

Ivan Gotti was the first rider over the Mortirolo in 1999
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Paolo Savoldelli on the Mortirolo in 1999

Paolo Savoldelli on the Mortirolo in 1999
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Roberto Herras climbing the Mortirolo

Roberto Herras climbing the Mortirolo
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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World champion Oscar Camenzind crashed hard while descending from the Mortirolo in 1999

World champion Oscar Camenzind crashed hard while descending from the Mortirolo in 1999
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Massimo Codol in shock after crashing on the Mortirolo in 1999

Massimo Codol in shock after crashing on the Mortirolo in 1999
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marco Pantani was excluded from the 1999 Giro d'Italia for excessive hematocrit level before stage 21, the day the race visited the Mortirolo but his fans were still roadside for the stage

Marco Pantani was excluded from the 1999 Giro d'Italia for excessive hematocrit level before stage 21, the day the race visited the Mortirolo but his fans were still roadside for the stage
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Chepe González climbing through the tifosi on Mortirolo in 1997, the year he won his first mountains classification

Chepe González climbing through the tifosi on Mortirolo in 1997, the year he won his first mountains classification
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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It's a fast descent off the Mortirolo

It's a fast descent off the Mortirolo
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marco Fincato and Paolo Savoldelli climbing the Mortirolo in 1997

Marco Fincato and Paolo Savoldelli climbing the Mortirolo in 1997
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Gianni Bugno climbing the Mortirolo alone in 1997

Gianni Bugno climbing the Mortirolo alone in 1997
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Pavel Tonkov and Ivan Gotti climbing the Mortirolo in 1997 just as they had done one year previously but would be Gotti winning the overall this time

Pavel Tonkov and Ivan Gotti climbing the Mortirolo in 1997 just as they had done one year previously but would be Gotti winning the overall this time
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Pavel Tonkov and Ivan Gotti in 1996 on the Mortirolo the year that Tonkov won the race overall

Pavel Tonkov and Ivan Gotti in 1996 on the Mortirolo the year that Tonkov won the race overall
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Ivan Gotti leading Pavel Tonkov up and over the Mortirolo in 1996

Ivan Gotti leading Pavel Tonkov up and over the Mortirolo in 1996
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The maglia rosa Evgeni Berzin riding up the Mortirolo in 1994

The maglia rosa Evgeni Berzin riding up the Mortirolo in 1994
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Domenico Pozzovivo leads the GC men on the Mortirolo in 2012

Domenico Pozzovivo leads the GC men on the Mortirolo in 2012
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Passo di Mortirolo has previously featured in the Giro d'Italia seven times

The Passo di Mortirolo has previously featured in the Giro d'Italia seven times
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Emanuele Sella pushes the pace on the Mortirolo in 2008

Emanuele Sella pushes the pace on the Mortirolo in 2008
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Emanuele Sella and Joaquim Rodríguez at the front of the race in 2008 as the Giro visited the Passo di Mortirolo

Emanuele Sella and Joaquim Rodríguez at the front of the race in 2008 as the Giro visited the Passo di Mortirolo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The top GC men from 2008 on the Passo di Mortirolo

The top GC men from 2008 on the Passo di Mortirolo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Giro visited the Passo di Mortirolo again in 2008

The Giro visited the Passo di Mortirolo again in 2008
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jurgen van den Broeck on the Passo di Mortirolo in 2008

Jurgen van den Broeck on the Passo di Mortirolo in 2008
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Maglia rosa Ivan Basso on the Passo di Mortirolo with Gilberto Simoni for company

Maglia rosa Ivan Basso on the Passo di Mortirolo with Gilberto Simoni for company
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ivan Basso pushing through the tifosi who packed the Passo di Mortirolo in 2006

Ivan Basso pushing through the tifosi who packed the Passo di Mortirolo in 2006
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Damiano Cunego was the Giro maglia rosa when the race visited the Mortirolo in 2004

Damiano Cunego was the Giro maglia rosa when the race visited the Mortirolo in 2004
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Serhiy Honchar and Damiano Cunego in 2004 in the Mortirolo

Serhiy Honchar and Damiano Cunego in 2004 in the Mortirolo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabian Wegmann on the Mortirolo in 2004

Fabian Wegmann on the Mortirolo in 2004
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton starts the 12.4km ascent of the Mortirolo from Mazzo di Valtellina in 2004

The peloton starts the 12.4km ascent of the Mortirolo from Mazzo di Valtellina in 2004
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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David Arroyo trying to hold onto his maglia rosa on the Mortirolo in 2010

David Arroyo trying to hold onto his maglia rosa on the Mortirolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ivan Basso leads Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali up the Mortirolo

Ivan Basso leads Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali up the Mortirolo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Race leader Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) leading 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal up the Mortirolo in 2012

Race leader Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) leading 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal up the Mortirolo in 2012
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) starting to distance Ryder Hesjedal in 2012

Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) starting to distance Ryder Hesjedal in 2012
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Mortirolo played an important part in the 2012 battle for the maglia rosa

The Mortirolo played an important part in the 2012 battle for the maglia rosa
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Thick fog envelopes Steven Kruijswijk and Robert Kišerlovski in 2010 on the Mortirolo

Thick fog envelopes Steven Kruijswijk and Robert Kišerlovski in 2010 on the Mortirolo
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali leads teammate Ivan Basso up the Mortirolo in 2010

Vincenzo Nibali leads teammate Ivan Basso up the Mortirolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The tifosi camped out on the Mortirolo in 2010

The tifosi camped out on the Mortirolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bauke Mollema attacking on the Moritolo in 2010

Bauke Mollema attacking on the Moritolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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David Arroyo was the maglia rosa when the Giro passed over the Mortirolo in 2010

David Arroyo was the maglia rosa when the Giro passed over the Mortirolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali, Ivan Basso and Michele Scarponi digging deep on the Mortirolo in 2010

Vincenzo Nibali, Ivan Basso and Michele Scarponi digging deep on the Mortirolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Cadel Evans is dropped on the Mortirolo in 2010

Cadel Evans is dropped on the Mortirolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Richie Porte in the best young riders jersey when the Giro visited the Mortirolo in 2010

Richie Porte in the best young riders jersey when the Giro visited the Mortirolo in 2010
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riccardo Ricco leading Alberto Contador up the Passo di Mortirolo in 2008

Riccardo Ricco leading Alberto Contador up the Passo di Mortirolo in 2008
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marco Pantani climbing the Mortirolo in 1994

Marco Pantani climbing the Mortirolo in 1994
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The tifosi on the Mortirolo were stacked ten deep as the pink jersey passed.

The tifosi on the Mortirolo were stacked ten deep as the pink jersey passed.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ivan Basso was first over Passo del Mortirolo in the maglia rosa on his way to winning the 2006 Giro d'Italia.

Ivan Basso was first over Passo del Mortirolo in the maglia rosa on his way to winning the 2006 Giro d'Italia.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The leading trio of Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi are about to crest the Mortirolo summit.

The leading trio of Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi are about to crest the Mortirolo summit.
(Image credit: Sirotti)

The Passo del Mortirolo returns to the Giro d'Italia this year and is again expected to be one of the decisive moments of the Corsa Rosa and play a significant role in deciding who goes on to win the maglia rosa in Milan.

This year the Giro d’Italia climbs the Mortirolo from the traditional Mazzo di Valtellina side. The 11.8km climb is one of the toughest and steepest used in professional races. It has an average gradient of 10.9%. Several sectors are at 18%, with a six-kilometre middle sector climbing at a painful 12.2%.

The Mortirolo has quickly become one o the iconic climbs of the Giro d’Italia, alongside the Passo dello Stelvio, the Passo Gavia and the stunning climbs of the Dolomites.

It first featured in the Giro d’Italia in 1990. Leonardo Sierra had the honour of being the first rider over the summit on the way to winning that day’s stage. The climb also featured in the Giro d’Italia in 1991 with Franco Chioccioli replicating Sierra as the first rider over the climb and the stage winner. The Italian also claimed the overall victory.

Marco Pantani conquered the Mortirolo in 1994 as he first showed his climbing ability in a Grand Tour. He dropped race leader Evgeni Berzin and Miguel Indurain to win in Aprica and secure second overall ahead of the Spaniard.

In remembrance of Pantani, the first rider over the Mortirolo receives the special Cima Pantani prize. A monument to remember Pantani was also erected on the Mazzo di Valtellina side of the climb in 2006.

In 2006 Ivan Basso became the third rider to crest the Mortirolo and then go on to win the Giro d’Italia. The Italian also repeated the Mortirolo maglia rosa double in 2010.

The Mortirolo last featured in the Giro d’Italia in 2012 when Oliver Zaugg lead over the climb after reaching the summit via the Tovo di Sant'Agata side for the first time. The stage was known as the 'Giro 2012 Fan Stage' with the route chosen as the result of a fan poll, which asked them to pick the "climb-that-can-not-be-missed".

This year the Mortirolo features on the 174km 16th stage from Pinzolo to Aprica on Tuesday May 26, immediately after the second rest day of the race. The peloton will have already climbed the category two Campo Carlo Magno and Passo del Tonale climbs and the category three climb in Aprica before starting the ascent of the Passo del Mortirolo. The summit is just 12.2km away from the finish in Aprica.

This special Passo del Mortirolo photo gallery looks back at the racing on the climb, capturing the passion of the tifosi who cheer on the riders from the roadside and the pain and suffering of the riders.