Come stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia there will be no place left to hide for any of the race contenders. The stage marks the first and perhaps most testing soirée into the Dolomites with four demanding, energy-sapping mountain passes.
The peloton will begin with Falzarego, one of the climbs immortalized by Fausto Coppi, then wade into Passo Duran and the Forcella Staulanza. Each of the trio are legendary and brutally hard, but the real pain is to be found on the last climb of the day, the heinous Giau.
Though the shortest of the bunch at “just” 12 kilometres, it’s gradients are never less then punishing. With an average pitch of 9.9% it will conclude a 4,500-metre climbing day which may well decide the outcome of the race.
This is the stuff of Giro legend, so even if you can’t be there in person make sure you tune in, turn on and drop out.
In this video, Sky’s Michael Barry and Daniel Lloyd take us through the stage profile, as well give their expert opinion on the route. As if that wasn’t enough, the pair also provide a master class in how professional bike riders descend at such high speeds.