Course and cycling history
First there’s the 34-kilometer but pedalable climb over the Great Saint Bernard that was first climbed in the 1952 Giro. Gino Bartali was the first to reach the mountain top, which he did no less than 42 times in his Giros and seven times he became Giro mountain king. Unfortunately, due to snow and the risk of avalanches, we will not go all the way to the top, but will drive through the tunnel that is a few hundred meters lower.
After the Grote Sint Bernard, the riders ride the 15 kilometer long climb of Croix de Coeur, the last five of which have an average gradient of more than ten percent, a tough col (see profile below). After the descent there is more than twenty kilometers through the valley before the final climb brings the decision. A final climb more or less comparable to Alpe d’Huez – although it looks slightly less difficult, because it never exceeds 10 percent, for example.
History and environment
The starting point of Borgofranco d’Ivrea was built in the thirteenth century to ensure a protected access to the valley of Aosta. The pride of the city is the grand Torre Campanaria in the town square. Today the Giro caravan travels through the administrative regions of Piemonte and Valle d’Aosta before the riders cross the border into Switzerland.
Initially, the Grand Saint Bernard would be the Cima Coppi there with its 2400 meters altitude, but snowfall throws a spanner in the works. As if the cycling gods wanted to say something with it, because the highest Giro summit is rarely abroad.
In 1971 the Grossglockner was the first in Austria. Afterwards, the Cima Coppi went ‘strange’ twice: in 1982 with the Col d’Izoard in France and in 1985 with the Passo del Sempione in Switzerland. This year follows the Colle del Gran San Bernardo, the top of which is just in Switzerland.
After the climb of the Croix de Coeur and more than twenty kilometers of flat road, the final climb to Crans-Montana with its many snow slopes follows. The tourist attraction was created when two hunting friends fell in love with the plateau and opened the first hotel there in 1893.
Profile of the final climb
Profile of the penultimate grueling climb
Eurosport 1 broadcasts all stages from start to finish. While enjoying the now familiar Giro voice of Jeroen Vanbelleghem and Karsten Kroon (sometimes a different duo in the early hours), you are baked at any time of the day, but the finish will usually be between 5:00 PM and 5:30 PM .
Immediately after the end of the stage, Eurosport takes a look Head over head back on the stage and ahead of the stages to come with interviews from the finish location.