Thursday, September 20, 2012

2013 Giro d'Italia: Col du Galibier, Stage 15

It will be the first time and it will be special. On Sunday 19th May, 2013 the Giro d’Italia will raise its flag on one of the sacred mountains of cycling, the Col du Galibier.

The stage will end at the top of the climb (2,642 meters) where the mountain divides the French departments of Savoy from the Hautes-Alpes. It will be the first time in the history of cycling that a race, climbing from Valloire, will finish at the top of this monumental mountain.

Stage 15 of the ‘Corsa Rosa’ will start from Cesana Torinese, and take riders towards Susa where the Colle del Moncenisio climb will begin, then downhill towards the Val D’Arc. At Saint Michel de Maurienne the race will climb the Col du Télégraphe and then, from Valloire, the last 18km will head upwards towards the glory of the summit of the Col du Galibier.

Everyone remembers Marco Pantani’s legendary stage in the 1998 Tour de France as the climb that sealed his overall victory of that year’s edition of ‘Le Tour’. Fittingly at 4km before the summit, where Pantani started his attack, there’s a stone monument that remembers his achievement.

All these ingredients will give fans the spectacle of one of the most dramatic stages ever – a stage that promises to remain in the history of the Giro d’Italia forever.

The Galibier recalls, among its rulers, giants like Henri Pélissier and Eugène Christophe, a flea Vicente Trueba ("the Flea of the Pyrenees"), an eagle Federico Bahamontes ("the Eagle of Toledo") , the angel Charly Gaul ("the Angel of the Mountain") and a cannibal (" the Cannibal ") in Eddy Merckx. Among the Italians, the winners have been Bartolomeo Aimo in 1924, Francesco Camusso in '32, Gino Bartali in '37, in '38 Mario Vicini, Fermo Camellini in '47, in '52 Fausto Coppi, Franco Chioccioli in '92, Marco Pantani in '98, and Stefano Garzelli in 2003.

Galibier related story in ICJ here.  Use the search feature in the upper right to find more!

Click on images to enlarge.

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