The Giro d’Italia is going on right now, and what better person to bring you a very challenging, very exciting Giro stage than someone who grew up in Italy and remembers seeing the Giro pass by his door at age 4? Robert Baldi, ICA contributor and avid cyclist and cycling fan, brings you the Queen Stage of this year’s Giro, stage 19. This brutal profile ascends two of the most famous passes in the lore of the Giro, the Gavia and the Stelvio. Then after a short fast flat (and a 40km descent) it turns up again for a thrilling mountaintop finish.
What’s different about this profile is that Robert brings some of the history of these two legendary climbs. The Gavia is famous for the heroic ascent by American Andy Hampsten (the first to win the Maglia Rosa), as he battled blizzard-like conditions over the climb. The Stelvio has many great stories that played out on its slopes, but none more exciting than the very first ascent in 1953, when Coppi, known as Campionissimo (the champion of champions), orchestrated an attack while keeping his word (sort of) to his opponent.
Read these short stories to your class on the start of these two climbs to bring your profile to life. Robert also gives you a few Italian pronunciation tips, as well as some Italian cycling terminology to impress your class.
As I say in this interview, while it’s fun to do during the Giro, this is one of those profiles you can do anytime of the year you want to create some excitement!