By Graham Jones
and Barry Boyce

CyclingRevealed Historians



Giro d'Italia Champions
Living and Dead







CyclingRevealed's Giro Perspective

Tappa 11, May 19th, Marostica to Zoldo Alto, 150 km

The Majestic Dolomites

The sun was shining on the majestic Dolomites. It was a fine day for a bike race. The 150 km stage 11 took the Giro d’Italia into the mountains. After 10 exciting stage it was time for the General Classification riders to perform.

Welcome to the Dolomites [ Image ©: ]

The tough stage began with two short climbs before a long ascent of the category 2 Passo di Cereda, the first GPM on the day. That was quickly followed by the cat. 3 climb at Forcelle Aurine. After the descent into Agordo the race turned upward. The last 32 km featured the category 1 climb of the Passo Duran and finishing climb to the ski station of Dolomiti Stars in Zoldo Alto.

The peloton began to thin at the summit if the Forcelle Aurine. Under the continuous pressure of Lampre-Caffita the fractured peloton, now 25 riders, flew to the base of the Passo Duran. Lampre’s Gilberto Simoni opened the hostilities with the first serious attack. 

Paolo Savoldelli and Ivan Basso were the first to react. Two contenders missed the move, Damiano Cunego and Stefano Garzelli struggled 15 second behind. Basso sensing an opportunity upped the tempo.

Cunego and Garzelli struggle on the Passo Duran [ Image by La Gazetta ]

Basso’s pace was brutal and Danilo Di Luca and Savoldelli were briefly dropped. Over the summit the race came back together. The Cunego group crossed the summit 3’16” behind.

On the descent of the Duran Savoldelli showed his descending skills and opened a 35 second gap.

“Il Falco” Paolo Savoldelli descending the Passo Duran [ Image by La Gazetta ]

At the base of the final climb Basso puts in a hard acceleration, the race leader Danilo Di Luca and Gilberto Simoni were dropped. Savoldelli was the only one to follow Basso’s brutal pace.  Through the steep hairpin turn with 1 km to go Savoldelli worked hard to hold Basso’s wheel. Over the crest of the climb Basso opened the sprint but Savoldelli powered by to take the stage win.

Stage winner Paolo Savoldelli followed by new race leader Ivan Basso [ Image by La Gazetta ]

Danilo Di Luca hammered in 1’01” behind and gave the Maglia Rosa to Ivan Basso. After a disastrous day in the Majestic Dolomites Damiano Cunego finished 6’02” behind the stage winner and fell to 16th overall.



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