Stage 19 25th May and the Cima Coppi
With a graphic representation of the climb itself the Finestre Jersey is sure to be on every climbers wish list as should be the epic climb itself.
The Colle Delle Finestre isn't a true giant topping out at 'only' 2178m (this is actually the seconds lowest Cima Coppi ever) it does however have an impressive height gain of 1694 meters from the valley floor (only about 150m less height gain than the massive Stelvio Pass that measures over 600m higher).
Put in UK context the Colle Delle Finestre is over 13 Box Hills end to end (and at over 9% average its nearly twice as steep).
This was a purpose built road made by the military so the gradient is very steady with just a steep ramp at the base before it settles down at around 9% But don't think this is some plod up a well surfaced mountain road its no Ventoux - the final 9 km of the climb are on gravel and one 3 km section alone has 30 hairpins. its a fitting road to be the Cima Coppi (the Giros highest point) and sure to be a massive spectacle.
Will it be decisive in the race for pink? That's hard to say it comes at the mid point of the stage but it could be a launch pad for a rider who has lost time, a daring do or die move. More likely it will be a giant thinning out pressure cooker. With no flat roads before the finish and the climbs of Sestrière, (2035m) and the finishing mountain of Bardonecchia (Jafferau) (1900m) ahead of the riders, expect to see countless surges used to try to break up the peloton, with riders from the stronger teams trying to break rival teams and isolating their leaders. Also worth noting if you suffer a mechanical on the lengthy gravel section it could be a while before your team car makes an appearance, an interesting proposition if it happens. Book the day off work and watch this stage in its entirety.