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The Giro Gets Epic: Ten Years on the Gavia and Stelvio

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Photos: Yuzuru Sunada

For the last decade the Gavia and Stelvio passes have offered up great racing and incredible photo ops. Short sleeved riders attacking each other through snow fields under blue bird skies. In 2014 these epic passes, the Gavia at 8600′ and Stelvio at 9045′, seemed determined to remind us they can be very nasty indeed, delivering freezing temperatures, miserable visibility and brutal racing. The Gavia broke all but Andy Hampsten in 1988 as he used the freezing descent to ride to overall victory. This year it was Quintana, Hesjedal and Rolland using the freezing descent of the Stelvio to leap frog up the standings. With today’s communication, social media and rider safety atmosphere the scenario at the top was very different than 1988 and what exactly happened is still up for debate. John Wilcockson’s excellent coverage of the ‘Stevio Affair’ covers all those bases. To see Yuzuru Sunada’s images of this year’s epic on Stage 16 and images of the least ten years on these storied climbs simply click on the photos above.