Giro d’Italia, this is what the Stelvio looks like 26 days after the race

The situation at the Stelvio Pass (photo: webcam passodellostelvio.eu).

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There is less than a month left (26 days to be precise) until the passage of Tour of Italy on Stelvio. The tour will tackle the legendary pass – Cima Coppi of the race – the May 21st, during the sixteenth stage, the one that leads from Livigno to Santa Cristina Valgardena. The Stelvio arrives early, it starts to climb after the first 30 kilometres. The news is that It has been snowing continuously for two days (and two nights) on the Stelvio. And the usual soap opera of every year opens: will our heroes manage to clear the road before the race passes? Hold your breath, and watch out for weather forecast.

The Stelvio Pass was tackled for the first time by the Giro 1 June 1953, at the penultimate stage, when the ranking seemed already decided. In the previous fraction with finish line in Bolzano Coppi he had tried in every way to detach the Koblet Pink Jersey, but without success. Then the two made an agreement. The Champion promised that in exchange for the stage victory he would not attack him the next day. Koblet I accept. The Giro, with Fausto 1’59” behind Hugo, seemed to have ended there.

The next day, however, one of those episodes happened that makes cycling the most beautiful sport in the world. Coppi is fine, very well indeed, but as a gentleman he doesn’t feel like betraying the agreement. Therefore, he cannot sprint first; but if it were his rival who attacked, then he would be justified in responding. He takes the young man aside Defilippis and asks him to extend half of that new and terrible climb. Defilippis obeys, and 12 km from the top forces the pace. Koblet lets himself be enticed, responds to the shot and immediately falls into a trap for which he will pay dearly. At that point Fausto feels released from the non-belligerence pact, with the excuse of chasing him he leaves it goes away on its ownwhile the Maglia Rosa stops.

Coppi climbs the top alone at the Gpm – first rider in history – with 2’48″ on Bartali, 3’27″ on Defilippis and 4’25″ on Koblet who tries to give it his all in the final descent. The Swiss is furious, he grinds, he earns, but by dint of taking risks falls twicereaching the finish line 3’28” behind the Campionissimo, who takes it in one fell swoop stage and Maglia Rosa. The fifth, of his incredible career.

That 1st June 1953 began the history of the Stelvio Pass in cycling, and at the same time it was Coppi’s last great flight at the Giro.

The situation at the Stelvio Pass (photo: webcam passodellostelvio.eu).
 
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