Sastre flying up the Zoncolan.
Carlos Sastre climbed up to fourth overall after the exciting and leg breaking 15th stage up to the dreaded Monte Zoncolan. Sixth place 2'44" behind the winner Ivan Basso, Sastre rode up one of the steepest climbs in all of Europe, an average gradient of 12%. I marveled at the almost superhuman abilities of the riders as they fought the long & sheer climb (10.5kms). Without doubt, Ivan the terrible did the Tifosi proud sustaining a high tempo to shake off a pesky Cadel Evans to win the stage in lone splendor.
Sastre, who was third in last year's Giro, won two mountainous stages soloing up the Monte Petrano and Mount Vesuvius. That's where the little Spaniard shines where the slopes rise. And Tuesday will test the riders once again with the Plan de Corones TT, 12.9km long but all so steep. Starting with a 3.7% grade moving to a whooping 24% up to the 2,273 meter, 7,457 ft summit. Think that's brutal? I think Sastre will let his climbing legs do the talking during the last week of this hilly Giro. The names evoke fear; Aprica, Passo del Mortirolo, Passo di Gavia and Passo del Tonale. He's entering into his domain.
Fans love it...
riders fear it!