June 01, 2012 (Passo dello Stelvio, Italy) – Check out these great photos from Stage 20, the 218km queen stage at the Giro d’Italia, that took riders from Caldes/Val di Sole to the legendary Passo dello Stelvio. It was on this grueling stage that Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) laid down a triumphant ride for the win as he threatened the GC leaders.
Meanwhile Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo) battled to a strong 6th place setting himself up for the ultimate victory, as he made history the next day on the final TT Stage 21 in Milan, to claim the Giro’s maglia rosa, becoming the first Canadian to win the Giro, and a Grand Tour.
Passo dello Stelvio is located in the Italian Alps north of Bormio in the province of Sondrio. At 2,757m (9,045 feet) it’s the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, and the second highest in the Alps. The original road was built in 1820 and features 60 hairpin turns, 48 of them on the northern side numbered with stones. Many a race was won, or lost, on this famous pass… read more here. Full results, more photos, and video of Stage 21 finish here.