Climbs to ride: Monte Zoncolan

Start: Ovaro

Length: 10.2km

Summit: 1,750m

Elevation gain: 1,225m

Average gradient: 11.9%

Max gradient: 22%

Monte Zoncolan was only introduced to the Giro d’Italia this side of the Millennium but it has quickly become feared as one of pro cycling’s toughest ascents.

Billed as the direct answer to Spain’s Alto de l’Angliru, the thigh-numbing climb which often frequents the Vuelta a Espana route, the Zoncolan was first climbed from Ovaro by the Giro peloton in 2007.

Gilberto Simoni won on that occasion – having also triumphed when the ‘easier’ Zoncolan approach was traversed four years earlier. He likened it to a ‘slow execution’ exclaiming that the easiest part of the climb was still tougher than the toughest moments of the Tour de France.