Zoncolan takes its toll on the Giro d’Italia peloton
At his first outing on the infamous climb, Max Schachmann finished as the best Quick-Step Floors rider.
For the sixth time in history, the Giro d'Italia visited the brutal Monte Zoncolan, dubbed by many the toughest climb in professional cycling, a 10.1km-long monster averaging 11.9% but kicking out to 22% in some sections which brought several changes to the general classification before the final stage of the second week.
Despite being a Grand Tour debutant, Maximilian Schachmann put in a brave and solid ride for the umpteenth time at the 101st Giro d'Italia, concluding stage 14 in 26th place, just a handful of minutes behind winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), who beat race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).
After the break had been brought back and the pace raised in the main group, the 24-year-old German impressed with the way he kept his composure on the lung-busting ascent, steadily riding to the top and putting an end to the suffering after five and a half hours in the saddle.
"I didn't feel good already on the penultimate climb, but I kept fighting. Zoncolan was super steep, but after suffering in the opening kilometers I slowly found my tempo and rode an individual time trial, catching more and more riders. The entire day was very hard, with many demanding climbs, but I'm content with the way I rode, especially as it was my first time on the Zoncolan", said Max at the top of the Friulian climb, tackled from the traditional side in Ovaro.
A triple stage winner at the Giro d'Italia, Elia Viviani retained the maglia ciclamino which he will wear for the 13th time during Sunday's stage 15, from Tolmezzo to Sappada (176 kilometers).
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images