Cima Coppi history 2010-2019: the Cima Coppi is the summit with the highest altitude reached by cyclists during the Giro d’Italia. It was established in 1965, five years after the death of “Il Campionissimo” (champion of champions) Fausto Coppi.
Here is the brief history of Cima Coppi between 2010 and 2019.
Cima Coppi History 2010-2019, Year by Year
2010: Passo di Gavia (2,621 m / 8,599 ft), Johann Tschopp (Switzerland)
The Cima Coppi included in the penultimate stage 20. It was a 178 km stage from Bormio to Passo del Tonale, designed as “Il Tappone Dolomite” (or simply “Il Tappone”, queen stage equivalent of Giro d’Italia, the hardest high-mountain stage). But Ivan Basso’s victory (Liquigas-Doimo) looked inevitable before the stage.
There had been a fear that bad weather would force the organizers to skip Passo di Gavia but in the race morning, it was announced that the planned route would be used.
A big move went away on Forcola di Livigno. In it were Gilberto Simoni and eventual stage winner Johann Tschopp. Near the top of the Gavia, Simoni, who will end his pro racing career tomorrow, attacked, taking Tschopp with him. Tschopp was first atop Gavia (he won the two-men sprint for the Cima Coppi prize), and then he dropped Simoni on the descent of the Gavia and stayed away until the finish. It was his biggest career victory. Now (as of 2020) he’s a mountain bike racer.
Ivan Basso won the 2010 Giro d’Italia.
2011: Passo di Giau (2,236 m / 7,336 ft), Stefano Garzelli (Italy)
229 km Stage 15 from Conegliano to Gardeccia-Val di Fassa was Il Tappone with five major climbs: Piancavallo, Cibiana, Giau (the Cima Coppi), Fedaia and Gardeccia.
The day’s break cleared the peloton on the Piancavallo. Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Euskaltel-Euskadi) left this group on the Giau, with Garzelli soloing well off the front. On the Gardeccia, Ituralde caught and passed him and held on for the stage win.
Strong overall favorite Alberto Contador was 2011 Giro’s original winner, but following his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, he lost his results since that event. He was therefore stripped of the 2011 Giro title, and Michele Scarponi became the new victor of the race and the winner of the points classification.
2012: Passo dello Stelvio (2,758 m / 9,049 ft), Thomas De Gendt (Belgium)
This year’s Cima Coppi was included in the penultimate stage 20, 219 km going from Caldes-Val di Sole to Passo dello Stelvio. With some 16.5 km of climbing left, Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) jumped, followed by Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi). But almost immediately De Gendt attacked again, and rode solo until the top of Stelvio, winning the stage and the Cima Coppi prize.
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) won the 2012 Giro d’Italia.
2013: Tre Cime di Lavaredo (
2,758 m / 9,049 ft 2,320 m / 7,612 ft), Vincenzo Nibali (Italy)
Passo dello Stelvio was scheduled to be the Cima Coppi but due to weather, the stage was canceled. With the cancellation of the Passo di Stelvio, the climb to Tre Cime di Lavaredo became the Cima Coppi.
Stage 20 had originally been scheduled to include the Costalunga, San Pellegrino, Giau, Tre Croci, and Tre Cime di Lavaredo ascents, but snow has forced the organizers to delete all but the Tre Croci and Tre Cime di Lavaredo climbs. The Tre Cime climb was also shortened, only up to 2,320 meters included.
The eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won the stage and the Cima Coppi prize.
2014: Passo dello Stelvio (2,758 m / 9,049 ft), Dario Cataldo (Italy)
It was a very tough day. Stage 16, a 139 km high mountain stage from Ponte di Legno – Val Martello (Martelltal) took the peloton over the legendary Gavia and Stelvio passes.
Dario Cataldo (Sky) was first atop Stelvio. It was snowing and the descent was neutralized. Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) was in pink. There was confusion – many riders stopped atop Stelvio to change their wet clothing. But, there was a car carrying a red banner, and organizers said riders should not pass that car. Notably, stage winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp) did not stop, and went down behind that car, while Uran and many others stopped.
After the stage, Omega Pharma-Quick-Step cried foul, but these riders did nothing wrong. They didn’t pass that car. Uran should follow Quintana. A cardinal rule of bike racing – “Wherever you go, I’ll go.”
Nairo Quintana won the stage atop Martelltal, took the Maglia Rosa, and won the 2012 Giro d’Italia.
2015: Colle delle Finestre (2,178 m / 7,146 ft), Mikel Landa (Spain)
The penultimate stage 20, from Saint-Vincent to Sestriere, 196 km.
The roads towards the top of the Colle delle Finestre climb were gravel. Mikel Landa (Astana) attacked around this point and race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff–Saxo) was unable to follow. With Contador struggling, the other riders in the group attacked. Contador was a minute behind them at the summit, with Landa further ahead.
At the foot of the final climb, Landa was ordered by his team to wait for Aru with the hope that, by working together, the two riders could put enough time into Contador to win the Giro. Aru attacked in the final kilometers of the final climb to Sestriere and won the stage. Landa was 24 seconds behind. Despite losing over two minutes, Contador retained his race lead and won the 2015 Giro d’Italia.
2016: Colle dell’Agnello (2,744 m / 9,003 ft), Michele Scarponi (Italy)
Stage 19 was the first to head into the high mountains, featuring the Cima Coppi, the Colle Dell’Agnello, and the summit finish to Risoul in France. Michele Scarponi (Astana) took the Cima Coppi, then he waited for his teammate Vincenzo Nibali.
On the descent, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) attacked and race leader Steven Kruijswijk’s (Lotto NL-Jumbo) famous crash came. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) also crashed with a broken collarbone and shoulder blade, forcing him to withdraw from the race.
After the crash, Kruijswijk started chasing Nibali and caught several groups along the way but nobody was willing or strong enough to help him in his efforts.
The day proved to be a redemption for Nibali as he won the stage after dropping Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) on the climb to Risoul and winning the stage. Meanwhile, Kruijswijk crossed the line almost five minutes down on Nibali and more than four minutes behind Chaves.
Chaves took the maglia rosa with a 44-second advantage over Nibali as Kruijswijk, who would later be diagnosed with a fractured rib, fell to third overall at a minute and five seconds behind.
Stage 20 was the final decisive stage in terms of the general classification, with three first-category climbs on the menu and the steep third-category climb to the finish at Sant’Anna di Vinadio. Nibali attack started 4 km to the summit of Lombarda and reached the GPM 56 seconds ahead of Chaves.
In the last 10 kilometers, its progression was irresistible reaching the end of the stage at Sanctuary of Sant’Anna with 1’36” on Chaves, becoming the new and last maglia rosa of the giro d’Italia number 99. The podium was completed by Chaves, second, and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
2017: Passo dello Stelvio (2,758 m / 9,049 ft), Mikel Landa (Spain)
The Cima Coppi was the Stelvio Pass, summited during 222 km stage 16 from Rovetta to Bormio.
There was a strong break and Mikel Landa (Movistar) led the break over the Stelvio, winning his 2nd Cima Coppi prize after 2015. On the descent, race leader Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) jumped off his bike, apparently affected by stomach problems. The Dutchman would be all alone by the time he remounted his bike and started chasing the group of favorites in front. But he did a good job enough to save the Maglia Rosa.
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) won the stage and Tom Dumoulin won the 2017 Giro d’Italia.
2018: Colle delle Finestre (2,178 m / 7,146 ft), Chris Froome (Great Britain)
It was one of the most epic days in cycling history. 185 km Stage 19 started in Venaria Reale and featured four long and challenging climbs including the Colle di Lys, the Colle delle Finestre – with a last 9km gravel sector – and the arrival at Bardonecchia (Jaffreu) after a 7km climb with an average gradient of 9%.
Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was carrying the Maglia Rosa. The Giro wasn’t going well for Chris Froome (Sky). Even after his victory on Monte Zoncolan and his solid stage 16 time trial, he started the day fourth overall, 3:22 down on Yates and 2:54 down on Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb).
Team Sky hit the front on Finestre with a strong tempo. Every switchback was a challenge for the riders behind because of the accordion effect (or yo-yo effect), including Yates, who found himself in difficulty just a couple of kilometers in.
Once Kenny Elissonde shredded the bunch with one final acceleration, the four-time Tour de France champion took flight several kilometers shy of the summit, 80 km from the finish line, shortly after the tarmac had turned to gravel.
Froome spun away from the defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), with Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Richard Carapaz (Movistar) the only others able to stay in touch, along with Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Pinot’s teammate Sébastien Reichenbach yo-yo-ing off the back.
At first, Froome’s advantage was modest, with Dumoulin steadily keeping him at 15 seconds, but another injection of pace a couple of kilometers from the top took it out to 40 seconds. Just shy of the summit, Pinot broke a spoke, and Dumoulin thought it sensible to keep him for company, with Reichenbach not far from regaining contact either.
Froome was alone atop Finestre, this year’s Cima Coppi. Dumoulin and Pinot, along with Lopez and Carapaz, crested the climb 38 seconds in arrears. Yates was 15 minutes down by the time he’d dragged his hunched shoulders and empty legs over the top.
Dumoulin and Pinot’s tactic did not work. Reichenbach’s help wasn’t enough on the climbs and he was basically a parachute during the descents.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Froome’s lead only grew and grew as he headed down the other side of the Finestre, through the valley and over the easier side of Sestrière, then through the next valley and up the short but steep final climb of the Jafferau.
Froome won the stage 3:23 ahead of Tom Dumoulin. Simon Yates finished 38:51 down! Froome was the new maglia rosa with 40 seconds ahead of Dumoulin. He won the 2018 Giro d’Italia.
Passo di Gavia Passo Manghen ( 2,618 m / 8,589 ft) (2,047 m / 6,716 ft), Fausto Masnada (Italy)
In the 2019 Giro d’Italia, Passo di Gavia was scheduled to be the Cima Coppi in the sixteenth stage but due to weather, the climb was removed from the itinerary. The next highest climb was that to Serrù Lake, however, the climb had already been ascended prior to this point. As a result, organizers chose to assign the Cima Coppi to the highest climb out of those which had not been ascended – the Passo Manghen on stage 20.
Fausto Masnada (Androni Giocattoli) attacked from the break on the slopes of Manghen. He won the Cima Coppi prize.
Pello Bilbao (Astana) won the stage. Richard Carapaz (Movistar) won the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
- Bike Race Info website
- Cima Coppi on Wikipedia
- Giro d’Italia 2011 on Wikipedia
- “De Gendt wins Giro d’Italia penultimate stage atop the Stelvio” on Cycling News
- “Giro d’Italia: Nibali wins at Tre Cime di Lavaredo” on Cycling News
- Giro d’Italia 2015 on Wikipedia
- Giro d’Italia 2016 on Wikipedia
- “Nibali wins queen stage of Giro d’Italia” on Cycling News
- “Giro d’Italia stage 19: Chris Froome steals maglia rosa with 80km solo attack” on Cycling News
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