Only 43 riders completed the gruelling stage 18 in the 1956 Giro that finished on the Dolomite climb of Monte Bondone. Temperatures were well below freezing (with some estimates saying it was as cold as -10°C), and after heavy snow began to fall, race leader Pasquale Fornara abandoned the race and found refuge in a farmhouse. Luxembourger Charly Gaul won the stage, but it is claimed that he stopped during the stage for a coffee and had to have his clothes cut from his body afterwards.
The 1987 Giro famously came down to a battle between two team-mates: Ireland’s Stephen Roche and Italian Roberto Visentini. The latter lead on stage 15, but Roche disobeyed team orders and attacked on the descent of the Forcella di Monte Rest climb. Visentini got the remainder of his team to try and chase him down and team manager Davide Boifava even pleaded to Roche to end his attack. Nonetheless, to the dismay of the Visentini, Boifava and thetifosi, the Irishman went on to win the race.
Hydration plays an important role in cycling, and if it is ignored, it could lead to a number of problems such as severe fatigue and even heat exhaustion.Domestiques will have the job of fetching water bottles for their team leaders throughout the Giro, and normally they will do this by picking the drinks up from their team cars. However, the roads on a handful of mountain stages in this year’s race (most notably stages 14, 15, 19 and 20) are so narrow that a neutral motorbike will be on hand to supply them with bottles.
Throughout the three weeks of competition (3-26 May) Multipower Sportsfood, is also offering cycle fans the chance to get their hands on a variety of prizes in an easy to enter daily prediction competition. Prizes include signed race jerseys, Giro d’Italia drinks bottles and the ultimate prize of a Cannondale Pro Cycling Super Six EVO Team Edition professional race bike worth £6,499. To take part in the competition entrants simply need to visit the Multipower website, www.multipower.com/uk/giro , and vote for their stage favourite before the 10km to go marker.