Giro d'Italia 2023 stage 19 preview - the Queen stage

It is a classic Dolomite day in the mountains for stage 19, which replicates Thursday with another quintet of categorised peaks and mountaintop finish, this time at Tre Cime di Lavaredo. 

The start in the valley in Longarone opens with less than two dozen kilometres of tame roads before the long 58km approach to the top of the first categorised climb, Passo Campolongo. Along the uphill grind is an intermediate sprint at kilometre 64.4 in Caprile. The Campolongo is officially 3.9km in length, with an average gradient of 7%, but it’s a long haul to get there. 

The final half of the 183km stage packs in the Valparola ( at 5.6%), Giau (9.9km at 9.3%) and Tre Croci (7.9km at 7.2%) passes before taking on the closing 7.2km climb to Rifugio Auronzo, with a 12.5% gradient at the finish line.

The road to Tre Cime di Lavaredo rises to 18% gradients over the first 1.5 km, becomes a false flat at Lago di Antorno and then quickly kicks up to 12% in the last 4 km. Ten years ago Italian Vincenzo Nibali won on this same climb, emerging victorious from the fog and wearing the maglia rosa. It is clearly the most challenging stage of this year’s three-week Grand Tour. 

Stage 19 - Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Stage 19 - Tre Cime di Lavaredo profile (Image credit: RCS/ Giro d'Italia)

Alongside the startling overall elevation - more than 5,400 metres over the 183km route - with three peaks above 2,000m of elevation, altitude is likely to also take a heavy toll on the riders.

With the battle of the general classification reaching its crux, it's likely that Primož Roglič and Geraint Thomas will both be vying for a time buffer ahead of the final mountain time trial. With that in mind, we could see the maglia rosa favourites finish the stage in a 1-2 showdown on Tre Cime di Lavaredo. 

If the break makes finds good fortune, though, it may be a day for a climbing specialist outside of the GC. After Thibaut Pinot found himself edged out by Filippo Zana on yesterday's stage, he may be the people's favourite for a resurgent win in the mountains.

Follow our live coverage of the stage right here on Cyclingnews.

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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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