Photo gallery: Faces of the Mortirolo

by Matt de Neef

Skipping the Passo Gavia was probably a good idea. The 2019 Giro d’Italia had been scheduled to tackle the legendary climb on stage 16, taking riders to beyond 2,600 metres, but with the weather looking far from hospitable, organisers made the call to remove it from the route. As the riders found out, the weather was bad enough on the Passo del Mortirolo at 1,850m.

Rain lashed down from the dark skies above as riders battled the obscene gradients and one another, before descending tentatively towards the finish.

It wasn’t just that it was wet — and it was very wet — it was also painfully cold. Eventual stage winner Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) was seen shaking uncontrollably in the final kilometres after the descent. Other riders poured hot tea on themselves in an attempt to stay warm. It was the sort of day that tests the resolve of riders, team staff and fans alike.

Of course, bad weather means great photos and thankfully for us some of the best in the business were there to capture the action on stage 16. We hope you enjoy the following shots from Kristof Ramon, Jered and Ashley Gruber, Cor Vos and RCS Sport.

For an insight on what a day in the life of a professional cycling photographer and what it was like to shoot on this day, we talk to Jered and Ashley Gruber here (start at 25min in):

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