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Ryder Hesjedal tackles the imposing slopes of Monte Zoncolan

Ryder Hesjedal didn't need to race up the Zoncolan when he won the Giro in 2012 but did race up it's slopes once in his career

Ryder Hesjedal

Ryder Hesjedal didn’t have to crest the leg-sapping inclines of Monte Zoncolane when he won the Giro d’Italia in 2012 but in retirement, the Canadian has traveled to the Carnic Alps to tackle it’s imposing slopes.

The Zoncolan is one of the most feared climbs in professional cycling. At 10-km in length with an average gradient of 12 per cent, even the best of riders are brought to a near standstill on the road up the remote mountain pass. The 2018 Giro will climb the Zoncolan on Stage 14. It promises to be one of the most exciting stages of the 2018 edition.

RELATED: Monte Zoncolan: The effects of the famous climb in northern Italy on the faces of eight riders who conquered it

Hesjedal did race up the Zoncolan once in his career at the 2014 Giro when he sat ninth overall going into the final mountain stage of that year’s Giro. Hesjedal would maintain his position in the GC but was distanced by the leaders including Nairo Quintana who would secure overall victory. Michael Rogers won from the breakaway that day.

Castelli brought Hesjedal to ride up the Zoncolan before the start of the race. Hear his thoughts on the climb, racing up it in 2014 and his predictions on what will happen in 2018. Michael Woods reconned the Zoncolan in late-April and will hope to be in a position to move up the GC as a result when the peloton tackles it on Saturday.