Stage 16: Sacile – Cortina d'Ampezzo. A wide range of emotions
These mountains and the Corsa Rosa were meant to be together. An inevitable love story that is repeated every day at dusk, when the setting sun casts a pink glow on the Dolomites, renewing the legend of King Laurin and his rose garden. When his beloved princess Similde was taken away from him forever, Laurin cursed the garden, so that “neither by day nor by night should anyone again glimpse this lovely sight”. A spell that is only cancelled at dawn and at dusk, when the mountains shine pink in the Alpenglow (enroṡadìra).
A regular feature of the Giro since 1937, namely 72 years before being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dolomites have often been the scene of legendary achievements and terrible meltdowns. A wide range of emotions that Laurent Fignon was very familiar with. The Dolomites meant both accomplishment and failure for him. In 1989, he took overall victory battling through the snow on the Marmolada and the Pordoi, healing the wound he had suffered five years before, when a meltdown had cost him the pink jersey at the last stage, and heading for a Tour that he would lose even more deceivably. In 1992, under the pouring rain, Fignon endured an ordeal on the Giau that would mark his farewell to the Giro.