May 26, 2012

PASSO DELLO STELVIO, Italy (AP) -- Thomas De Gendt won the grueling 20th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Saturday, reigniting his chances for a podium finish. Joaquin Rodriguez retained the overall lead.

With a superb climb of the Passo dello Stelvio De Gendt finished the so-called queen stage of the Giro in 6 hours, 54 minutes and 41 seconds.

The stage was the toughest of this year's race, with the 136-mile trek from Caldes culminating in a 14-mile ascent up the snow-covered Stelvio, which has a maximum gradient of 12 percent.

The route also included the legendary Mortirolo climb, described by the seven-time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong as the hardest climb he's ever ridden.

The Giro finishes on Sunday in Milan after a 19-mile individual time trial.

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