Ultimately, the record books will show an emphatic victory by one of cycling’s most promising riders but the story of stage 16 of the 2014 Giro d’Italia was far more than that.
All four seasons were experienced in one day, with rain and snow on the Gavia and Stelvio and bright sunshine bathing the final climb of the Val Martello in a warm glow.
And after gaining time on his rivals on the dangerous descent of the Stelvio –
despite the belief by some teams that it was to be neutralised – Nairo Quintana delivered a climbing masterclass on Val Martello to take the race lead.
Relive the epic stage in this full-screen gallery of Stefano Sirotti’s photos.
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All together now
It took a while for a break to stick as the race started in relative calm compared to what was to come (pic: Sirotti)
Snow on the Passo Gavia forced race organisers to cut the climb from last year's edition and freezing conditions on the iconic ascent this time out have raised questions as to whether it should remain a staple of the Giro d'Italia (pic: Sirotti)
The break eventually went clear but the treacherous conditions meant for most of them their day up the road was short-lived (pic: Sirotti)
Nairo Quintana had said prior to the stage Pierre Rolland could be a key ally and so it proved (pic: Sirotti)
He who dares...
Dario Cataldo's brave ride on Stelvio earned him the Cima Coppi prize as the first rider over the highest point in the race (pic: Sirotti)
The ghostly outlines of the riders were all that were visible on the famous slopes of the Stelvio (pic: Sirotti)
Scene of the crime
The treacherous Stelvio descent, where mixed messages from the race organisers caused confusion in the bunch (pic: Sirotti)
There were three riders in the race-winning break but only one of them, Quintana, set the pace on the front (pic: Sirotti)
Former champion Ryder Hesjedal proved he is approaching his best form with a spirited ride in the lead group (pic: Sirotti)
Cadel Evans lost contact with his GC rivals on a tough day in the saddle (pic: Sirotti)
No allies, no luck, no pink jersey
Rigoberto Uran found himself without team-mates for support and lost more than four minutes to Quintana to forfeit the race lead (pic: Sirotti)
In the pink
Quintana celebrates taking the overall lead and the Colombian now leads his compatriot, Uran, by one minute and 41 seconds (pic: Sirotti)