Giro d’Italia 2011 – Stage 3

Pennes, Giovo & Furcia

GPS of today's rideWhile planning today’s trip yesterday evening, C. was wondering if it would be a good idea to include the Kronplatz.

This climb is partly unpaved and is climbing a gravel road with stretches of 20% not just a bit over the top?

While the only way to get there is via the Furcia (Furkelpass, this is listed from both ends, which is not so for the Kronplatz), he was looking for alternatives.

He found another, what seemed like a nice, double: the Passo Pennes (Penserjoch) and the Passo Giovo (Jaufenpass).

Both starting in Vipiteno, so getting there would be done in the car.

Upon arrival in Vipiteno, he flipped a coin and went for the Penserjoch first.

Judging by the profiles (Penserjoch / Jaufenpass) this is the more challenging of the two anyway, but by the time he was half way up the Jaufenpass later on, it didn’t feel like that.

The Penserjoch has some pretty steep stretches and because it was quite hot – not blistering, but a bit too much – this really makes you consume energy fast.

And between 1.700 and 2.100 meters, the flies are damned annoying – he has encountered that phenomena before (climbing the Gerlitzen), but what precise circumstances are needed for it, is not clear to him.

He didn’t have that problem the previous three days…

On the top of the ‘joch’ he had a coffee and some apple pie, because the energy bars where not going to cover his needs today.

After that he descended, almost crashing on an Italian moron making a full turn on the road – it’s no wonder he usually doesn’t do the descents on his bike.

Back in Vipiteno, he turned towards the start of the climb to the Jaufenpass.

The length is about the same, but the altimeter gain is around 100 meters less. The flies where not bothering him here (can someone please explain?), but by the time he reached the summit, his thighs felt like exploding.

So, he took a break and ate something again (sausage and bread), after which the bike was mounted on the car.

After that, he felt courageous enough to take on the Furcia after all and was dreaming of the Kronplatz…

The only thing he didn’t foresee, was the length of the transfer.

It doesn’t look that far away – and it isn’t in kilometers – on the map, but since it’s a secondary road you’re traveling  the average speed is low and it took them almost two hours to get to to Longega, some 75 kilometers away.

While the rest seemed to have done him some good, he immediately felt the strain again upon starting the climb up the Furcia.

This one turned out to be a hard hitter as well and it didn’t get any better as the road was going up ever steeper.

The stretch between 7 and 11 km is bad enough as is, but taking the two previous climbs into consideration, he – regretfully – let go of the idea to try and take on the Kronplatz as well.

Just look at the profile of that climb – the last 4.1 kilometers, starting at the top of the ‘Furkelpass’ – and it makes sense that he decided: enough is enough.

Besides, the flies were even more annoying here than they were on the Penserjoch, probably also because he was too tired to chase them away…

Total for today: 60.1 km / 3,061 altimeters… Tomorrow the easy side of the Fedaia and that’s probably it – Wednesday, the Monte Zoncolan awaits, Passo del Diavolo.

Garmin recording Part 1 and Part 2

Giro d’Italia 2011 – main page