Whenever the Treasury Secretary sanctions another trip into the high mountains, I think ‘Giro d’Italia’.
Just looking at the pictures and profiles of the climbs there, does make my heart beat faster.
Obviously, I do not mind wandering off in the Ortler Alps to the west of the Dolomites, if only for the Stelvio and Gavia.
But, as much as I like the area around Bormio, it pales in comparison to that of the Sella group, which may be considered the heart of the Dolomites.
My most favorite spot in this cycling heaven, is Corvara in Badia (or Kurfar) at the bottom of the climbs up the Campolongo* and Gardena, the Valparola being just around the corner.
The views are overwhelming – the Sassongher towering over it – but if you want a bit more activity, you should probably go to the other end of the Gardena, to Selva di Val Gardena or Sante Cristina.
Or, alternatively, to the east, to Cortina d’Ampezzo at the bottom of the climbs up the Giau and Falzarego.
If you want to stay in an equally strategically placed town in the Ortler Alps, you will most likely end up in Bormio.
Other than the starting point of the climbs up the Gavia and the Stelvio, it also connects to the Foscagno leading to Livigno.
And it is within cycling distance of two of the more famous climbs up the Mortirolo…
So, whenever there is a trip scheduled to these areas, I shamelessly dub it ‘Giro d’Italia’.
After all, the UCI pro version of that course is usually decided in the mountain stages there 🙂
*At least the more commonly known final 6 kilometers of it: the full Campolongo starts in Pederoa, 14 kilometers north of Corvara.