Giro 2020 Plans

Contrary to my past ‘Grand Tours’, I’m not going to write a road book for my Giro d’Italia 2020.

Every time I put a lot of effort in it and while I usually manage to generally follow the stages I had in mind, I frequently have to change plans anyway.

This can be for any number of reasons, my advancing age probably not being the least important.

But, I’ve also suffered from a cyclist nodule and intense, hernia induced or incident related (back) pains.

Plus, the weather can be a force to reckon with and not seldom have I been cycling in near freezing conditions or ice cold rain one day, only to have my brain blown out because of the heat the next.

And while I have new climbs to discover during this Giro, I am already quite familiar with the area(s) and most of its climbs.

So, I can leave it that and you can stop reading if you’re no longer interested, but I’m writing down a few (loose) ideas anyway…

Read moreGiro 2020 Plans

Passo Giau

With a summit at 2,236 meters, the Passo Giau doesn’t earn a high ranking in the list of highest (paved) passes in Europe. However, with an average of 9.1%, the climb from Selva di Cadore is a tough one.

Climbing the Giau is also part of the long version of the Maratona dles Dolomites, the “Percorsa Maratona”.

Both from our first base camp during the Giro’s of 2011 and 2015, the Giau was within biking distance.

Report 2011 here and 2015 here.

Selva di Cadore

Giau - profile from Selva di CadoreThis ascent is that of the Maratona and from Selva di Cadore it’s just over 10 km long, with 922 meters of elevation (9.1%).

You may also add the extra kilometers and elevation gain to even get to Selva di Cadore, unless you come descending from the Staulanza – from Caprile, this is at least some 5 kilometers and 300+ meters of elevation…

The grades on the official climb fluctuate between 7+ and 10+, meaning that you will also meet stretches of 12 to 14%. Since there are no sections where you can “relax” and catch your breath, you’d do well to settle for a pace you can maintain during the whole climb.

As I quickly found out during my ascend in 2011, when I had “only” climbed the Valparola before it and the Falzarego – from Pocol – felt almost like a recovery after that.

And although there are a few nice hairpins in the climb, it didn’t make much of an impression for its beautiful views, even though the surroundings are overwhelming by nature in this area. The near 360 degree view at the summit was breathtaking…

Video of this ascend from the Col Collective here.


Giau - profile from PocolThe commonly marked as “easy” climb up the Giau, is the one starting in Pocol.

This ascent is even shorter with 8.6 kilometers and with 716 meters of elevation, the average grade is “only” 8.3%.

But, other than via the descent of the Falzarego, Pocol can only be reached from Cortina d’Ampezzo – the about 4 additional kilometers from there to Pocol come with an elevation of around 300 meters too.

Plus as usual, averages mean jack shit and also during this climb you will be presented with a maximum grade of 18%.

So, I did not experience this side to be that much easier. Obviously, this was also influenced by the circumstances under which I ascended it in 2015…

After the Tre Cime di Lavaredo – also starting from Cortina – had already all but demolished me, I climbed a completely deserted Giau in the freezing rain, with a brisk wind in the upper half as an added bonus.

During this trip, I could only guess at the views – low clouds and mist veiled a lot and only a couple of times did I get a glimpse of what it would / could look like under better weather conditions – obviously, I had no view to speak of at the summit.

Picture gallery on Google+ (the first picture is from 2011, when I climbed the ‘Selva’ side) – video of the Pocol ascend from the Col Collective here.

Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 4

Tre Cime di Lavaredo & Giau

It looked like it was now or never for the attack on Tre Cime di Lavaredo. I let go of the idea to make that a 150+ kilometer round trip, so we transferred to Cortina d’Ampezzo by car

From there, I eventually found the way up to Tre Croci, which could be considered a warm up for the real thing.

Descending the Tre Croci and then climbing back up to the Lago di Misurina, brought me to the start of the tough part of the climb up Tre Cime.

Paula had to pay no less than 24 Euro to get past the toll gate – seeing you on a bicycle, they just laugh at you and you pay nothing – and while it was ever getting colder, I started to inch my way up.

Read moreGiro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 4

Giro d’Italia 2011 – Stage 1

Valparola, Giau & Falzarego

GPS of today's rideToday our self declared cycling hero was out for some serious climbing. It was not that easy to find a route that would not require (more than one) transfer by car, but he found one.

Unfortunately, the trip to the starting point in La Villa (Badia) took longer than expected. Why vehicles with a (combined) length of over 10 meters are allowed on the Gardena Pass, is a mystery to C. but he was not amused and they arrived on the spot as late as 11:00…

Read moreGiro d’Italia 2011 – Stage 1