Giro d’Italia 2020

Late 2019, we initially booked a vacation on Tenerife, where I would cycle up and down El Teide and Paula would bake in the sun.

Then Corona/Covid-19 happened and we decided to not take avoidable risks and cancelled that trip.

Paula being who she is, then asked me if I would be in for an alternative, like Italy, maybe the Dolomites…

The occasional visitor of this site will know that I didn’t need a lot of time to think that over.

HELL YEAH!

So, we found a hotel in Ponte di Legno, at the base of…

* Drum roll *

the Gavia.

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Giro d’Italia

Whenever the Treasury Secretary sanctions another trip into the high mountains, I think ‘Giro d’Italia’.

To be more precise: when I mention Italy, I think of the Dolomites in the northeast, nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino.

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 🙂

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*At least the more commonly known final 6 kilometers of it: the full Campolongo starts in Pederoa, 14 kilometers north of Corvara.

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The Col Informer

Cyclopaat’s life being what it is, this is yet another project dedicated to his idiotic cycling adventures.

On these pages, you will find info on the more ‘famous’ climbs he’s had the pleasure to die on himself.

The info you find on great sites like CyclingCols are often too generic – just profiles, which usually mean jack shit  – to give you the whole picture.

The guys at The Col Collective provide great short movies on them, in which it looks even easier to climb a giant like the Bonette, than Cyclopaat can possibly make up writing about it, so they’re added if available.

Anyway, have fun – or walk away while you still can – and feel free to share this page with your enemies…

NameCountrySummit
Grossglockner Austria2571
Col AgnelFrance2744
Col de la BonetteFrance2715/2802 (Cime)
Col de l'IseranFrance2764
Col du GalibierFrance2556/2642 (loop)
Alpe d'HuezFrance1860
Croix de FerFrance2068
Passo GaviaItaly2621
Passo delle StelvioItaly2758
Passo del MortiroloItaly1852
Monte ZoncolanItaly1735
Passo GiauItaly2236
Colle FaunieraItaly2478
FurkapassSwitzerland2436
GrimselpassSwitzerland2164
St. GotthardSwitzerland2091
UmbrailSwitzerland2501

Giro d’Italia 2015 – Part 2: Valdisotto

Valdisotto page header

Cyclopaat constructed his own Giro d’Italia 2015 – on this page, you can find the links to the reports of part 2, the stages from Valdisotto.

Epilogue

Giro d'Italia 2015 - EpilogueAs we will be leaving very early tomorrow morning, for the final “Swiss” stage of this Giro, I just flexed the muscles a bit around Bormio.

I headed towards Valdidentro, where the Alpen Hotel is located, which was our base camp in 2011.

After that, I returned via Le Motte, back to Santa Lucia and Bormio, were we then walked around town a bit, did some shopping and returned to the apartment.

We will start preparing the luggage and pile it into the car later on, which will probably exhaust me more than another Mortirolo 🙂

So, if all goes well, I hope to climb Gotthard, Furka and Grimsel tomorrow – a nearly 100 kilometer ride, including all descents, with a total elevation gain of of some 3,000 meters.

Going out with a blast…

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List – with links – of the stages from Valdisotto:

Transfer

As I strained a muscle in my back while preparing the transfer, I was afraid I might have to spend a couple of days in the passenger’s seat of the car.

Lunch break in SilandroTempting as that actually sounded at the time, I was not really amused – as I have built up some experience since my crashes in 2012 and 2013, I started taking NSAID’s and applied ice packs / heat patches.

However, I knew that the “transfer stage” to Bormio was a no go – apart from the inability to walk or stand straight, the only chance I had that I was going to be able to cycle again the next week, was to rest and (try to) relax.

So, no Mendola, Palade or Val Martello, just enjoying the views from within the car. The ride was actually enjoyable and not very eventful. We had a long(er) lunch stop in Silandro, where I had originally planned our base camp for part two.

Paula then knocked me out and put me blindfolded in the back of the car, as we were about to pass the Stelvio.

By the time we arrived in Valdisotto, I was pleased again with the apartment and the surroundings, albeit not as stunning as in Corvara.

We went shopping and had a beer and a good laugh on a terrace under a pleasant sun. It looks like I will live to climb another day – we’ll see tomorrow…