Giro d’Italia 2011 – Stage 10

Gavia & Stelvio

GPS of today's rideGavia info / Stelvio info

It was raining (again) this morning and C. tweeted he might have been hit by a truck overnight (or at least by a minivan).

Not very good conditions to undertake more crazy climbing expeditions, like taking on both the Gavia and Stelvio in one ride…

But once again he couldn’t help himself and around 9:20 he and T. set course to Ponte di Legno. C. was hoping for a chance to tackle the Gavia from that side, since the 1st attempt on Wednesday failed…

The trip from Bormio to the top of the Gavia was a grim one – steady rain and thickening fog towards the summit. He was afraid they would not even be able to make the tricky descent to Legno, but – surprise – the other side was clear of both rain and fog. The sky was clearing up and the sun showed itself – good signs, but his doubt about his physical condition remained.

So, he promised himself to take it easy from the start, get to the top of the Gavia and (perhaps) call it day there, depending on how he would feel by then. Since the first stretch of 4 kilometer or so (until Sant’Appollonia) the climb is not so demanding, he fought his urge to shift up a couple of gears and remained calm.

And a good thing he did too – the remaining 12 kilometer has an average of close to 8%. That’s not too bad, but the short stretches of 12 – 14% are frequent. Maintaining a steady pace, keeping a close eye on his heartbeat, he managed to get to the summit surprisingly ‘fit’.

After a coffee and a sandwich, he decided that he would also take on the Stelvio today. That climb – from Bormio – is already scheduled for Sunday during the ‘Mapei Day’ too, but just in case the weather would be bad, he wanted to make sure he had done it anyway.

They headed back to Bormio and in ‘Tornante 40’ he climbed back on his bike. He forgot to start the timing on the Garmin for the first kilometer or so, but that’s a freebie anyway (up until the split with the road to Livigno).

By this time, the temperature had actually risen to around 30 degrees Celsius, which was quite a bit higher than during the Gavia. This needed some ‘acclimatization’ to avoid his heartbeat going up too much, but he managed.

Pretty much the same way he got up the Gavia, he managed this climb, although it’s around 7 kilometers longer. The last 2.5-3 km or so, he climbed yesterday also and by that time he was more or less at the end of his rope.

‘Grinta, grinta’ he would repeatedly tell himself, but he was sure glad when it was over…

Tomorrow, T. will not allow him to do any bike stuff, other than get his ticket and shirt for the Mapei Day. Oh well, even the big shots in the Giro d’Italia get a day off every now and then 🙂

Today’s totals: 36.4 km / 2,926 altimeters and he’s way past the 20.000 altimeters now…

Garmin recording Gavia and Stelvio

Giro d’Italia 2011 – main page

Report of 2015’s trip up the Gavia from both ends consecutively here.
Report of 2008’s climb from Prato here and from 2015’s trip up the Stelvio from both ends consecutively here.

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