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…

His first challenge was the Passo di Valparola (2,192m – profile) which turned out to be a near perfect climb. Not too steep with an average gradient of around 6% and therefore a perfect warm up for the Giau.

On the descent, around 80 meters lower, he ‘crossed’ the summit of the 3rd climb he had planned for the day, the Falzarego.

But first, he continued the descent towards Caprile, missing the turn at Andraz (he had to get back up for about 2 – 3 kilomters or so).

From Caprile he rode to Selva di Cadore where the official start of the climb to the Passo di Giau is located (2,236m, avg. 9.1% – profile).

This pass – as is clear from the profile – is more challenging and the averages do not do justice to the long stretches of well over 10% (max. 15%).

You’ll only get a chance to catch your breath in some – not all – hairpins and on a few bridges, crossing streams…

After having a snack (apfelstrudel and a hot chocolate drink) at the summit, he put on warm clothes for the descent towards Pocol.

During his first descend today, he was not sufficiently dressed and you’d better not make that same mistake twice…

In Pocol he jumped to the climb of the Passo de Falzarego (official start in Cortina, but on the profile, you see ‘SR48/SP636’ near Pocol) – this climb is similar to that of the Valparola and it was a good one to finish the day with.

Total for today: 71.3 km / 3,654 altimeters.

Tomorrow the Sella Ronda Bike Day, with four passes and a total of around 60 kilometers.

Garmin recording

Giro d’Italia 2011 – main page

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