The Stages Part 1: Corvara
May is “Bike Month” according to several (overseas) organizations like the League of American Bicyclists.
I’ve also joined Team Slackers in the National Bike Challenge – I don’t see my rides on the Strava heat map so far, but anyway.
Speaking of Strava: they continue their MTS, Climbing and Gran Fondo challenges.
The latter is only 100 kilometers this month, so that was accomplished last Saturday, when I fought my way through herds of “fellow” cyclists who were participating in the Boretti Classic.
Sadly, that course has been relocated to just the area where I wanted to ride and they were doing long stretches of “my” route, but going in the opposite direction, which was no fun at all.
I rode that classic once and decided “never again”, like I now avoid most rides where you may expect over 5,500 participants.
The Amstel Gold and Limburg Mooiste usually attract between 14,000 and 20,000 participants…
So, now that May has arrived, the pro’s Giro d’Italia is about to start and it’s time to reveal the road book with my own Giro d’Italia 2015 stages.
I don’t have the days available to ride 21 stages, but I’m not riding any “flat” ones either 🙂
The trip is two weeks long – one week based in Corvara, one in Bormio – this post is about the first week’s plan…
We’ll hopefully be arriving early enough to get a short “prologue” in on the first day – I can chose from no less than three passes starting at my doorstep: Campolongo, Gardena and Valparola.
Going over the Campolongo and then turn towards Andraz in Arraba to climb the Falzarego / Valparola and descending back into Corvara will be a 48 kilometer ride with some 1,600 altimeters…
Counterclockwise, this stage will first go over the Gardena plus the last bit of the Sella, then the Fedaia and Campolongo. However, I will probably ride it clockwise as the Fedaia is “more interesting” from Caprile and I’ve not done the Sella / Gardena from that end (Arraba) either…
Either way, this stage will be around 90 kilometers with (well) over 3,000 altimeters.
This will either be the day of the Maratona dles Dolomites or a trip up the dreaded Tre Cime di Lavaredo, but I haven’t made up my mind about the Maratona.
The short version is the Sella Ronda and other than an extra pass over the Campolongo, the medium version adds the Valparola (from Andraz, so actually the Falzarego) and the longest version adds the Giau and then the Valparola (from Pocol, so also most of the Falzarego, but from the other end).
All of these will be included in other stages anyway – a trip up to Lavaredo, including the Giau and Tre Croci, may well turn out to be the “Queen Stage” during this week. If I make it back home – down to Pocol from the Giau summit and then over the Falzarego/Valparola – it will be close to 160 kilometers with some 5,200 altimeters…
Depending on how much stage 2 has destroyed me, I may take a rest day and soft pedal around the Sella Massive a bit.
Plan de Corones (Kronplatz) or not? Riding up to the start of the Furcia that precedes it, would be 25 kilometer mostly downhill. The Furcia is not easy, but manageable – I would like to tackle that from the other side (Valdaora) as well. I then have the choice to get up Plan de Corones or ride on the same way I came, back home.
The road up that final part has been restructured for the Giro, but has probably degraded again since.
In 2011 it was little more than a dirt road and I didn’t have the energy (left) to even try it. I may skip it again this year – it’s “only” around 5.2 kilometers, but with an altimeter gain well over 500 meters and a maximum grade of 24% it’s going to be near impossible if the road has indeed deteriorated…
If I didn’t take a day off after stage 2, I will definitely have one after this.
This will include another pass I didn’t climb in 2011: Passo delle Erbe (Würzjoch). From Piccolino, that’s 15 kilometer long, with some 1,100 altimeters (there’s a 150 meter drop between km 6 and 9). From the summit, it’s 3 kilometers to the short climb up Passo di Eores and again some 5 kilometers after that, I can turn right for the final part of Valcroce (Kreuztal).
That officially starts from the other end (Bressanone), running for 20+ kilometers. From Eores it’s just 5 kilometers (320 altimeters) and it’s a dead end. Then, it will be near 40 kilometers downhill towards Ponte di Gardena, to climb the entire Passo Gardena: 32 kilometers with 1,650 altimeter gain.
This will include Passo Giau, but from Pocol this time – that’s considered to be the “easy” side and I didn’t climb it from that end yet. Getting there passes the Valparola and the return will be over the Campolongo.
The maximum length of this stage is around 80 kilometers, with 2,750 altimeters.
As this will be the day we transfer to Bormio, I’m looking for an interesting route in that direction. A ride (by car) to Piè Falcade will bring me to the Valles and Rolle as warm up.
After a 25 kilometer descent, I would get over Passo della Gobbera, before taking on the Cinque Croci, with its summit at 80 kilometers from where I started.
As much I would love to, taking on the Manghen after that, is probably too much – besides, getting to Bormio from the Cinque Croci will already be at least a three hour trip by car, not getting any less from the top of the Manghen…
I realize that in putting together the stages in this first draft, I’ve most likely been overestimating my powers 🙂
Plus, there’s always the weather – too hot, too rainy, too cold and it will be rewritten anyway…
How it all worked out? Read it here.
General info on my ‘Giro d’Italia’ expeditions here.