Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 1

Valparola, Fedaia & Sella

(An alternative Sella Ronda)

I decided on the “clockwise” alternative of the stage I initially set, including the Fedaia from Rocca Pietore.

But I wish I hadn’t…

I first headed for La Villa and climbed the Valparola.

That already seemed to be harder than I remembered, but the descend of the Falzarego and onwards to Caprile didn’t do me a lot of good.

I hadn’t looked at the profile of the Fedaia – I just knew it was supposed to be “more challenging” than the climb from the other end, which was more or less a recovery ride in 2011.

And more challenging it was…

The first part of it didn’t seem that bad, but after some 7 kilometers, the road went up in an almost straight line, at an incline of 11 to 12%.

Giro 2015 - nice but steep hairpin sectionI had to stop and catch my breath somewhere in the middle of that part – the strain on my back was getting the better of me…

It didn’t get any better after that, as during the “winding” part – stunning as that may look – the grades rose to 15%, topping 18%.

Suffice it to say, I was glad I made it to the top – barely…

I then descended towards Canazei and got up the Sella, which has the bottom 14 hairpins in common with the Pordoi.

After the split – 6.5 kilometers from the start – the Sella hairpins count downwards again (from 10 – 1).

I was “certain” the Sella did not have stretches of over 10%, but it does. And they hurt.

After the short downhill towards Plan de Gralba, I was hoping for a merciful Gardena to finish the day.

And admittedly, this was the easiest part of today’s ride, although I felt completely shredded when I started the descend towards Corvara…


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