Pinei & Alpe di Suisi
In 2011, I climbed the Pinei from Ponte Gardena and noticed a “split” near Castelrotto to the Alpe di Siusi.
Back then, I continued the route through Castelrotto, but for this year’s Giro, I looked up that climb which was not originally in the road book and I constructed a stage to it.
Leaving Corvara, I first climbed the Gardena from our front door, descended the 30+ kilometers to Ponte Gardena – with a stop for some more shopping in Selva – and then went up the same road as 4 years ago, when it was my warming up / prologue.
Strangely, I did not remember the bit with stretches of 11% before reaching Castelrotto and that wore me out more than I would have liked.
The climb up Alpe di Siusi was not much better, but some kilometers in, there was a check-post and a sign that said it was prohibited for cars to continue, unless you had a room in a hotel at the summit.
I went on alone initially, but a bit later Paula decided to take the chance and ride on anyway, so she catched up with me again.
It was surprisingly busy at the summit, mostly hikers and some mountain bikers. We had a sandwich and went down to Castelrotto.
From there, I climbed the (remainder of) the Pinei, descended towards Ortisei and climbed back up through Val Gardena, for the remainder of the Sella, i.e. keeping right at Plan de Gralba instead of turning left to the summit of the Gardena.
As I didn’t have the energy left to get back to the split with, and up the remainder of, the Gardena, I got off the bike there and we descended back to Corvara by car…