Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 8

Aprica & Mortirolo

As it seemed yesterday’s extra / half rest day had done me well, I was hoping to complete a slightly more challenging stage today.

Keeping in mind the restrictions on distance and knowing that sustained climbing efforts of over 11% were most likely not possible, I looked at the Mortirolo from its “easy” side, Edolo / Monno…

After all, with all due respect, the profile from that end doesn’t look half as scary as the one from Mazzo or Grosio.

So, since I stated that the climb from Mazzo “did not hurt as much as expected” in 2011 – probably because I did the Zoncolan shortly before it – I was hopeful that I would be able to make it.

But first, we transferred to Tirano by car – through some 20 kilometer of tunnels – were I got on the bike in front of the Basilica. I rode to Tresenda along the quite busy road and there I turned left to climb the Passo Aprica.Giro 2015 - Aprica

Also this climb has a more difficult alternative by passing over the Passo Santa Cristina, but I resisted the urge to try that when I passed Stazzona…

Passo Aprica turned out be a good warm up, nothing too difficult but with 13 kilometers not too short either.

After passing through Aprica, I descended towards Edolo, where we had a coffee break.

From Edolo, it goes up easily for some 3.5 kilometers until the turn towards Monno.

From there, the official climb of the Mortirolo starts.

I found this climb to be a little irregular, which is not really my thing. On the other hand, the easier stretches can be used to your advantage to eat and drink.

Mortirolo from MonnoThe toughest part is the final 2.5 km (10!) hairpin section, from there it is relatively easy for the final kilometer or so to the summit.

We descended back to the Albergo Mortirolo for sandwiches and cappuccinos, after which I went back up to start the descent towards Grosio.

However, since I do not know whether or not I will get up Mortirolo again, at the split in hairpin 8, I had to go down to tornante 11 on the Mezzo ascent for Pantani’s memorial.

I did, we took some pictures, saluted Il Pirata and went back up again. After another flying descent, I relaxed for some more kilometers towards home, before I tossed the bike in the car near Sondalo.

Back (and neck) trouble are far from over, but the NSAID’s are making it tolerable most of the time – coupled with adopting shorter, less violent stages, I might just make it to Milano. Uh, Almere…


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