Contrary to my past ‘Grand Tours’, I’m not going to write a road book for my Giro d’Italia 2020.
Every time I put a lot of effort in it and while I usually manage to generally follow the stages I had in mind, I frequently have to change plans anyway.
This can be for any number of reasons, my advancing age probably not being the least important.
But, I’ve also suffered from a cyclist nodule and intense, hernia induced or incident related (back) pains.
Plus, the weather can be a force to reckon with and not seldom have I been cycling in near freezing conditions or ice cold rain one day, only to have my brain blown out because of the heat the next.
And while I have new climbs to discover during this Giro, I am already quite familiar with the area(s) and most of its climbs.
So, I can leave it that and you can stop reading if you’re no longer interested, but I’m writing down a few (loose) ideas anyway…
My Giro d’Italia 2020 will start with a Prologue, which will probably kick me in the butt and bring me back to reality – you’re a shitty climber, C. – as it involves the Umbrail.
While I have done that back in 2011, I was unable to complete it during last year’s Tour de Suisse‘s stage 4, as a landslide had blocked the route.
That whole day was one to forget, but would it have been signaled at the start of the climb, it would have saved me a lot of trouble.
If I’m up to it after the mandatory lunch stop at Genziana‘s on the Stelvio summit, I may descend to Bormio and tackle the Gavia from there.
Just because I can(‘t)…
Ponte di Legno
As you (should) know, Ponte di Legno is at the base of the southern climb up the Gavia. It’s also along the climb up the Passo del Tonale.
I’ve done both, but the Tonale only from the west, so I’m planning a trip that includes the other end, probably combined with the Passo di Campo Carlo Magno, more frequently referred to as Madonna di Campiglio.
From our hotel, it’s not far (down) to Monno, to get to the Mortirolo.
As this is probably the least attractive climb – but perhaps I will do it again anyway – I will look at the alternatives, as described on CyclingCols.com, like the one via the Monte Padrio.
The classic climb from Mazzo might be on the menu some other stage, but I’ve never done the northern climb, from Tiolo (Grosio), so that’s more or less a must do.
As I have a shirt from the – former – Gran Fondo Giordana, I might even try that course, which includes the Gavia, circles back from Bormio to Mazzo, up and down the Mortirolo to Monno and concluding with the climb up to Aprica and the Santa Cristina.
The latter is a lot harder from the west, starting in Tresenda.
A relatively easy trip would be starting in Ponte di Legno, down to Edolo and then to Aprica, but turn right to Válico di Trivigno. Descending down towards Loverno, would bring me in the ideal spot to start the classic up the Mortirolo from Mazzo.
Or, I could get to Tirano, turn around and tackle the other side of the Trivigno…
Speaking of Tirano, I also have some unfinished business with the Bernina from there, as I blew up on it in the heat of last year’s Tour de Suisse‘s Mortirolo stage.
Then again, I’ve already done it in full back in 2015, so I might forget about it, or make it my epilogue.
Another nice trip would be to get over the Gavia and then up the Stelvio (and back 😎) and there are plenty more dead end climbs in the area to entertain the locals with, watching my fruitless efforts to mimic a mountain goat.
It’s just going to be a one night stop-over in Corvara, but that effectively gives me two days to revisit some more old friends.
I may get on the bike to tackle the Mendola on the way to Corvara – and the other end on the way back – but I prefer getting to Bolzano, Ponte di Gardena, or Bressanone.
From Bolzano, I can either take the route over the Passo Nigra, or the one over the Costalunga to get to Canazei.
There’s an alternative over the San Valentino di Sopra and then over the Costalunga to consider as well.
Once in Canazei, I can choose to get over the Pordoi and then the Campolongo to Corvara, or the Sella and Gardena.
Starting in Ponte di Gardena leaves me with the Gardena as only option, but I’ve done that already in 2015.
I mean, I’ve done all of the above already, from either end, so I don’t mind, but I have not tackled the Passo delle Erbe from the west before.
I did the eastern ascend in 2015, in that stage combined with the Gardena, so starting in Bressanone, that climb would be completely new to me.
The next day, I have the option to ride the Sella Ronda or even the Maratona dles Dolomites, if I feel up to it.
The medium and long courses are both more challenging than the Sella Ronda, which is the short course of the Maratona, besides having a day on itself during the Sella Ronda Bike Day (official pages).
As I know what a hell of a climb the Giau-au-au is, I might opt for the medium course…