Valtellina: the passes that made it to History
Home of several prestigious national and international competition, Valtellina boasts some of the mostfamous mountain passes when it comes to cycling. You can reach all these paths starting from La Fiorida: you can take advantage of the flat parts between destinations to warm up your muscles or soothe them once you are finished.
Stelvio: the route from Bormio (1.225 m) is 21.5 km long with a slope of 1.500 mt; the hardest point can be found during the last 3 km, where the slope is about 8%. Stelvio Pass has been “Cima Coppi” 6 times since 1965, and has also been featured in the Giro Donne, the women’s Giro d’Italia.
Gavia: this is a very tough route with an altitude difference of 1044 and an average slope of 7% (there are some peaks reaching 16%). The route is characterized by panoramic hairpin bends and completely paved, even if at some points you might run into some irregular spots. Every year, the opening of the pass takes place on the same day the Giro d’Italia goes through it and this pass has been Cima Coppi 7 times.
Mortirolo: The Mortirolo Pass connects the provinces of Sondrio (Mazzo in Valtellina) and Brescia (Monno) and has a reputation for being one of the toughest across Europe. A vertical drop of 1300 m in just 12.5 km and an average gradient of 10.5% (it reaches up to 18% in places). Professional cyclists complete it in less than 45 minutes, and every year thousands of amateur cyclists take up the challenge. Several international champions have made cycling history on this route. Marco Pantani was one of them, when he surprised the world with a memorable sprint in 1994 when he was just an emerging cyclist.