Today we will ride the famous Passo dello Stelvio before descending down to Bormio to watch stage 16 pass through town.
Queen Stage and Passo dello Stelvio
We’ll avoid getting cold sitting at the top of Gavia and ride Gavia tomorrow. Instead, we can watch the race come through Bormio later today. We’ll tick off from your bucket list, one of its biggest items, Passo Dello Stelvio. Riding Stelvio at this time of the year is special, as nearing the summit there will still be walls of snow on the side of the road.
We’ll leave the hotel early to give us plenty of time to complete our ride. Starting from Bormio, the Passo del Stelvio is 21.5km long to the top of the pass, which at 2,757m, is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps with fabulous views across to Switzerland. The original road was built in 1820-25 by the Austrian Empire to connect the former Austrian province of Lombardia with the rest of Austria. It’s a very manageable climb, and even if you don’t go all the way to the top, reaching the long valley before the final push for the summit rewards those who go there. Spectacular views, a feeling of solitude and the sounds of marmots.
We’ll return to Bormio in time to watch the Giro d’Italia race come through and watch riders go up Mortirolo on television with a rewarding beverage in hand. Tonight we’ll have dinner at our hotel’s wonderful restaurant.
TODAY IN THE GIRO D’ITALIA RACE
Stage 16: Lovere to Ponte di Legno *****, 226km
There is only 5,700m of elevation gain during today’s Giro d’Italia stage. For those into Everesting, that is 65% of the task done – at race pace! This queen stage takes in two of the most famous Giro climbs, Passo Gavia followed by the mighty Mortirolo (although some have other names for it). A great stage to watch.