Forum home Road cycling forum Road general

Giro visit - Zoncolan, Stelvio and what else?

repsajrepsaj Posts: 8
edited April 2018 in Road general
Hi all - A group of us are visiting the Giro this year for 5 days and planning on getting some riding in. We are based in Trento and plan the Zoncolan on race day and also a trip to the Stelvio. Just wondered if anyone had stayed around this area and could offer advice on other rides in the area, have hire vans so can travel, but would prefer not to after driving to the 2 climbs noted earlier.

Also interested in others experiences of the Zoncolan and Stelvio. Are they as hard and stunning as they say?

Thanks in advance


  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 13,903
    That time of year if you want to climb, you'll have to play it by ear, I'd guess, and go where is open.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,112
    Trento to Ovaro (the town at the base of the Zoncolan) is quite a distance and you'll be hampered by road closures and about 100,000 spectators on the day (possibly more). You'll probably have to go the day before and sleep in the van.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,712
    Zoncolan is very far.

    IMO the most scenic col is the Gavia... and if you do the Gavia, then you can do the Mortirolo (less beautiful and steeper). That said, there are other beautiful, maybe less famous climbs... Passo Giau is a monster, Passo san Pellegrino is stunning and of course the climb to Lake Misurina and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo... the Marmolada climb...

    So many climbs in the Dolomites which catch my imagination.. Zoncolan is not one of them... bit of an ugly duckling
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 13,903
    Gavia Mortirolo loop, and Sella Ronda are within striking distance.

    If you do get up Stelvio, it is that good, and it's hard because of the length, average gradient and altitude. No really steep bits. And it will be cold.
  • repsajrepsaj Posts: 8
    Thanks for your reply's so far. Some great info.

    I think the weather will certainly plays it part on where and what we climb. I will take a look at the suggested other rides later. Thanks again.
  • As Ugo said try the Gavia it is a stunning climb up through the national park and a lot quieter than the Stelvio (when I rode it in mid July a few years back there were only a few cyclists riding it). Some smaller climbs close by like Foscagno, Bormio 2000 and Cancano are also worth a try. Hotel Funivia in Bormio used to have some route maps on their website which might be worth digging out if still available.
  • Hi, I can understand your wish to climb the most famous climbs but be aware that to get to Zoncolan you will be driving a long way and straight past the most fantastic riding with many famous passes and beautiful scenery. There are many 50-150k loops available from Alta Badia/Agordo/Cortina/Alleghe/Badia/Corvara etc. From nearly all these towns the roads go straight up and the Giau/Fedaia/Pordoi/Duran/Staulanza etc are superfamous and may be quieter than full on Giro rides. Probably all more likely to be open too. They'll all be in future Giros so you still have bragging rights and can relive them on the TV!

    I found this ... mites.html
    which is just one example of rides but you could pretty much park anywhere a few miles east of Trento and ride a world class loop.

    Sorry I can't comment on the two climbs you like but the combinations above are world class for scenery/history/culture and hard riding and you'll be right there. Maratona route would be a lovely big day.
  • tourdrivingtourdriving Posts: 220
    Take a look on this site bike hire and travel links, in 47 countries UK Bike & Motorcycle hire in Counties after ABC
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,712
    ... although I have the feeling any pass above 2000 mt and NOT featurd in this Giro might still be closed for snow this year, probably until early June. Gavia most likely

    Best to check to avoid disappointment

    Anything below 2000 mt should be open I would think
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 777
    A friend is going to the Alps at the start of June and posted a video of the Italians setting deliberate avalanches to start clearing the Stelvio this week; it was on Twitter. It is possible it will be snow-bound when the Giro goes through, it has happened before. I timed my holiday last year to be in the region in the first week of September for Stilsferjoch, when they close the roads to cars and let cyclists have it to themselves. On a good day they get 11000 riders...when I got there the night before it was about 6 degrees and raining, and didn't look good for the following day. Got up early to a covering of snow; the ride kind of went ahead although the road was closed around the half way point. Less than 2000 riders attempted it. It was hard to drive over an ajoining pass, so cycling to the top would not have been possible in summer clothes.

    I also went to the Giro in May last year for the Blockhaus stage in central Italy. We rode about half the route a few hours before the Giro went through; the officials got us off the road about 300m from the stage finish so we couldn't do the actual stage finish sadly. We drove up the mountain and left the car about a mile down the mountain from the stage finish on a road the Giro wasn't riding up but the whole circus would use to get back down. When we left the car it was on its own, when we got back to it, it was almost boxed in and there were a couple of tents too! We were staying about 30 km from the stage finish so riding down wasn't an issue. There were notices all along the route about NOT parking anywhere that day, but we took a chance as it wasn't where they would be riding. There were rumours that anything in the area would be towed away, but we weren't going to ride back up the mountain to rescue the car.

    If my experience is anything to go by, there will be thousands of cyclists on the day trying to ride as much of the route as possible. Sounds like Zoncolan will be difficult logistically, but I would want to ride it if I was nearby - or at least try!
  • repsajrepsaj Posts: 8
    Thanks again people. Plenty of great information shared
  • Out of interest, how are you getting there?
    A few mates and I want to go, but taking bike boxes on the plane to a pen airport miles away doesn’t seem fun. And it’s a bloody long drive from the UK....
    What are you doing?
  • tourdrivingtourdriving Posts: 220
    Out of interest, how are you getting there?
    A few mates and I want to go, but taking bike boxes on the plane to a pen airport miles away doesn’t seem fun. And it’s a bloody long drive from the UK....
    What are you doing?

    You can do it with help from this site ... -to-trento bike hire and travel links, in 47 countries UK Bike & Motorcycle hire in Counties after ABC
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,184
    The most famous climb in Trento is the Bondone, but there are climbs pretty much everywhere either side of the town that might not be famous but are perfectly nice climbs. You could always head down to Levico Terme and do the Rifugio Panarotta climb. It makes a reasonable loop.
Sign In or Register to comment.