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Two (separate) rides in the (Italian or Swiss) Alps - ideas?

I'm sounding off here, got a load of thoughts in my head about possible rides this August. I'll be driving to Italy, from the Channel Tunnel as far as Pescara. I know I can just about get to the Alps on day one, I know I can just about get to my destination on day 2, assuming I don't end up in horrendous traffic jams.
Unusually, I am driving there and back on my own, which is a bit daunting, but it gives me a bit more freedom than usual, and I'd like to do a couple of rides, one on the way down and one on the way back.

I probably should limit myself to a climb and descent of the same piece of road, that should take me about 3 hours. I've not been to Ventoux, and if I do go, I'd like to have a crack at the Cingles, which I think must be a 6 hour min ride. And if I managed the ride, I don't think I'd be capable of driving for 12+ hours after it, and it is a little way off the usual route I take. I normally avoid France, so tolls are less, and Luxembourg has the cheapest fuel of anywhere in the Northern half of Europe.

I know the pass at Gotthard well, but haven't ridden it. That would be a bucket list climb for me, but again the draw of either of the big two loops Furka-Gotthard-Nufenen or Grimsel-Gotthard-Susten is hard to ignore. Plus we go through there quite often, I would hope to be able to do that one another time.

I've done the Stelvio from Bormio, so maybe from Prato is worth looking into. I've read a lot about the Swiss passes, so Col du Sanetsch is on the radar, Gross Scheidegg, maybe Lago del Naret.

Colle delle Nivolet also has a strong appeal.

Can anyone think of any other climbs that would be as good as the above, if not better, have I missed anything obvious?

Posts

  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,588
    Pescara you say?

    Blockhaus is a nice 100km out and back from Francavilla. Seriously tough climb, over 2000m from sea level.

    Pretty awful roads surfaces though.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 751
    Yes, I know all about the Blockhaus 😳 I'm looking for climbs in the Alps, on the way to Pescara.
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,074
    Stelvio from Bormio is wonderful. If you NEED to do it from Prato I would wipe all memory of Bormio side from your memory as you'll find Prato side dull in comparison. Yes, I've done both.
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,234
    Yeah agree with Stelvio being better from Bormio. Gotthard Pass is nice, going up the old cobbled road but its not that long and wont take much time.

    Cingles will be 8hrs minimum i'd say, if you are a decent level, much more if not (took us 13 hours)

    Furka, Grimsell and Sustan are all beauts...

    If I was you, i'd just decide whats your bucket list climbs, and how closeby are you driving, and do it that way! Galibier? Ventoux? Gavia? Mortirolo? Izoard? Pick your best 2 and do them!
    http://www.snookcycling.wordpress.com - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,588
    The Sellaronda must be one of the finest half day rides in the world.

    4 passes (Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi) in about 30 miles.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 751
    edited 6 February
    Interesting about the Stelvio...I have read A LOT about it, and most people think Prato is marginally better than Bormio. I found Bormio absolutely mind blowing, better than I had dreamed/hoped. So if it is half as good from Prato, it still should be amazing, surely? And you can return via the Umbrail road, which apparently is stunning.

    Gotthard makes a lot of sense in some ways, I won't really have a lot of time to spend on the bike, and of course the longer you are on the bike, the more tired you get.

    I watched the Col Collective Colle delle Nivolet last night, put it right in at No 1. I've just read about the lago di Teleccio road which starts near the start of the Nivolet climb, more decisions! I think the road is closed to cars every Sunday in July and August too, which of course makes it even better. Lago del Naret is meant to be very similar, so at the moment these two are favourites.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,367
    mrb123 said:

    The Sellaronda must be one of the finest half day rides in the world.

    4 passes (Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi) in about 30 miles.

    True.

    Alternatively, is Monte grappa anywhere near en route?
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 751

    mrb123 said:

    The Sellaronda must be one of the finest half day rides in the world.

    4 passes (Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi) in about 30 miles.

    True.

    Alternatively, is Monte grappa anywhere near en route?
    I do like the idea of the Sellaronda, I suspect 4 passes in 30 miles would take me 4 hours or longer. Monte Grappa could be on the way but there are 10 routes up, which one or two do you choose?
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,588
    davep1 said:

    mrb123 said:

    The Sellaronda must be one of the finest half day rides in the world.

    4 passes (Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi) in about 30 miles.

    True.

    Alternatively, is Monte grappa anywhere near en route?
    I do like the idea of the Sellaronda, I suspect 4 passes in 30 miles would take me 4 hours or longer. Monte Grappa could be on the way but there are 10 routes up, which one or two do you choose?
    Sellaronda was under 2 1/2 hours for me averaging 13mph so not crazy speed. You will want to stop a lot for photos though.

    I'd probably recommend anti-clockwise as you get more shade on the Pordoi climb that way and then a fantastic long descent down to Arabba. Either way is amazing though.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 751
    mrb123 said:

    davep1 said:

    mrb123 said:

    The Sellaronda must be one of the finest half day rides in the world.

    4 passes (Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Pordoi) in about 30 miles.

    True.

    Alternatively, is Monte grappa anywhere near en route?
    I do like the idea of the Sellaronda, I suspect 4 passes in 30 miles would take me 4 hours or longer. Monte Grappa could be on the way but there are 10 routes up, which one or two do you choose?
    Sellaronda was under 2 1/2 hours for me averaging 13mph so not crazy speed. You will want to stop a lot for photos though.

    I'd probably recommend anti-clockwise as you get more shade on the Pordoi climb that way and then a fantastic long descent down to Arabba. Either way is amazing though.
    Cheers, will add it to my research!
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,367
    I know we were lucky with the weather, but... 6:30 onwards in this video for Sella and Gardens. it's amazing. Pordoi is in there somewhere too.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1846655932014486&id=167868076559955

    Kicks off with Grappa, but no views on that day.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,088
    davep1 said:



    I watched the Col Collective Colle delle Nivolet last night, put it right in at No 1. I've just read about the lago di Teleccio road which starts near the start of the Nivolet climb, more decisions! I think the road is closed to cars every Sunday in July and August too, which of course makes it even better. Lago del Naret is meant to be very similar, so at the moment these two are favourites.

    I come from that area... it's a bit off the route if you want to avoid France, however,

    Teleccio is a road closed to traffic, you can go up but you might also be told off. It is very very hard.

    Nivolet is very very long if you start from the bottom (Noasca or even Locana). My understanding is that the 3 km long tunnel is now avoidable as they have resurfaced the old road. Either way, it wouldn't be mad to drive to Ceresole Reale (mt 1600) park the car and the climb from there... you still have an ascent similar to the Alpe d'Huez and it is pure bliss.

    And if you are in the area, I would not miss "Pian del Lupo" from Colleretto Castelnuovo. It only goes up to 1400 mt with an elevation difference of 900 mt, but it's the best piece of tarmac you will find anywhere, just resurfaced for last year's Giro... I love that climb, I did it last September

    https://www.strava.com/activities/2704363871

  • davep1davep1 Posts: 751

    davep1 said:



    I watched the Col Collective Colle delle Nivolet last night, put it right in at No 1. I've just read about the lago di Teleccio road which starts near the start of the Nivolet climb, more decisions! I think the road is closed to cars every Sunday in July and August too, which of course makes it even better. Lago del Naret is meant to be very similar, so at the moment these two are favourites.

    I come from that area... it's a bit off the route if you want to avoid France, however,

    Teleccio is a road closed to traffic, you can go up but you might also be told off. It is very very hard.

    Nivolet is very very long if you start from the bottom (Noasca or even Locana). My understanding is that the 3 km long tunnel is now avoidable as they have resurfaced the old road. Either way, it wouldn't be mad to drive to Ceresole Reale (mt 1600) park the car and the climb from there... you still have an ascent similar to the Alpe d'Huez and it is pure bliss.

    And if you are in the area, I would not miss "Pian del Lupo" from Colleretto Castelnuovo. It only goes up to 1400 mt with an elevation difference of 900 mt, but it's the best piece of tarmac you will find anywhere, just resurfaced for last year's Giro... I love that climb, I did it last September

    https://www.strava.com/activities/2704363871

    Cheers Ugo, that sounds good. I was thinking of starting after the tunnel, the part from Locana doesn't sound too amazing.
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