Stage 16 from Lovere to Ponte di Legno is slated as the Queen Stage of the 2019 Giro d’Italia. With an uphill finish in Ponte di Legno that follows four distinct climbs including Passo Gavia (the Cima Coppi or highest point of the race), followed by Passo Del Mortirolo, it is sure to be an epic day.
This stage falls on day 5 of our tour and with two ride options, dependent on weather and how the legs are feeling, it will be a cracking day to follow the race.
Our first ride option is from Bormio to the top of Passo Gavia return, which is 60km and 1800m.
Our second and longer ride option will be amazing, beginning with an early start that sees us shoot down the 30km’s to Mazzo di Valtellina and to the base of Passo del Mortirolo, before taking a left turn to take on our first challenge of the day, Mortirolo. We’ll pass the monument to Marco Pantani as we roll up the mercilessly steep gradients that hit 18% and average 10.4% for the 11.5km duration.
On arriving at the top, we’ll regroup to take a few photos of the landscape and surrounding valleys and mountains, before we descend the very picturesque backside of the pass. Once at the base we’ll have a 15km uphill stretch to Ponte di Legno, where we will regroup once again, ensuring that we have enough gear and supplies to take on the next 17.3km’s with it’s impressive 7.9% average and maximum gradient of 16%. We’ll ascend up Passo Gavia to secure our spot and watch the pink parade of bikes, cars, polizie, helicopters and tifosi, while being surrounded by a pristine white landscape.
The race will have about 90km’s to go when the peloton passes us, however we will only have 27 downhill kilometres remaining. This is a seriously fun descent with only 9 hair pins to contend with before Santa Caterina, and then a virtually straight final run into Bormio to our sensational accommodation.
This longer ride option is 107km and 3060m.
After taking time to unwind and relax over an aperitivo, we have a magnificent dinner planned at our agriturismo, with all the food served being home grown and home made. We will savour the substantial tasting menu, complimented by home made cheeses and local wines, finishing off with our personal favourite for dessert, Sorbetto di Braulio.
This is sure to be a day you’ll never forget, on and off the bike.
Visit our tour page for more information on our 2019 Giro d’Italia cycling tour.