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Passo dello Stelvio
Major Monument
  • Italy
  • 2.758m
  • 24.5km

About the climb

Passo dello Stelvio (2.758m) is a major monument in cycling, many cyclists have this climb on their bucket list. Passo dello Stelvio is known for its numerous hairpin turns, or as said in Italian ”tornanti”. Anyone who talks about the Stelvio, talks about the famous 48 hairpins on the side of Prato Allo Stelvio. Understandable, because there are few roads so impressive. From Prato Allo Stelvio the ascent is over 24km long, pitching up to a 11% and rarely dropping below 6%. The average gradient is 7.7% and just before reaching the summit the roads pitch up to 11%. It’s a true giant, with less than 50 meters from being the highest paved road in Europe. The Stelvio’s height can mean that it’s a wildly unpredictable and somewhat volatile mountain where the weather can turn in an instant, so be prepared.

There are two main routes to the top and a third via Switzerland. Basically the Stelvio pass is a road connecting the villages of Bormio (west-side) and Prato Allo Stelvio (east-side). You can’t refer to the climb via Bormio, as just the other side. Tackling it from Bormio is equally challenging. Via Bormio the Passo dello Stelvio is the final climb of the Granfondo Stelvio Santini. In the total you have 40 hairpin turns before the summit is reached.

The third route is the one starting from Santa Maria Val Monastero in Switzerland. It is 13 km long and very narrow, with a maximum gradient of 14%.

The Cima Coppi par excellence is the Passo dello Stelvio

At the end of August, the Passo dello Stelvio Park authority closes both sides of the Stelvio to motorized traffic, enabling cyclists to have what is effectively a pro-like closed road over one of Europe’s highest passes as their playground. The descent offs the Umbrailpass into Switzerland is also closed, which allows participants in the Stilfserjoch Radtag (the Stelvio Cycling Day) the option of a stunning circuit including both ascents of the Stelvio, a test that’s never yet been set to the pros. Information: www.stelviopark.bz.it/it/radtag

The Cima Coppi is the title given to the highest peak in the yearly running of the Giro d’Italia. The categorization of the Cima Coppi was used for the first time in the 1965 Giro d’Italia. The aim is to honor Fausto Coppi, who won five editions and three mountain classification titles during his career. The Cima Coppi par excellence is the Passo dello Stelvio, which is the highest point ever reached by the Giro d’Italia.

On the Passo dello Stelvio Fausto Coppi has experienced some of his cycling’s finest moments. In 1953 the leader of the Giro d’Italia was the Swiss Hugo Koblet, but the real king was the Stelvio. The stage climbing the Passo dello Stelvio was a severe test, where the Giro and the Maglia Rosa were going to be decided, and Fausto Coppi knew it. He pushed on the pedals, forgetting his 34 years of age, aiming for the top. He won the stage and his fifth and last Giro d’Italia.

Video of the climb

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