right-arrow placeholder flame ticket mission direction clock lightbulb way crown slumber punch tag coffee-cup download bicycle event shirt tools marketing open-book gym trophy reward diet economy cyclist profit auction agreement test

We are working on the improvements but you can already share your comments with us.

We zijn druk bezig met de verbeteringen maar ontvangen al wel graag je opmerkingen

Passo Gavia
Legendary climb
  • Italy
  • 2.652m
  • 17.3km

About the Climb

Shared by: Like Mike

Passo Gavia (2.652m) is an incredibly high mountain with a great history of cycling. It’s said by many of the cyclists who tackled Passo dello Stelvio, Passo Gavia and Mortirolo, all these giants are close to each other, that Passo Gavia can be marked as the one heaviest to climb. To experience just about how heavy, you should start the climb via Ponte di Legno.

Under normal circumstances this climb is already feared among cyclists, but in the Giro d’Italia of 1988 the weather turned a mountain stage into an icy nightmare.

In the Giro d’Italia of 1988 the course director Vincenzo Torriani could draw the course freely

In these days it wasn’t uncommon, that the course was designed in the hope to have an Italian cyclist to win the Giro d’Italia. Francesco Moser, third most winning cyclist ever, was an impressive complete rider but not that great of a climber. With him not at the starting line the course director created an insane course with 15 mountain stages with a total of 30 climbs. The monstrous stage over the Passo Gavia was only 120 kilometers, but this day became legendary as one of the most brilliant and insane mountain stages of the Giro d’Italia.

Most cycling fans will also remember this Epic stage by the former Dutch pro cyclist Johan van der Velde, who tackled this climb with bare arms. He’s was fighting his way up through the snowstorm and eventually was the first one reaching the top. The cold hit him hard. In a car he had to recover and thus loses a lot of time. After this stage, Johan van der Velde is called by the Italians ‘L’uomo di Gavia’. A life-sized photo of him is still on top of the Passo Gavia.

Climbing the Passo Gavia via Ponte di Legno, that is the legendary side

You can also start via Bormio, which can be summarized as a climb of three parts: flat to start, then steeper with hairpins through the woods, finally above the tree line the view is stunning. The total length of the climb via Bormio is 24.5km with an average gradient of 5.8% and the steepest section is about 10.5%. But climbing the Passo Gavia via Ponte di Legno, that is the legendary side. It is a gradual climb for about 4 kilometers. During the climb you will see every few hundred meters a little parking place carved out of the mountain, which is for cars to pull over and pass. Basically the road is leading you to the top via a narrow one lane road.

The heavy parts are in the woods and at the end. Just a few kilometers before reaching the top, you will ride through a tunnel. It will get you off balance, because it’s quite dark. Some good advice, make sure to wear reflective clothing or even better have a light on your bike. Once out of the tunnel, a steep section will be your next challenge to overcome.

This climb has lots of great elements, and therefore can be marked as a real Epic climb

At some point the road will turn into a dirt road, and you can reach a sudden gradient of 16% in spots. Most likely you will be surrounded by snowy walls when getting closer to the top. Therefore, don’t let yourself be caught by surprise, as it can be freezing. Proper clothing is an important key figure when you climb Passo Gavia. The total length of the climb is about 17.3km with an average gradient of 7.9%.

However, if you have the chance to go to northern Italy at some point in your life, make it a point to ride both sides of the Gavia Pass. Both sides are so different and punishing, but so spectacularly beautiful that you forget you’re climbing a gigantic mountain.

Video of the climb

Climbs in the area

Impression of the Climb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 50 MB.
You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other.
Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded.

You may also like

Slow Killer
Col du Tourmalet
  • France
  • 2.115m
  • 18.5km

Col du Tourmalet (2.115m) is the highest paved climb in the French Pyrenees. Nicked named as the terrible mountain, this climb is a slow killer with a final punch at the end.

View item
doable with good legs
Passo Gardena
  • Italy
  • 2.121m
  • 9.5km

Looking at the numbers, Passo Gardena (2.121m) from the side of Selva di Val Gardena seems pretty easy. The vertical climb is about 535 meters with an average gradient of 5.3% and highest at 10%. The total distance is 9.5km with a total 12 hairpins. Maybe you make use of...

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

Passo dello Stelvio (2.758m) is a major monument in cycling, many cyclists have this climb on their bucket list. 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. It’s a true giant,...

View item