The four climbs are; Passo di Campolongo (1.875m), Passo Gardena (2.121m), Passo di Sella (2.213m) and Passo Pordoi (2.239m). You will start with the Campolongo, a nice warm-up for the next three climbs to come. This climb is one of the lowest climbs in the Dolomites. While most of the Dolomite passes have flat or nearly-flat hairpins, meaning you will gain elevation on the straights, the first part of the Campolongo is just the opposite. The straights aren’t that steep but the hairpins are, so probably you will have to get out of the saddle in the hairpins. The Maratona dles Dolomites, a very fast sold out cycling event and marked as one of the biggest on Earth, also start off with this climb. So probably it makes sense to kick off a day of cycling with Campolongo.
A short downhill ride will get you to the town of Arabba. Your next climb will be Passo Pordoi, which you will tackle starting via Arabba. The gradient is almost constant and the well laid out hairpins, in total 33 from this side, take you smoothly up the mountain. On the first 3.5 km of the Pordoi, you just have 4 series of hairpins with a few long straights in between. If you get headwind here at the beginning, it’ll be tough the whole way to the top. After the 3.5 km, you will get 22 hairpins in 4.5 km! This is an average of 1 hairpin every 200 meters! At the Pordoi there’s a monument to Fausto Coppi and another that commemorates the winners of the Cima Coppi (the first person over the highest point in each Giro d’Italia).
Passo Sella is next climb. Just a few meters higher than the Pordoi, and your highest climb of the day. It’s a difficult climb because it doesn’t have a steady gradient. At three places in the climb you will hit the maximum gradient of 12%. The first one already occur after 300 meters of climbing. You have sections that are just between the 5 to 7%, but then suddenly after a hairpin you hit a wall of 10%. The great thing about the Sella is that it will bring you the nearest to the amazing Sella Massif Walls. Difficult to capture all this in just a photo, but still, your attempt should definitely been done in the last hairpins. You can then probably get everything in one shot.
The Passo Gardena is in distance less than 6 kilometer. Before the end of the climb you reach a two kilometer long section with a gentle downhill gradient. After this you’re just 1.8km away of finishing the last climb of the day.
You can also opt in riding the Sellaronda Bike Day. A true bike celebration with 24.000 participants from all over the world. On this day, every year in June, all the pass roads around the Sella Massif are closed to motorized traffic from 8.30 AM tot 3.30 AM and reversed for cyclists only.