Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Greatest cycling climbs #2 Passo del Mortirolo

Passo del Mortirolo in May 2013

We should have done the Passa di Gavia from Ponte di Legno, but there was 6.5 m snow on the summit and the whole stage was cancelled. That happened only third time in the history of the Giro!

Some redwine and relaxing in Ponte. The new plan was to hit the Mortirolo instead.

It was a mixed moring in May 2013 when we attacked the notorious Passo del Mortirolo. We parked the autocamper in Mazzo di Valtellina and rolled the few kilometres to Tovo di Sant Agata, the little village from where the Giro started this climb in 2012.

The climb started without mercy. Nothing comes for free. The weather changed continuously, after some hundred meters vertical ascent there was all of suddenly fog, rain and cold, then sun, and finally rain and snow. The climb is bad. Very high up there is a nice "flat part", but generally this ascent surely is one of the heaviest we have done. To make is nicer, take many different clothes with you to Mortirolo!


Oopee Z strtuggling in the early phase of the climb
(photo: Joni Z)


Joni Z and liitle smile on the top of Mortirolo (photo: Masa Z)


The Mortirolo in 2012 Giro: gazzetta.it
Passo del Mortirolo (Mortirolo Pass) (el. 1852 m.) is a high mountain pass in the Italian Alps.

The road from Mazzo di Valtellina is one of the most demanding climbs in professional road cycling racing. It has been featured in Giro d'Italia 10 times.

The first time was in Stage 15 of 1990 Giro d'Italia, between Morbegno and Aprica. The mountain pass can be climbed by many roads, although the one from Mazzo di Valtellina is the most famous and the only one climbed in Giro d'Italia so far.

The actual climb is 12.8 kilometers long at an average of 10.5% (height gain: 1317 m), the maximum gradient being 18%.

Passo del Mortirolo will appear again in 2012 Giro. From Tovo di Sant’Agata a very different ascent of the Mortirolo will begin (11.4 km with an average gradient of 10.4% and a maximum of 21%), arriving at 1718 meters, not far from the Mortirolo pass.

Since Marco Pantani died in early 2004, stages of the Giro that go over Mortirolo feature a special prize to the first man at the top of the pass called Cima Pantani. A monument to deceased Marco Pantani was erected in 2006 by the Italian Professional Riders Association in the eighth kilometer of the road from Mazzo di Valtellina.


Marco Panntani Memorial monument at Mortirolo (photo Joni Zoncolan)

First rider passing Passo del Mortirolo in Giro d'Italia

Year
Name
Country
Stage
Side
1990
Leonardo Sierra
 Venezuela
17
Mazzo di Valtellina
1991
Franco Chioccioli
 Italy
15
Mazzo di Valtellina
1994
Marco Pantani
 Italy
15
Mazzo di Valtellina
1996
Ivan Gotti
 Italy
21
Mazzo di Valtellina
1997
Wladimir Belli
 Italy
21
Mazzo di Valtellina
1999
Ivan Gotti
 Italy
21
Mazzo di Valtellina
2004
Raffaele Illiano
 Italy
19
Mazzo di Valtellina
2006
Ivan Basso
 Italy
20
Mazzo di Valtellina
2008
Toni Colom
 Spain
20
Mazzo di Valtellina
2010
Ivan Basso
 Italy
19
Mazzo di Valtellina

2 comments:

  1. We will crush this one now on Saturday 25/05/2013!
    -Team Zoncolan

    ReplyDelete