48 switchbacks ascending 2000m – the Stelvio is a legendary pass.
In northern Italy bordering Switzerland, the Passo dello Stevlio sits at an elevation of 2757m. Ascending 2000m, it consists of 48 switchbacks with gradients that often swing into the double-digits (max grade is 15.7%).
Met with a rigorous river below, the first of the long hairpins are long and equal in measure. Each ascending turn is marked with numbers counting downwards.
After 10 kms of climbing – at 2000m altitude it ramps up with the first >13% gradient.
Out of the treeline – reaching switchback no.16, it's a striking view of the final pain-defying testing grounds.
The last few hundred meters and final 4 turns are punchy. On any given day there are lots riders, drivers and motorcyclists. The fanfare awaits at the top. Perhaps this climb is a little too famous. Top tip: if you go 'up and over' the decent is lovely (think ear to ear smiling), and it's a lot quieter.
Col du Grand Colombier
Col du Grand Colombier dwarfs all of the surrounding landscape. It has serious race history too.
A staple in the Tour de France – this climb provides drama with jaw dropping reveals.