XXXX - UMBRAIL,STELVIO,MORTIROLO,GAVIA 06-07-06
Access. Milan - Como - Sondrio - Tirano
Possibly after Triple-X, face a higher challenge was not impossible. But for next time, there was only a must-do: keep fit and don't delay. The challenge was Stelvio from the two Italian sides, Mortirolo and Gavia. The promise for a few pages in a magazine encouraged us to train hard.
All the climbs are described somewhere else here. So just to say that at 8 in the morning we started the ride in Bormio towards Passo Stelvio, so as to reach the Passo Umbrail few kilometers before the big summit. Not in a hurry, but no stops, in 1h40' we were starting the way down into Switzerland...along an unasphalted road!
Just after the galleries directrion Stelvio from Bormio
So after the first one we start the real climb. The Stelvio from Prato. And there, the first noisy breaths. But, this not not without difficulty, we get the top, reasonably well, except Nino, who seems injured in his knee. That makes us stop half an hour in our way to the Mortirolo...but arrive finally to Mazzo at 15h30.
The best scenery, the best everything. The Stelvio.
And now, Mortirolo, which is there, always, with its dose of 12-13-15-18%, typically Italian. The weather was still ok, and decide a short stop in the monument for the loved Marco Pantani, where a couple from Alicante was having lunch!!! So always with our small power bars and drinks, we keep going on, keep suffering, but keep reaching tops. Mortirolo is done. Time for a few photos. We on time...but not too much!
Jose ending the Passo Mortirolo
So the part driving to Ponte di Legno really evidences that we are fit this time. We do it really fast, a light rain was coming. We start the Gavia under a shy shower. I'm feeling this time tired, but only in the tunnel 3km to the top this is clear. But, after last exhausting 3km I reach the top, minutes after Jose and Rafa, who have challenged a great climb for... overall victory? So the big day is done. A few laughs, a few photos, and down to bed because it's getting dark!
Pantani sculpture at mid-Mortirolo
Maybe ths day shows clearly a passion for cycling for all these years. Maximum expression of effort, self control for eating, for drinking, for choosing the right clothes, for every small detail, and obviuolsy, maximum madness! I must say that 39x28 was enough for our ride. Natural light there was not much, for anything else...but honestly starting at 6 in the morning, Bormio2000 we could have done. Will it be enough to motivate us for a 5-X? I think not many things we can do in one-day...but I face to the idea of thinking that, at 29-years-old, 4-X can be our biggest challenge. Which will be the next?
The real 4 moments of the best ride in our lives