The Passo Giau on a racing bicycle
The climb leading to the Passo Giau is well known to cycling enthusiasts.
It has rarely been ridden during the Giro d’Italia: the first time was in 1976, when it was dominated and won for the fourth time by Eddy Merckx.
Its fame is mainly due to the fact that the Giau is one of the climbs on the long route of the Marathon of the Dolomites, as we said in the dedicated post.
The ascent can be made from two sides: from Selva di Cadore or from Pocol, a small village above Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Giro d’Italia has always run alongside the Selva di Cadore, the hardest and most spectacular, and this will be the climb we will tell you about.
The Veneto side is shorter and slightly easier, although it is still very difficult because the average gradient is distorted by some easy initial stretches, while in the central and final parts it is very hard and constant. In addition, it should be noted that to reach Pocol you have to leave Cortina d’Ampezzo, adding some kilometers…..
1. Some numbers
The climb is 10.1 km long with an average gradient of 9.1% and a maximum peak of 16%. The start is at an altitude of 1314m, while the altitude of the hill is 2236m.
The fork bends, in total, 29.
2. Passo Giau: Starting point
As already mentioned, the start for the ascent to Passo Giau is in Selva di Cadore. One of the distinctive features of the climb is its constancy, and already in the first part this characteristic is very evident.
Like most climbs, the first part is also the least spectacular. The first curve is only found after more than a kilometer and a half, but it is very pleasant to ride surrounded by vegetation.
3. Passo Giau: The center
With about four kilometers to go , the climb takes off. The curves become frequent and you climb very quickly considering the slopes are always around 10%.
The view is very nice, always surrounded by trees, and in some parts of the valley there is a demonstration that you are climbing…. and a lot of it!
In the center are two short, well-lit galleries, which are not a cause for concern.
4. Passo Giau: Arrival
It is in the last kilometres where the ascent to the Giau pass becomes really spectacular. Cycling with the majesty of the summit of Mount Nuvolau in front of your eyes is an incredible experience.
We face some curves, we go through another gallery, around us the landscape becomes more arid… but in reality what really remains in our heads is the mountain in front of us. Everything else does not count.
It’s like having a visor in front of your eyes: it gives you the reference of where the finish line will be, which in many other climbs doesn’t happen when you see the finish only after the last corner.
Once you arrive, well, what I think is one of the most beautiful views of the Dolomites opens up before your eyes at 360°. You can clearly see Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Tofane, the Croda Rossa, the Pelmo, the Pomagagnon, the Cristallo and the Croda da Lago, the Averau, the Sella massif and the Marmolada.
And, last but not least, you will find a perfect place to relax, breathe fresh air and remember that you are in the most beautiful country in the world.
For everyone to practise their favourite sport, there is Deporvillage