Saturday, 21 May 2011
A Sting in the Giro Tale
I rode the Passo Gardeccia a few years ago during a Gran Fondo cyclosportive in the Dolomites.
Despite riding with a compact which gave me lower gears, that made no difference as I used all my gears up early. I could have done with a mountain bike! It was painfully steep with an unrelenting gradient. As the road twisted round each corner I thought things would level off, but it didn't. Those 6.5km were just painful! In fact "racing" up it was the most painful bit of cycling I have ever done. Local hill climb races give around 3 or 4 minutes of pain. This stretch gave me 40!
I felt sick, I was nearly crying, my quads were killing, and by the time I reached the ski resort at the top I just fell off my bike, too broken to do anything apart from panting loudly in a heap.
Yes, Gardeccia may only be a short ramp in the grand scheme of this year's Giro d'Italia route but it's damn tough. That final climb on Stage 15 will be a real sting in the tail for the riders once they've completed Passo di Giau and Passo Fedaia (which they scale from the hard side).
So those who gave their all on Monte Zoncolan today may have to pray that there's another protest and the course gets re-routed somewhere easier! Whoever wins up there tomorrow will have definitely earned their pasta! I look forward to watching this stage.