Thursday, September 29, 2011

2012 Giro d'Italia: Stelvio & Mortirolo

Mark it on your calendar: Saturday, May 26th, will be the queen stage of the 2012 Giro d'Italia featuring the Mortirolo followed by a summit finish at 2,757 meters on the Stelvio.

Stage 20, 218 km long with a total elevation gain of about 5,900 meters, will begin in Caldes, pass through the Val di Sole and, after the Tonale, will face the Aprica Pass. At the end of the descent the race will run along a ring with the tough climb of Teglio da Bianzone (with slopes of up to 14%) to descend to Poggiridenti and to Tirano. It is there that the final part of the race will start.

From Tovo di Sant'Agata an unusual ascent to the Mortirolo will begin (11.4 km, 10.4% on average, 21% maximum) up to 1,718 m.a.s.l. A fast and technical descent to Grosio will be followed by the approach to Bormio, to conclude with the long climb to the Stelvio (22.4 km at 6.9% on average, 12% max).

This will be the fourth time there will be a summit finish on the Stelvio, previously used in 1965, 1972, and 1975. The possibility of snow always exists even in Summer on the Stelvio. This was the case in the 1965 edition when volunteers had to shovel a path by hand to allow the riders to reach the summit.

Related photo series: Climbing the Passo dello Stelvio (note: this is the 48 switchback side from from the Prato dello Stelvio; the 20th stage next year will be from the Bormio side)
Related story about the Stelvio during a July ride: Epic Stelvio
Related story about the Mortirolo: The Mortirolo, Marco and Me.
Use the search feature on right margin to find many more stories and photos of the Stelvio.

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  1. Epic! Not since 1975 has there been a summit finish of the Stelvio? That is a rather astonishing fact.

  2. We'd be MUCH happier if they were going up the "classic" approach rather than up from Bormio. Same for the Mortirolo, only climbed once from this side in the Corsa Rosa. Interestingly the original route was swapped to what has been the traditional side because the descent was deemed too dangerous and technical. Based on the whining about descending this year one would think the organizers would not choose to do the climbs in this "opposite" direction for 2012. The Passo Gavia climbed from the "wrong" side a few years ago was mostly a yawner...but at least the Passo Stelvio will be the end of the stage this time round even without the classic ascent.

  3. We are hoping to come to watch the Giro d'Italia as it reaches the Stelvio Pass. We will be driving from Switzerland and hopefully staying in a hotel before the race day. We were trying to find information on the best way to reach Stelvio Pass on the race day. We will have a car but don't know where we will be able to park. We are also having trouble finding a hotel near the top of the pass which would make it easy for us to walk up to the top. We can find a hotel in Prato - do you know if there will be any buses up to the Stelvio Pass on the morning of the 26th of May??

    Any information you have - or links to other websites would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much