Passo Mortirolo (Classic Giro ascent from Mazzo past the Pantani memorial)
When you reach the top of this climb you will be ecstatic. You have joined the legends that have made this climb so famous and also so feared... It was once described by Lance Armstrong as the toughest climb in the world!
Whilst being steep from the very beginning the first 500m – 1km lead in into a false feeling of “Hey, this isn’t sooo bad.. What’s all the fuss about?” After the next couple kilometres I am guessing you will have figured that out – so don’t take off too fast!
With an average of 10.9% it is relentless and never seems to end. As you wind your way up through the trees, counting down the switchbacks (which are marked by numbered signs) you pray for the end… but it’s nowhere to be seen.
When you finally reach tornante 11 you will pass by the Pantani memorial – time for pic? A good excuse for a rest if you need one. From there you have another few steepish ramps before you reach tornante 8 (a junction of the road leading up from Grosio – also the best way to descend) where you will welcome what seems like a flatter section. It feels like heaven on the legs, the rest that they so dearly needed to help you carry on, despite it actually still being 8%!
After a nice rest for the legs you will soon reach tornante 7. From there the swichbacks are fairly close together, some steep, some not and you can almost smell the finish. Keep spinning and leave enough for a little sprint to the top where your celebration begins!