The Stelvio Pass needs little introduction. Mention the climb to any cyclist and an image of its hairpins will instantly come to mind, all 48 of them. Inspiring and daunting in equal measure, this climb has a rich heritage both on and off the bike – from World War One battles between nations to Giro d’Italia battles between rivals, namely that of Fausto Coppi and Hugo Koblet for the maglia rosa. As the second highest pass in the Alps at 2,758m, pipped to the post by the Col de l’Iseran, it is no easy feat. The ‘classic climb’ from Prato is considered the hardest of the three routes, with its length, gradient and altitude combining to make sure you have to work hard to tick this one off your bucket-list. Whether it is your first time up the climb, or if you are back for more and have some unfinished business to settle, here are some top tips that should help you enjoy this helter-skelter of a ride up to the summit.
1. Look down, not up! While it is normally
encouraged to look forward, not back and to look up, not down, you don’t want to miss the most pictured and famous climb in the planet by focusing too much on the kilometres left. As you weave your way up the climb, make sure you look across the low stone walls at one of the most beautiful and scenic roads in Europe. Don’t will the kilometres away too quickly, experiences like this don’t come often.