One of the most famous climbs of the Giro d'Italia was in 1998 when the legendary Marco Pantani scrambled up the rockface at an almost surreal speed. With the beautiful Lake Fedaia and the Marmolada glacier insight, the panorama here leaves you speechless!
We ride our bike through Caprile, a beautiful town after Alleghe and we soon begin the first ascent towards Rocca Pietore. The first 5 kilometres leads us to Sottoguda, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, the route is quite easy with only a 10% incline on these early stretches, but they are essential to warm your muscles up so you can face the famous slopes of the much-feared Fedaia pass.
We arrive early at Malga Ciapela, where we see the #MoveToTheTop cable car that takes us to the top of Punta Rocca in just a few moments. Skiers from all over the world come here every year to experience the thrill of skiing on the incredible Marmolada glacier snow, descending from the Belluno area, along a beautiful and staggering 12-kilometre piste, going from 3269 meters at Punta Rocca to 1446 meters at Malga Ciapela!
Once you are past the hotels in the ski resort, the real climb begins. The 3 kilometres of hard straight path leading up to Capanna Bill has an average gradient of 12% and peaks of 18%. Even the fittest will feel the burn here! The road ahead is rough and severe. The only way to deal with it is to continue with even more perseverance and tenacity. You have to simply focus on the asphalt ahead of the wheel, to avoid being overwhelmed by this long straight road ahead.
Once you’ve reached the first hairpin bend, you finally get a little breather. But not for long. Soon the gradient begins to increase as we move forward, with peaks of 18%. But as you climb, the landscape becomes more and more spectacular: the limestone on the Marmolada stands out majestically in front of the grassy slopes of the Padon pass on our left, and the dark volcanic rock of the Crepe Rosse on our right.
And here we are: the view of the Fedaia Refuge marks the end of our epic journey. Needless to say, a break here is more than deserved!