Passes of the Maratona

Ben has been looking up the passes on the Maratona. For the long course, there are really seven passes, although some minor bumps could be called passes as well.

1. Passo Campolongo
2. Passo Pordoi
3. Passo Sella
4. Passo Gardena
5. Passo Campolongs (a second time)
5.5 minor bumps on the way to
6. Passo Giau
7. Passo Falzarego/Passo Valparola

Lets take them one at a time (info from http://www.climbbybike.com):

1. Passo Campolongo
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-Campolongo&qryMountainID=2825
Average: 5%
Length: 6.15 km
Height start: 1568m
Height top: 1875m
Gradient: 307m
Ben’s comments: a nice warm up pass at a moderate grade with about 1000 vert feet.

2. Passo Pordoi
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-Pordoi&qryMountainID=3162
Average: 6.8%
Length: 9.4km
Height start: 1602m
Height top: 2239m
Gradient: 637m
Ben’s comments: Now we’re climbing! Should be about an hour for Ben to climb at an easy pace, which is what he plans to do so early in the day. However, looks like nothing over 7%, so we should be able to spin up comfortably. We’re talking about 2100 vert feet here.

3. Passo Sella
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-Sella&qryMountainID=3187
Average: 7.3%
Length: 5.5 km
Height start: 1815m
Height top: 2214m
Gradient: 399m
Ben’s comments: Looks like we don’t descend very far from the top of Pordoi before turning the corner to go up Passo Sella. Glad not to drop all the way to Canazei, as the day will certainly be long enough. The one 10% section should give us a good test.

4. Passo Gardena
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-Gardena&qryMountainID=3127
Average: 4.2%
Length: 5.9 km
Height start: 1871m
Height top: 2121m
Gradient: 250m
Ben’s comments: Easier grade again for a moderate climb up to complete the last pass on the Sella Ronde. The downhill takes us back to Corvara, the finish line (and through which we will ride on the first few klicks to the first pass.) One can call it quits here, but that is not our goal.

5. Passo Campolongo (a second time)
See above, although Ben thinks that that easy climb of the morning will be a drain if one is slightly dehydrated or short on eating.

5.5 minor bumps on the way to

6. Passo Giau
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-Giau&qryMountainID=3135
Average: 9.1%
Length: 10.12 km
Height start: 1314m
Height top: 2236m
Gradient: 922m
Ben’s Comments: One drops to the low point of the ride before climbing the longest and steepest pass. All at least 7%, with long sections over 10%. All the comments on the website speak of its unrelenting grade, and the heat of late day with the sun at one’s back. This is the Passo I am training for, to see how it goes. (Note that on the middle distance, this pass is bypassed for the shorter route and less steep climb up the west side of Falzarego.)

7. Passo Falzarego/Passo Valparola
http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Passo-Valparola&qryMountainID=3198
Average: 5.4%
Length: 13 km
Height start: 1490m
Height top: 2192m
Gradient: 702m
Ben’s Comments:  One drops to Pocol (almost to Cortina d Ampezzo) off Passo Giau before turning up to Falzarego. At the end of a day, this on one long climb, although only a few sections are over 7%. The top of Falzarego is only a very short way below the neighboring Passo Valparola. Ben remembers this as a short traverse to the head of the drainage to the west, where one then drops down to the drainage to the north.

Totals:

  • Percorso Maratona: 138 km, 4190 m (this is the goal)
  • Percorso Medio: 106 km, 3090 m (this is the bailout)
  • Sella Ronda: 55 km, 1780 m
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