98km | 3300m · 7th June
Starting in the luxurious mountain resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the first stage of Haute Route Dolomites will begin with gentle gradients as you start your climb towards Passo Falzarego. The road to the summit then becomes steeper as you climb to 2105m and complete your first ascent of the day.
After a short break from the climbing, it is time to take on the triple header of Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella and Passo Gardena (3/4 of the famous Sella Ronda). First included in the Giro d’Italia in 1937, it is a long steady climb where you will be rewarded with great views down the valley.
Next up is the highest peak of the day with the Passo Sella which starts with a 12% gradient early on. Whilst the gradient changes a lot throughout this climb it doesn’t exceed 12% and, with the climb being slightly shorter than Pordoi, it should be just as enjoyable especially when you are rewarded with the best views of the day at the summit.
For the third part of the triple header, the Gardena Pass is often described as a climb of two halves, so pace yourself up this one before enjoying the long descent back down into the valley. But be warned however, the work isn’t over just yet as you have the last steep climb up to Passo Valparola at 2,192m to complete the stage. Now it is time for you to enjoy a steady 20km back to Cortina d’Ampezzo with the other riders as you debrief the first day and look forward to what lies ahead.