84km | 3,300M + · 8th June
Starting in the heart of the Italian mountain town of Bormio, the first stage of the inaugural 3-day Haute Route Stelvio comprises two cols for a total of 3,300m of climbing over just 84km. Exiting Bormio in the morning, the riders will head straight up the Passo Umbrail for the first climb of the day.
Winding out of the valley, the Passo Umbrail actually takes the same road as the Passo Stelvio for the first 18km, but branches left 3km from the summit and finishes 250m lower. Having reached the summit riders will head downhill and over the border into Switzerland. Looping around the bottom of the mountain towards the foot of the Stelvio once again, riders will be able to recover and refuel on this flatter part of the stage. Crossing back over into Italy, the peloton will be faced with an ascent and summit finish up the most famous side of the Passo Stelvio.
Despite having included the Stelvio multiple times during the Haute Route Dolomites-Swiss Alps, this will be the first time the Haute Route peloton climbs the Stelvio from this side. Starting in the town of Prato Allo Stelvio, the climb rises 1,808m over 24.3km through the oft-photographed 48 tornante. The initial 8km of the climb are relatively easy compared to what ensues. From Km8 onwards the gradient rarely drops below 8%, and you are more and more likely to feel the effects of the altitude once you get above 2000m after 17km of climbing. Riders will have to save a little energy for the end, as the final 1.5km averages an eye-watering 9.5%. Crossing the finish line at the summit, many a rider will be able to tick one of the toughest climbs in cycling off their bucket list before descending back to Bormio to enjoy the rider services.
The stage cols will be available soon
Bormio is a medieval town located in the Italian Alps at 1,225 meters above sea level.
It’s a popular winter sports resort, annually hosting the Alpine Ski World Cup on the legendary Stelvio slope.
In addition to modern skiing facilities, the town may properly be considered an all year round destination for the presence of several hot springs that have been tapped to provide water to three thermal baths.
Summer covers also a significant role in the local tourism industry. Every year thousands of cyclists reach the region to enjoy the countless passes around Bormio. Its streets, passes and peaks, in fact, now rightfully belong to the circle of the mythical big climbs of modern professional cycling and have made the history of the famous Giro d’Italia.
To climb the big passes like the Stelvio, Gavia and Mortirolo is always a dream and a goal for enthusiastic road cyclists, who want to challenge themselves and their personal limits. Other Alta Valtellina climbs are popular and worth riding: for example, from Bormio to the Cancano lakes in Valdidentro, climbing by the Towers of Fraele; the ascent of the Bernina Pass from Tirano, the ascent from Bormio to Bormio 2000 and the road from Bormio to Livigno over Foscagno Pass and Eira Pass.
Bormio and the whole Alta Valtellina region are a paradise for mountain biking lovers, too. Immersed in the beautiful nature of the Stelvio National Park, you can choose among more than 372 miles (600 km) of trails of varying difficulty and beauty. For lovers of speed and adrenaline, you can challenge gravity on the downhill and freeride trails of the Bormio Bike Park while enduro enthusiasts can test themselves on the trails of S. Caterina Valfurva.
Sports have a key-impact when choosing Bormio as a holiday destination but it’s the well-being factor that makes the resort so trendy.
After an exciting and fulfilling day, visitors can relax in in the unique thermal spas.
This example of daily holiday routine is greatly summed up with one revealing and ultimate expression: “Bormio is the Wellness Mountain”.