89km / 3250m+ (+26km descent to the village) · Saturday 21st September
Starting once again in the heart of Bormio, Stage 2 begins with an early-morning descent to the foot of the climb many professional cyclists consider the toughest in Europe – the mighty Mortirolo, After passing through Mazzo di Valtellina, the 12.8-km climb starts averages 11%, with the steepest parts between kilometres 4 and 11. At about 8km you’ll pass the monument to Giro d’Italia and Tour de France champion Marco Pantani. The twists and turns and epic views are your reward for tackling the steep pitches.
In the final few kilometres the trees subside to give riders the view of the summit. The gradient lessens slightly at this point, providing the extra motivation to get to the top.
Having completed one of the toughest climbs in Europe, the next ascent - Passo Gavia - may seem more manageable in comparison, but should definitely not be underestimated. You will have the opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery of the surrounding the valley as you start this climb, with the gradient picking up gradually. At the point where the road turns into a narrow track, be prepared for the climb to get steeper. As the road winds through the beautiful forest and hairpin bends, you’ll reach a 3km stretch that averages 10.5%.
After a big day of climbing, you will be rewarded with beautiful panoramic views at the top of the Gavia. As with Stage 1, timing ends at the summit, so you can enjoy the views and stop for photos on the descent to the Race Village in Bormio. Following the stage, this might be a good day to take advantage of your complimentary access to the hot spring pools of Bormio Terme to enjoy some rest and recovery ahead of the final day and the time trial.