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Day three: Merano to Bormio

June 12, 2013

Pass (noun): a route, sometimes even paved, between mountains or mountain ranges to provide a thoroughfare from one destination to another, typically to traverse normally impassable terrain.

Pass (verb): to pass, as in “You think I’m going up that on a bike? No thanks mate, I’ll pass.”

Somehow none of the LVG did today. After a windy and dusty ride up to Prato del Stelvio, we spent a good chunk of the afternoon winding our way up endless treacherous (48, felt like more) hairpins on one of cycling’s tougher and certainly infamous climbs. Through valleys with roaring streams, forests, road clinging to the mountainside, road with snow piled high on either side, and finally after 25km of climbing (yes 25km, yes a long way up) made it to the summit and yet more hairy German bikers (Germany, do you deliberate ship them out to Italy in June?).

It was a classic climb, a beautiful climb and a near-soul-destroying climb. Made worse for me by having slopped tomatoes all over my (Bianchi world champion; yes: ponce) jersey at lunch.

IMG_0742[1]IMG_0740[1]

Next a descent from what seemed like the top of the world down some 1,900m to the brilliant cyclist hospitality (though reduced wi-fi, photos later hopefully) of the Hotel Funivia at Bormio. It even has a bike cave.

Incidents: fairly few. Hans was a trooper on the front, Textbook was nearly munched by a truck in a tunnel and I had a rear tyre blowout on the Stelvio descent (thanks Matt for waiting).

97km in the bag, great food at the hotel and Weeman gets the bell while Luke gets the horn (for buying us all bells). But more on that last bit another time.

Tomorrow: the Gavia, then the Mortirolo, then finally some more flat to Sondrio.

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