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The Gavi-aargh and a tumbling Typo

June 25, 2015

So that’s day one done.

And unfortunately, it may be Typo done for the trip too.

We started from Lake Iseo, a beautiful warm-up around the edge of the water with only a puncture 10-minutes in to slow us down.

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A quick (er, ish) coffee stop and then on for another 50k or so to Ponte di Legno for lunch, trending uphill and in many places definitely uphill, for prolonged stretches. In fact verging on 2,000m uphill by lunch. So not so much trending uphill, as bloody uphill.

Ponte di Legno is infamous as the setting-off point for the sharper and meaner ascent of the Passo Gavia. And so it proved. A relentless 7 to 8 per cent average gradient from the off but 10 per cent or more in places until it reaches a forest, and then heaps joy upon cyclists with long ramps of 14% average. So basically, with less than half the climb done, half of us were practically done.

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The views were stunning though. Not that we stopped (*cough*) too much for photos, like this of Cadel (Cad-Ill) Evans here.

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The last 4 or 5km of the Gavia’s south side were brutal. Shoddy road surface, ever-steep, no let-up, long tunnel at about 10% with gravel 3k from the summit, it just went on forever. Finally got to the summit, which particularly pleased me given I’m riding with a broken ankle at the moment.

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No time for pleasantries though as it was cold, so a beautiful 28km descent into Bormio.

Until it happened. Seeing a wiry old Italian cyclist slowing rapidly in front of him, Typo slammed on the anchors, but it was to late. Skidded, hit a bollard, over the bars, smashed face, bloodied nose, bad neck and shoulder. As I type this, Typo is in hospital with a broken vertebrae in his neck and is no doubt sharing his thoughts with any medical staff who will listen, including Italian nurses.

A sad end to a great if gruelling day, but he was very lucky given the speed and the impact.

Looking forward to welcoming him back to the comforts of the very bike-friendly Hotel Funivia, though it may be tomorrow morning now.

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For the rest of us, a big sleep. Stelvio straight after breakfast tomorrow.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. beev permalink
    June 26, 2015 8:19 am

    for typo – https://fabrily.com/ok8893

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