In July some friend from Italy invited me to go with them for a weekend of cycling in Piemonte,in the Italian border with France.The weekend consisted in getting there on a friday,followed a training ride on a saturday then the race on a sunday.
It was really appealing especially because I flew out from London in the early morning enabling me to travel with the rest of the team to Alba where all together we tasted some delicacies from the province.
The following morning, we woke up early to have a huge breakfast to load up for the training ride were apart for few no one knew the destination.We loaded our minibuses with bicycles and us, to drive just short of 2 hours to a little town at the bottom of the Italian Alps on the border with France where we got off.
We all set up our bikes and got ready to jump on the saddle to follow the "Capitan"( in my dialect means Team Captain).
After few miles the rumours were spread around the team that we were heading to the famous Colle Fauniera, part in the past of stages for the Giro d'Italia 1999 and also Tour De France.Everyone knew that it was an interesting climb, starting from 500 m.s.l. to the top of 2481 m.s.l. of 25 KM of continuos climb.Yes a total ascent of nearly 2000 metres in one go.Still nothing in compare to "KOM Challenge Taiwan".
The sceneries are really beautiful and appeals to climb even for much longer than 25 KM.
During the climb we were able to be escorted after the 2000 m.s.l. by few marmots, fresh water sources, cows and finally the snow..The temperature obviously dropped down a fair bit, but the most noticeable drop was us slowly slowly stopping to chat due to the refined fresh air.
Fresh water for our bottles direct from the source.
The road are really narrow,just a car width and due to the weather condition it deteriorate drastically with the continuos water melting from the snow making more challenging for us.
Some of us were thinking about the cyclist most favourite climb the "Stelvio" conditions are 100 times more easier than this.There is also to say that nowadays those famous place like the Stelvio,Gavia,Mortirolo,Zoncolan are so popular that sometimes it is like going scuba diving in the Red Sea.
Just to let you know that, this Colle Fauniera is one of the top 10 Climbs to do in Italy,therefore I should strongly advise and recommend this climb for those who loves climbing.
Both sides of the mountain are beautiful, at each descents you can enjoy a well deserved meal with the local wine and food in a traditional trattoria.
You can check the graph below,my Garmin profile and finally a bit of nostalgia from the Giro d'Italia 1999.
For more details do not hesitate to get in touch with me.