There is a climb for everyone at GF Gimondi
Felice wrote a vademecum for the participants of the 21st Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi, with advice on the climbs to face: “Watch out for the Forcella di Berbenno”
The Milan-Sanremo’s thrilling finish, with Michal Kwiatkowski’s win, has launched the Monuments’ season as good as it could. Cycling couldn’t hope for any better spot than a World champion, Peter Sagan, attacking and strongly looking for the win, 43 years later Felice Gimondi‘s triumph in rainbow colors under Sanremo’s winning post, on March 18th, 1974. All the emotions of this immense race certainly were a source of inspiration for many of the participants to the next Granfondo Internazionale Felice Gimondi Bianchi, warming up for the 21st edition in Bergamo (Italy) next May 7th.
Named “Felice Gimondi in pink” in honor of Felice’s feats on the Giro d’Italia roads – 14 times finisher, 9 GC podiums, 3 victories – the GF Gimondi will test its guests with a series of demanding climbs on the way to the finishing glory. For all the participants looking forward to the event, Gimondi drafted a vademecum of the six climbs, with the racing advice from the champion from Sedrina.
Colle dei Pasta
Nothing more than a hill, somewhat of a “relative” of Liege-Bastogne-Liege’s easier cotes. It will be climbed from the easier side: a soft approach in view of more demanding climbs. You can ride it with a 39×16/15 gear. The climb features a 143m difference in altitude, 3,4 km lenght, 4.2 % average and 12% maximum gradient.
The first part, right after Gaverina Terme, is the most demanding, with a couple of hairpin turns nearing a 9% gradient. There are no breathers up to the finish, even if the gradient goes slightly decreasing. Suggested gear: 39×21/23. Overall altitude 426 m, lenght 7,5 km, 5,7% average gradient, 8.4 % maximum gradient.
It’s a steady climb, without sharp increases but also without a single metre of false flat. The key is to find the correct pace and gear as soon as possible to ride easily to the top, because this uphill doesn’t require any change of rhythm. Don’t push too hard: you could pay the effort on the distance. For this ascent, featuring breath-taking landscapes and 19 hairpin turns, a 39×19/20 gear should be the correct choice. The altitude difference is 621 m, the lenght 12.2 km, the average and maximum gradients are 5,1% and 10,0% respectively.
Costa d’Olda (Val Taleggio) – Forcella di Bura, medium and long routes
A quite affordable third-category climb, to be pedaled at full speed in view of the two final uphills. You can use long gears because the gradient rarely goes over 6%. Be careful because when you leave Olda, after a two-kilometer downhill, the over 8-km climb to Valico di Val Taleggio – also known as Forcella di Bura – is waiting fo you. Gradients are not impossible to tackle but don’t underestimate the 6/7% gradient section approaching Costa d’Olda. It is possible to use a 39×16 gear until Olda. The total altitude difference is 613 meters, 20,4 km the total length, 4.5% the average and 7% the maximum gradients.
Forcella di Berbenno (long route)
Two short slopes with fairly steep gradients, interrupted by the gently-sloping section of Laxolo. After the first two kilometres featuring a 6.1% gradient going up to 8% peaks, the two following slopes are steeper (with 7% and 9% average gradient sections). The climb ends at 708 metres in Forcella, before the participant ride downhill to the town centre, and then towards the Imagna Valley. Suggested gear: 39×18/17. The difference in altitude is 257 meters, the lenght 6.4 km, the average and maximum gradients are 4.0% and 12.0% respectively.
Costa Valle Imagna (long route)
The final slope of the long course, to be dealt with when energies are running out, represents a real obstacle in spite of non-impossible gradients. The most demanding sections are located in the stretch before Valsecca and in the last 3 km, but the peak never goes over 10%. After 130 km it could be necessary to shift into smaller gears, opting for the 39×24. The difference in altitude is 599 m, 9,0 km the lenght, 6,7% the average gradient and 12,0% the maximum one.
How to register for 2017 Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi
Who has not registered for the Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi’s 21st edition yet, can do it filling out the dedicated online form on the official website www.felicegimondi.it, or at the G.M. Sport Office in Via G. Da Campione, 24/c – 24124 Bergamo (tel. +39 035.211721 – fax + 39 035.4227971). For a few more days, until March 31st, riders will still be able to register at the discounted rate of 35€.