FATMAP difficulty grade
Interplay with the roof of the tour - The royal stage onto the roof of the tour is a tough one - and in terms of scenery it’s a mad mix of everything the mountains have to offer.
The route climbs up to the famous Passo Gavia, 2621 metres above sea level.
More than 2000 meters difference in altitude from the lowest point in Kaltern to the Passo Gavia give an idea of how many climate zones this stage crosses.
First, the path leads up to the Mendel Pass.
The adventurous road, partly carved into the rock, offers a free view to the Kalterer See and the green valley filled with vines.
Equally green, but without the wine growing, the route continues on the other side of the Mendel Pass leading through the Val di Non.
Endless apple orchards dominate this landscape.
Through the apple blossoms, the route leads over into the Val di Sole, where it rises slightly (400 m on 25 km).
Only the last kilometres to the Passo Tonale (900 m on 15 km) are a little steeper with an average of 6% incline.
But the real deal waits at the end! 1300 altitude meters up to the Passo Gavia.
However, the ascent in breathtaking landscape, with a huge mountain panorama in the back of the Ortlergruppe, offers a diversion from the pain in the legs.
Its no longer the lush green of the valley that reigns here, but the grey and white of high alpine mountain regions, like the glaciated peaks of Cevedale and Königsspitze.
When you reach the top, the focus has to be on the road again.
The winding descent in Valfurva and further to Bormio is fun, but it is a challenge.
Even after more than 3500 metres of altitude difference, concentration has to be high.