The Stelvio is an epic climb. We also call it Cima Coppi, because of the endeavours of the one and only Fausto Coppi. The most famous? Giro d’Italia 1953, last stage.
The Stelvio climb was included for the first time in history that year. When riders found out the route they were unwilling to believe it. No joke they couldn’t face that drop. A lot in the Peloton swore. But not Coppi.
Getting back to chronicle at 1953, Coppi was second, the Giro went the day before to his enemy Hugo Koblet on Dolomites. Koblet went on Coppi’s back all the time. But there was one more stage to ride, the Stelvio. That stage had to be won by Coppi. It was a deal between champions at that point. A gentlemen deal. One more stage: The Stelvio climb: a mutain 2748 mt high, 26 km of turns, a call out for your lungs.
Coppi was there, focused. But when Koblet failed his deal, attacking in the middle of the climb, Coppi unfolded his wings. The Heron took his flight. Gifting pure poetry to the fans. He went on the top giving 4,30 minutes to Koblet (time needed to win the Giro) that also fall while descending and get a flat tire. Coppi was limitless, huge, unrivalled. Beautiful.
The Stelvio is mythical. More than arduous. But you know a real cyclist can’t stay away from suffering. It is genetic. So let’s go! Starting from Prato allo Stelvio, climbing the pyramid made by 48 hairpin turns with that goddamned wall on the top.
But then you are there, on the top of the world. The descending towards Bormio is pure emotion. You can feel sweat, pain and breath of the Giro d’Italia former champions get under your skin. The road is all yours. For the records you are a tough guy if you climb both slopes of the Stelvio pass.