Mortirolo / 30 April 2015

Davide Cassani’s Guide on how to ride it

Held on the same course the pro riders will race 10 days later, we've asked the Italian National Cycling Team Manager, Davide Cassani, for his views on the best way to prepare and ride the 174km and the legendary Mortirolo climb.


Milan, 30 April 2015 – Davide Cassani, Italian National Cycling Team Manager, has given his tips and advice on how to ride the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia, which will be held on 17 May over the same course that the pro riders will race 10 days later during the Giro d’Italia.

“The course is long and really challenging. Not only for the long distance (174km) or for the fact there isn’t a single kilometre that’s plain, it’s all ups and downs, but because of the Mortirolo climb in the final section of the ride.”

“Using a heart rate monitor is indispensable to ensure you are always under control. The first secret is trying to save as much energy as possible in the first part of the course. My suggestion is to face the first climb at no more than 80% of your own max heart rate and then, from Dimaro onward, wait or find a group of riders to join. It’s important not to remain alone in order to avoid wasting energy.

“Passo del Tonale and Aprica are not very demanding climbs, but before facing the Mortirolo it will be important not use high gears in order to save the legs. It’s better to maintain a pedalling cadence with more agile gears.

“My last two suggestions are about nutrition and clothing: you will always need to eat something every 40/45 minutes (I suggest bars in the first part of the course and gels in the second part. And don’t forget to have a light jacket to protect yourself from wind in the descents, that have to be faced in maximum security trying to keep all the other riders at safety distance.”



From Pinzolo to Aprica (174km) facing the climbs of Campo Carlo Magno, Passo del Tonale, Aprica (first passage), Passo del Mortirolo and the final climb to Aprica.

The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia offers two route options for sportive cyclists: the Gran Fondo long route of 174km, and the medium route of 100km which finishes after the first arrival at Aprica. To participate, non-Italian resident riders must either be registered to a national cycling federation, have a registration recognised by the Union Cycliste Internationale, or hold a medical certification for the race.


The legendary Passo del Mortirolo climb will be timed on both the Giro d’Italia and the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia, and the climbing times are to be published on the events websites and

The timing of the Passo del Mortirolo starts at the ‘climb start’ signpost and runs until the 1,854m summit where the King of the Mountain sign will be positioned.


To participate and find other useful information please visit the website – if you need further clarification please email: The cost for non-Italian residents to register for the event is €90 + €20 for transport (optional).

Due to the start and finish being in different locations, the organisers offer a number of different transport options for riders and/or their bicycles. A secure area for bikes will be provided in Pinzolo.

  • - For those who wish to sleep in Pinzolo (at the start): at the end of the race you have the option to return on a coach service leaving from Aprica either at 17:00 or after the broom wagon’s arrival at the finish.
  • - For those who wish to sleep in Aprica (at the finish): a coach service with bicycle transport will leave at 05:00, taking you to the start location.
  • - For those who wish to leave the car in Aprica (finish) and sleep in Pinzolo (start): a coach service with bicycle transport will leave on Saturday 16 May at two different times: 15:00 and 18:00. Baggage will be delivered back from Pinzolo to Aprica with a dedicated van service, to be delivered to the start no later than 07:30.

It’s still possible to participate, however, from tomorrow onwards it will not be possible to buy the transfers for logistical reasons. If you would like to use these services you can email The organization will examine your request (from 1 May until 17 May) and assess it on a case-by-case basis to see if will be still possible to accommodate everyone.

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