This was another riding session aimed to prepare for IM Nice. Long easy warm up all the way to Castelnuovo followed by 17 km of rolling road with some big gear climbs and short descents towards Piazza al Serchio (you can choose more than one option – I personally took the eastern road thru La Villetta going up and thru Poggio coming back). From Piazza al Serchio to Passo Pradarena it’s nearly 20 km divided in two main segments: the first one to Sillano (7 km) averages 3-4%, the second one it’s a steady 6-7% ascent in the peaceful woods surrounded by chestnut trees and pines. Little chances to cross any car, this is the kingdom of the two wheels either powered by motor or by crazy cyclists legs. Worth to take a pit stop at the bar at the top to eat a local crostata or simply to drink a coffe. Plenty of water stations along the way (Castelnuovo, Poggio, Piazza al Serchio, Sillano); good idea to bring along a vest even in the summer cause the descent from 1500 mt could be chilly. Like for track 3, if you dare you can extend your trip in the Modena valley (Emilia Romagna) and climb back from Abetone or you can come home from the same direction and take a detour, like I did, anywhere (Barga or Perpoli for example) or by riding to Coreglia from another road (Tiglio or Tereglio). Whatever you decide, I can not stress this enough, don’t underestimate the refueling part: you must eat something every 30’-45’ or you’ll bonk! Been there, done that and nobody gave me a shirt. Ride hard!
Round robin Coreglia-Castelnuovo-Passo Pradarena-Castelnuovo-Barga-Coreglia
Distance: 130 km
Elevation: 2370 m