This is probably one of the toughest ride you could do in the Appennini; of course, you could still add some more mileage but in general the climb to San Pellegrino is along few others (Mortirolo, Stelvio, Zoncolan) a full “all-category” to the point that even some Pros during the Giro had to stop and put the foot down. The start is always the same, my door steps in Coreglia, down to the valley, followed by a 20 km warm up, slightly uphill towards Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. A quick short climb towards Pieve Fosciandora and straight direction Passo delle Radici; instead of the long steady 25 km road at Campori take the right and, immediately jump in to a 8-10% gradient climb. The winding road continue for roughly 10 km with the same difficulty; the village of Chiozza at 900 mt is the mid point but it won’t give you any rest. 9 kilometres in to the climb when you think it’s almost over (there is 800 mt segment slightly descending) you realise that what have you done so far was just a long warm up session ’cause the 18% road signal is confirming that the pain has not started yet: a 2.5 km of pure madness is awaiting with peaks over 20% and where the 6-7% short break seam a walk in the park (good idea to get a water sip if you can). There are a couple of turns where you think that you are about to flip back and it’s a challenge just to keep moving; don’t be afraid ’cause the monastery is looking after you and the “well done” certificate will have your name on it at the local bar as soon as you finish. A quick stop for a coffe, fresh water at the fountain and the well deserved selfie before continuing for little over 1 km towards the peak of Passo delle Radici. Left turn back to Castelnuovo (it’s a nice long climb from the other side as well but not as rewarding); if you feel like it instead take the right towards Sant’Annapelago and back up to Abetone for the extra mileage, either way it’s almost all downhill from now on. Just save some energy fro the final ascent to Coreglia. Overall a magnificent ride: if you can make it without stopping you can consider yourself cleared to go anywhere and fear no mountain. Ride Hard.
Round robin Coreglia – Castelnuovo – San Pellegrino in Alpe – Coreglia
Distance: 96 km
Elevation: 1976 m