Not Just Hills – Cycling in Piedmont, Northern Italy

STORY BY Megan Hughes 29th November 2017

As the Italian name suggests (“pie-di dei monti”), Piedmont is the land of mountains, or more precisely, the land at the foot of the mountains. As such, it’s no surprise that cycling in Piedmont is so popular.

This region has a whole host of territorial characteristics, all of which are looked over by the Alpine chain of towering peaks surrounding the area. Made for true climbers, this area is one that was home to great champions such as Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo.

It’s no surprise then that numerous stages of the Giro d’italia pass by here, with ascents that attract the very best climbers. Here, Italy Bike Hotels take us through their pick of the top ascents in Piedmont for keen climbers that may want to give them a go this year.

Colli Di Coppi

The cycling territory that extends between the municipalities of Tortona, Novi Ligure and Volpedo, with Castellania at the centre, is a land of great champions. It is here that cyclists can take on the challenge of the so-called “Colli di Coppi”, in other words the climbs, the routes and the continuous succession of ups and downs where the legendary Fausto Coppi trained.

Colle Delle Finestre

Impossible to cycle until a few years ago, the military-origin road located in the Orsiera-Rocciavrè Natural Park climbs like a ramp with average gradients of around 9%. The first 11 km are paved, while the last 8 unwind along a fully unpaved road, giving this climb a cycling flavour reminiscent of years gone by, an epic touch that takes us back to the accomplishments of past champions. Make sure to take a couple of spare inner tubes with you though – the dirt road may have a few nasty surprises in store.

Colle Del Sestriere

There are several sides from which to conquer Colle del Sestriere and Italy Bike Hotels recommend the route from Cesana Torinese. The climb starts with two broad switchbacks immersed in the woods as you make your way around Mount Crouzore, with slopes up to 10%. You will have just enough time to catch your breath along a stretch of slight slopes, before the road turns challenging once again, heading up to the summit at 2,023 m above sea level.

Not Just Hills - Cycling in Piedmont, Northern Italy

Colle Di Superga

The most famous and the most challenging climb when it comes to routes shorter than 5 km. This would be a sort of easy “direct route” connecting Turin to Superga, if it weren’t for the deadly slopes! The average gradient is around 9%, with maximum slopes up to 18%. Unlike other ascents, this one does let you catch your breath along several sections. However, reaching the last ramp just before the Piazzale della Basilica will be a true test so make sure you are well prepared!

Not Just Hills - Cycling in Piedmont, Northern Italy


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