Passo Giau – the newbie climb with the fearsome reputation

At 2,236m elevation, the Passo Giau is most famous for its regular inclusion in the Giro d’Italia and for amateurs it’s the fearsome 6th climb in the Maratona dles Dolomites sportive.

However, on this occasion we’re taking a look at the northern approach from Cortina d’Ampezzo, which is considered the easier side of the two albeit as equally beautiful.

A relative newbie in the world of cycling having been a narrow mule track up until 1986 when it was finally paved. Riding this climb is always going to be a challenge, but it’s not the toughest so in that regard it can be enjoyed. Typically the climbs here are shorter than the big guns of the Alps and Pyrénées, but they are tightly compacted together giving you the opportunity to ride several summits in one loop, giving a huge sense of Col Collecting satisfaction.

From Cortina d’Ampezzo it’s actually 16km in length, sharing the first 5km with the Passo Falzarego, but it’s a busier linking road to Corvara so you have to keep an eye out for the left hand turn which is what we consider the start of the climb proper. Take a moment to fill your lungs as the first couple of kilometres are actually on a downhill. Make the most of it as once the gradient pitches up it rarely deviates all the way to the summit.

The early switchbacks in the forest give you a real sense of progress, with tips of the grand Dolomite mountains peaking through the trees in a playful manner, teasing you with what’s to come as you gain elevation.

The gradient is consistent at around 8-9%, so it’s an easier ride that its southern counterpart. Once the trees disperse the scenery explodes into life and if you’ve been to the Dolomites you’ll certainly know the scenery we’re talking about! Simply BEAUTIFUL! It’s unlike any other, giant chards of Dolomtie rock tower above you and as you approach the summit you face what looks like a wave frozen in time. It’s awe inspiring and has to be seen to be truly believed.

It’s impossible not to marvel at the magnificent Nuvolau mountain which tends to steal the show at the summit. However, from here you can enjoy 360º views that literally take your breath away. From the Pala mountains as you look west to the Marmolada towards the east. The summit is a feast for the eyes so take a moment to catch you breath, absorb and enjoy!

Start: Pocol
Length: 11km
Summit: 2,236m
Elevation gain: 701m
Average gradient: 7.1%
Max gradient: 12%
Ridden in September

I very much hope you enjoy our video from the Giau. If the thought of these delicious mountain roads send shivers down your spine (in a good way) then why not join us for one of our cycling tours in the French Pyrénées, Dolomites and Italian Alps. For more details visit http://thecolcollective.com/cycling-tours.

Thank you to our partners Mavic, Cannondale, Exposure Lights, Lezyne, MyPower by InfoCrank, Muc Off, The Sufferfest, TORQ and USE for enabling us to bring these truly special mountains to life for you all. If you’re in need of new bike kit in the future and you enjoyed this video then bear them in mind and help keep the wheels turning 🙂

For more help and advice visit our website at http://thecolcollective.com, become part of our col community and sign up for our free newsletter for monthly updates.

Never miss a video, subscribe to our YouTube channel or get in touch on Instagram, Facebook orTwitter. We’d love to hear from you.

Stay well, ride safe and thank you for watching.

Peace.

Mike Cotty
The Col Collective

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Mike Cotty has been bringing the mountains to life through his inspiring videos for over 5 years and TORQ have been fuelling him and the Col Collective for the entire journey. The Col Collective Cycling Tours have since sprung to life.

Why not join us for one of our cycling tours in the French Pyrénées, Dolomites and Italian Alps. For more details visit thecolcollective.com/cycling-tours

Thank you to our partners Mavic, Cannondale, Exposure Lights, Lezyne, MyPower by InfoCrank, Muc Off, The Sufferfest, TORQ and USE for enabling us to bring these truly special mountains to life for you all. If you're in need of new bike kit in the future and you enjoyed this video then bear them in mind and help keep the wheels turning :-)

For more help and advice visit our website at thecolcollective.com, become part of our col community and sign up for our free newsletter for monthly updates.

Never miss a video, subscribe to our YouTube channel or get in touch on Instagram, Facebook orTwitter. We’d love to hear from you.

Stay well, ride safe and thank you for watching.

Peace.

Mike Cotty
The Col Collective

The Col Collective Tours are fully stocked with TORQ Performance products. And this season they will also be debuting our new TORQ SNAQ range. So if you fancy going out to Mike’s boutique-style guest house in France and spending some time riding the Cols, rest assured you’ll be TORQ Fuelled whilst you’re there too.