Mortirolo Bike


a challenge, the conquest … Sky!

The Passo del Mortirolo (1.852 m), also called Passo Foppa, connects the high Alps Orobie Valtellina with high Valcamonica, connecting the province of Sondrio with the Brescia.

A dust’ History
Tradition has it that the step of the Mortirolo I have had this name after Charlemagne in 773 you defeated the Camuni, ancient pagan people, making a killing. This legend is confirmed by the name of Headline Pagano, top that is in front of the Mortirolo. According to Professor. Remo Bracchi, contemporary historian, the name has nothing to do with the dead, ma derived from Mortara, namely basin, subsidence.
The analogy between the rock carvings Camune and those of Rupe Magna in the park Grosio suggests that already in protohistoric the two populations were known and communicated with each other through this pass.
The pitch certainly became an important means of communication between the state of the Serenissima and the Valtellina, dominated by the Grisons 1512 and for over two centuries. There were many Grosini who emigrated in search of work in the cities of the Veneto and the ensuing interesting commercial and cultural exchanges.
During the Second World War it was the scene of battles between the partisans and the German troops retreating towards Germany.

A dust’ Geography
The road – mule and mostly unpaved until the '90s – is now all paved and always closed during the winter.
The Mortirolo in fact began his international reputation in 1990, when it was inserted in the circuit of Tour of Italy.
Those coming by car from Brescia or the Trentino reaches the upper Valtellina, choosing the step normally dell'Aprica, as easier and safer.
Who in the summer also want to enjoy enchanting landscapes of pastures, woods and maggengo, saving a few km (for satellite navigation systems is the shortest path), can opt for the Mortirolo (m 1852), paying attention to the many cyclists who can meet.

The Mortirolo Pass can be reached from three different sides:
1• the nord, Valtellina side:
* from Mazzo di Valtellina (junction on the ss 38 Stelvio)
* da Grosio ( junction on the ss 38 Stelvio)
2• sud, side Valcamonica, passing Monno (junction on the ss 42 Tonale and Mendola, a short distance from Edolo
3• da ovest, starting dall'Aprica (ss 39) through Trivigno

Curiosity for bikers and cyclists
The Mortirolo, because of the very marked and constant gradients in the northern end, is now considered one of the most difficult climbs in Europe. E’ in the circuit of the Tour of Italy and is the destination of many cyclists who engage in the difficult climb.
Among the many companies that have entered into the legend of cycling is always a thrill to remember the solo flight of the then emerging Marco Pantani (1994), that broke illustrious opponents, come Miguel Indurain, Evgeni Berzin and his friend Claudio Chiappucci.
The north side, beginning in Mazzo di Valtellina (552 s/m), has a length of approximately 12,5 km for a height difference of 1300 year., the average slope is greater than 10% and there are several sections with peaks of up to 18%; between the third and the ninth kilometer slopes never fall below 11%, mellow except only in the last kilometers.
The best professionals run through it in less than 45′ (Ivan Gotti, who holds the record, impiegò 42’40” in Tour 1996 and 43'10” in Tour 1997).
The north side, beginning in Grosio (656 s/m), saves 100 m in altitude; the average slope is less than 10% and the road is wider.
The slope camuno, easier although longer, measure 17,2 km, part to share 699 m. and has an average gradient of 6,7%. It starts from Edolo and for the first part of the climb follows the state of the Valcamonica then turn to Monaghan (1066 s/m), where the real climb 11,2 kilometers; There are a few bends quite challenging but the climb is regular (about the 6/7%) until the fourteenth kilometer, where there is even a short falsopiano. The hardest part is near the sixteenth mile, to share 1720 year., with more than 500 m. above the 10%. From this side of the Giro climbed only once, in 1990 (the first ever on the Mortirolo) and saw pass on the first step Leonardo Sierra, which then also won the stage that ended Aprica, with Partenza of Moena.
In May 2006, al km 8 the climb from Deck, in town “Piaz from acqua”, put a fu sculpture, made Alberto Pasqual, in memoria in Marco Pantani. The sample Romagna is pictured during a trip, with low hands on the handlebars, turned to scrutinize their opponents. Also in 2006 the Tour of Italy gave great emotions to step into the top of the Mortirolo (side of Mazzo di Valtellina) the winner of the Giro Ivan Basso con a ruota Gilberto Simoni.

View the route map Grosio-Mortirolo

View the map of the route-bouquet Mortirolo