Tre Cime di Lavaredo

If the Dolomites were Italy’s Giza, the Tre Cime are their Great Pyramids. The road from Misurina to the Rifugio Auronzo, 2,320 metres above the sea, has become one of the Giro’s and cycling’s most fabled climbs.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo is a climb like no other in the Dolomites, its final 4-kilometres have been discussed and feared ever since bike riders raced to the summit in the Giro d’Italia in 1967.

Known mostly for the mountaineering on the peaks that stand tall above the road, the mountains scenery is some of the most spectacular in the Dolomites and for the cyclist, even after a four-kilometre slog to the summit as abrupt and spectacular as anything they’ll ever face, this backdrop is the real attraction of the Tre Cime.

The Climb in Detail

“The Tre Cime had been captivating writers, poets and painters, not to mention mountaineers and adventurers, for centuries" - Mountain High

The Ascents

From Misurina the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is a short sharp punchy climb for one so embedded in the mountains of the Dolomites. Only 7.5-kilometres in length and with an average gradient of 7.5% the climbs statistics can be a little misleading. The iconic road can be easily split into two sections, the first 4-kilometres a relatively easy ascent, with one sharp part for around 500 metres. What follows in the second 4-kilometres is completely different as the road rises dramatically, and the maximum gradient increases to 19%. The statistic to remember is, in less than 8-kilometres you will rise 1515 metres in elevation and this includes the relatively easier start.


The Three Peaks

The Tre Cime and the surrounding peaks have spawned countless other myths. According to one, the Lago di Misurina, where the eight-kilometre cul-de-sac to the Rifugio Auronzo begins, was formed from the tears of a beautiful young maiden, Mesurina, who had been spurned by a knight in golden armour. In more recent times, mountaineering folklore has grown around the northern face of the 2,999-metre Cima Grande, the middle of the three peaks and among Europe’s most coveted and elusive summits. In 1933 the Italian Emilio Comici made the ascent and took Comici three days and was hailed as one of the finest feats in mountaineering history

Its place at the Giro d’Italia

First introduced in 1967 by the famous Giro organisor Vincenzo Torriani, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo had mixed reactions in its debut outing. The 4-kilometre finish to the climb was deemed by many as too much for the riders to contend with at the end of mountain stages with riders being pushed by fans all the way to the Rifugio Auronzo the race was thrown into turmoil. The climb has continued to be featured at the Giro and was the deciding climb at the 2013 stage with Vincenzo Nibali riding out of the snow in Pink to take the 96th Giro d’Italia.

"The inhuman suffering wreaked by the Tre Cime...." - Riccardo Ricco 

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