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Passo Pordoi - Mike Cotty and the Col Collective Visit the Heart of the Dolomites

by Nick Gregory

IT Flag

Time for a Col Collective treat from the Dolomites. This week the curvaceous Passo Pordoi takes centre stage.  

It may not be the longest or the hardest climb, but with 33 hairpins in less than 10km it'll take some serious work to beat that 'bend to length' ratio. It also happens to be the favourite climb of Cyclosport's Deputy Editor, Nick Gregory. 

Over to Col Collective Founder, Mike Cotty...


Nestled between the Gruppo del Sella and the Queen of the Dolomites, the 3,343 metre high Marmolada, the Passo Pordoi links the Val Cordevole in the east with the Val di Fassa to the west. Although relatively short at just 9.4kms, dig a little deeper and you'll quickly realise that the Pordoi has an enviably rich cycling heritage... 

First used in the Giro d'Italia in 1940, it has witnessed more race action than many of its peers put together, with monuments at the top dedicated to great Italian champions Fausto Coppi and Gilberto Simoni reminding you of its history.  

What's nice about the Pordoi is that it allows you to enjoy the journey, with a constant gradient hovering from 6-8% and never tipping beyond double figures, a rarity in itself in the Dolomites. Settle down and find your rhythm as you climb beyond the trees and towards its summit at 2,239m elevation. 

But the story doesn't end there, oh no, with 33 marked hairpins in less than 10km this gives the ascent from Arabba one of the best 'bend to length' ratios in the business with a whopping 3.5 turns per kilometre. Now if that's not a good excuse to ride it I don't know what is!  

Essential details

Start: Arabba  
Length: 9.4km  
Summit: 2,239m  
Elevation gain: 638m  
Average gradient: 6.8%  
Max gradient: 9.7%   

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