Colle Fauniera (2,465)

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col de la cayolle cycling

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Colle Fauniera, also known as Colle dei Morti, is a legendary climb in the world of cycling, famed not only for its breathtaking scenery but also for its grueling challenge. Rising to an elevation of 2,465 meters, it is one of the highest and most demanding climbs in the Italian Alps.

At the summit, riders are greeted by a striking monument dedicated to Marco Pantani, one of the most beloved and tragic figures in professional cycling. This monument serves as a poignant reminder of Pantani’s incredible talent and his untimely death, making the summit a place of pilgrimage for many cycling fans who come to pay their respects.

Colle Fauniera can be approached from several directions, with the most popular routes starting from:

  • Demonte: From the north, the climb starts in Demonte, in the Stura di Demonte Valley. This route is considered the most challenging, with steep sections and a relentless gradient.
  • Castelmagno: The ascent from Castelmagno presents a slightly less severe challenge but is still formidable, offering steep pitches and demanding endurance from riders.
  • Valle Grana: The climb from the Valle Grana side is the least known but no less challenging, providing cyclists with steep gradients and a test of their climbing abilities.

Each route offers its own unique challenges and scenic beauty, with the climb weaving through alpine landscapes, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains, and immersing riders in the natural beauty of the Italian Alps.

Despite its difficulty, or perhaps because of it, Colle Fauniera remains a bucket-list climb for many col-hunters around the world. Its combination of natural beauty, challenging ascent, and the monument to Marco Pantani at the summit make it a truly iconic climb in the world of cycling.

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