CyclingUp: Monte Zoncolàn-west







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Region: Italian Alps
Climbing effort: 1625 points
Elevation meters: 1194
Steepest kilometer: 17.6%

Steepest 250 m: 21%
Foot: 536 m    Top: 1730 m
Mean slope: 12.2%
Length: 9.8 km

From: Ovaro
Road conditions (2017): excellent
Other race bikers: 5-10 per hour
Motor vehicles: 10-30 per hour
Scenerie and road: (3/5)
Restaurant or bar near top: yes

PHOTOS      E SIDE


         

The ascent from Ovaro to the Monte Zoncolàn is horrible. If you have agreed with someone else to make this trip, you better cancel the appointment with an excuse, for example illness or "I have to skype with my mother-in-law". Monte Zoncolàn-west presently (2017) is the hardest among the Italian climbs on this site, although it only bridges 1194 elevation meters, much less than for example the Passo dello Stelvio-east, which harbours 1849 elevation meters. Despite its reputation, my wife insisted on trying to climb the Zoncolàn. Hence, and also because of cyclingup.eu, I had little choice but to ride, and somehow we made it without dismounting. Already during the two kilometers between Ovaro and the village of Liariis the road climbs up steeply (9-12%). Later it will turn out that this section is just for warming up. In Liariis we turn sharply to the right and an almost horizontal section of 500 meters follows. This is worrying because totally only 9.8 kilometers are available to overcome almost 1200 elevation meters. Then, it is bad news if 500 meters are deducted from these 9.8 kilometers! After this flat section, the middle part begins, the part to which the Zoncolàn owes its reputation. Over the next six kilometers 879 elevation meters will be overcome. This corresponds to an average slope of 14.7%. Less than a kilometer after the beginning of this middle part, the steepest kilometer (17.6%) and the steepest 250 meters (21%) begin, not just of this climb but (in 2017) of the entire website. After this violent start, the gradient gradually decreases within the middle part, though it never gets less than 12%. The last two kilometers of the climb are less horrible. There are steep and gently rising sections (6-13% for the 500 meter intervals) here. Among other parts, the segment through three well-lit tunnels is easy. The pass itself becomes visible at the beginning of a series of hairpin bends. Here, the slope rises again to 13%. By 2017, the Zoncolán was climbed five times during the Giro d'Italia (2003-2014), four times from Ovaro. The road surface is (in 2017) in very good condition. Was is paved so well for the Giro?



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