The ascent from the west to the
Passo dello Stelvio
(in German Stilfserjoch)
is very popular among race cyclists.
The cause can probably partly be found in
climb to the Stelvio from the east.
Moreover, the Stelvio is, after the Col de l'Iseran in France,
the highest pass in the Alps.
The west side is not that beautiful.
The landscape of the second half of the climb is barren
and large parts of the ascent are disfigured by
power lines and pylons.
Buildings at the pass
and the junction to the Umbrailpass are downright ugly.
All in all, this is a hard climb
due to the number of elevation meters (1532).
However, the road is almost nowhere viciously steep.
One of the steepest parts (11%) is located after four kilometers at Bagni di Bormio.
Shortly after a series of five tunnels,
after ten kilometers ride,
the steepest kilometer is encountered (10.7%).
Immediately after that the road winds upwards
in 14 closely spaced hairpin turns (7-8%).
This is followed by 2.5 km of leisurely riding (4-6%)
but like any other pleasure this one is only temporary.
The final three kilometers beginning at the turnoff to the Umbrailpass
the slope varies only little and is around 9%.
The thinning air does not make climbing easy here.