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CyclingUp: Albulapass-northwest

Region: Switzerland
Climbing effort: 1029 cep
Elevation meters: 1395
Steepest kilometer: 10.9%

Steepest 250 m: 15%
Foot: 977 m    Top: 2312 m
Mean slope: 6.0%
Length: 22.3 km

From: Filisur
Road conditions (2016): good
Other race bikers: 10-25 per hour
Motor vehicles: 60-180 per hour
Scenery and road: circle landscape (4/5)
Restaurant or bar near top: yes

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Profile Albulapass-northwest

The Albulapass is popular among cyclists for good reasons. The road is quite narrow and apparently less appealing to rushing car and motorcycle drivers than many other passes in Switzerland. Exciting is the track of the Rhaetian Railway between Bergün and Preda, which gains elevation by making circles and parts thereof through tunnels and valleys. Several times the road passes under arches of railway viaducts and at other places tracks on different levels are simultaneously visible. The very diverse ride begins where the road from Thusis to the Albulapass crosses a stream (Landwasser), a little over a kilometer before Filisur. The first five kilometers are easy (mostly 2-3%) but these are immediately followed by the first steep section (two kilometers with a slope for the 500 meter intervals between 8 and 11% and a maximum of 14% for a section of 250 meters). After this section one may recover before, in and after Bergün (1-3%). This is followed by the section that will make railway fans enthusiastic. Here the road is steep again (three kilometers with a slope between 9 and 10%) but this section turns abruptly into an easy passage (3-5%) shortly before and in Preda. There are still seven kilometers and more than 500 elevation meters left to the pass over a road with a gradient that often measures 8%. In the first part after Preda the surrounding area is still wooded but quite open and a lake lies on the right hand side of the road. I found this the most beautiful part of the trip. The last two kilometers of the ride are characterised by extensive fields of large boulders.

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