Blood, sweat and fantastic views – La Prese to Breno (73 km, 1000m)


It was very cool when we left our hotel this morning as La Prese is in a valley and it would be hours before the sun hit it. WIthin a few km we could see the sun in the next broader valley and the promise of a great day weather wise.

Great view of the next valley.


At the 9.7 km point we said farewell to Switzerland, after having done numerous crossings over the last week. Italian border control did not even glance our way. Cyclists are obviously deemed a low security risk.

Passing through Tirano we were keen to keep moving as we had a reasonable climb to knock off to get to Aprica. Steve said it was easy after yesterday’s but I do not think any of us concur.

The climb starts at the 16 km point with a series of steep hairpin bends. It continued to climb for 10 km.

My face was a bloody mess, quite literally, as I noted blood soaking my gloves and splattered on my bike.  I assumed I had a blood nose. It kept up for the majority of the climb. I later discovered I had a little cut on my nose which I found preferable to a higher altitude nose bleed.

Climbing to Aprica.

There were really nice views the higher we climbed.


I was very pleased to reach Aprica where we had a very enjoyable, and cheap morning tea. So cheap we all ordered second cappuccino’s. According to the signs Aprica is a very old Roman town from around 160 AD. It was hard enough for us to get to Aprica let alone the Romans nearly 2000 years ago. How inspiring they were!

Morning tea at Aprica with Tony (1), Neil, Geoffrey, Mike and David


As we left Aprica the view moving forward was pretty ok too.

Heading out of Aprica.

We descended down to Cortina Golgi and the road was seriously crap. Huge fissures just big enough for a bike tyre to jam in, along with some crazy drivers.

We predominantly descended for most of the rest of the ride into a very strong headwind with a small section of gravel roadworks. Arriving in Breno at just after 1 pm we parked our bikes at the restaurant located next door to our hotel and enjoyed a nice protein feast.

Tomorrow is the day that is causing us the most consternation and discussion as it is the toughest for this tour. We start with a climb up Passa Crocedomini with no opportunity to warm up. We start climbing only 100 metres down the road and it is a climb that goes for 20 km with an average of over 7 percent, with a 19 percent section.

Below are a few photos from the rest of the ride before we rode into Breno.





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