Tour of the Alps 2018 – Sunday July 1st

San Lorenzo — Ivrea — Serra di Ivrea — Biella — Colma di Andorno — Ponte della Pistolesa — Valico Cremosina — Omegna — Pian di Sole — Manegra (184.98 km, 2428m)

San Lorenzo

Perfect weather in the morning. After a good breakfast I was off down the valley and stopped for a few photos. First one here was the first view up the valley coming out for breakfast.

Val Soera

A last view back before the final section down to Rosone.

Val Soera

It looked nice down the valley from here too. It looks a bit strange to me as this was not the way the valley came across on the climb, as one comes down to a cross where the valley ahead here is to the left and the rest of it to the right and not up where I am standing.

A bit boring and long ride back the same way to Castellamonte in increasing heat. From there I continued straight ahead into the city of Ivrea. Nothing much to take photos off, so it went a long time before my next photos. I stopped in Ivrea for ice cream and something to drink. Then continued more or less straight ahead east and made the seemingly small climb over Serra di Ivrea (596m), but 354 hm and somewhat long serpentines. Had to take it slow as it was very warm here.

Ponte della Pistolesa

After a short descent I turned up one of the roads (must have been the smallest one – missed the first I should have taken) to Occhieppo Inferiore and was soon in Biella once again. Tried to find a café there, but saw nothing relevant, so after a while I found the way out and continued up the shortest way (as planned) toward Colma di Andorno (689m), but stopped at a simple restaurant/bar (El Borracho) when reaching the normal road for ice cream and coca-cola (I think). I think Colma di Andorno might also be a pass, but at least found some water here. The road essentially continues up from here to yet some more unnamed passes.

Ponte della Pistolesa

Guess there were like 4-5 proper passes on the way to Callabiana and the Ponte della Pistolesa. The road goes up and down a lot along the way, but is reasonably nice. It is the highest going road east here in Italy apart from the classic Bielmonte road above, which I have travelled on two times before. In the photo above I am looking up to the Bielmonte road. That road is of course the most recommended one. In the photo here I am looking back after having crossed the bridge from where they did bungy jumping in the middle. I had thought there should be nice views down the valley, but it was not very nice and especially not with the high fence. The impressive bridge seemed like little used.

Valico Cremosina

I continued quickly eastwards toward Lago d’Orta and took the easy way over Valico Cremosina/Colle della Cremosina (590m), but this (second time) went up to the actual pass, reached in short time on a steep asphalted road from the east and that is where I am here in the photo (no proper pass sign anywhere).

Lago d’Orta

After a nice descent I soon got the first glimpse of the lake and Il Mottarone (famous cycling mountain) across the lake, seen here.

There are some climbing on the way to Omegna, but a nice descent again down there and there I stopped again. It was now already like 18:00 (before I left at least). The downhill continues to Gravellona Toce (stopped on the way to clean my bike a little if I remember correctly). Then in heavy traffic continued over the Toce river to Fondotoce (199m), where I was lucky to be able to cross the road and start the climb up to Trobaso (340m), which was a bit tiring, then a shorter descent to 255m. Just after crossing a small river (San Giovanni) I had found the steepest way up the next mountain, but it turned out to be a residential road one was not supposed to go up, but I did so anyway.


After some seriously steep ramps (clearly over 20%) I cam up to the place in the photo and had thought I was supposed to continue straight up between the houses there, but say the road turned to a stepped walking road, so decided to take the road going left (I should have gone right for the steepest/shortest way up). It was a bit of detour but I got up the where I should anyway to Vignone. It was a fairly nice way up anyway.


The road was then much easier on the main road up to Alpe Colle, but it is long and I was getting tired. I reached Bee, from where some roads from below meet up and continues as one. First up at Premeno it felt like I was really up a mountain. Then the road became much more narrow and steeper up to Pian di Sole (929m) (but there are apparently more roads up there). Then I was really starting to think of stopping, but there were no obvious place to stay at here, so I continued down to Luera (821m) (an obvious pass, just like Pian di Sole and Pian di Nava). Then the road climbed again to Manegra, where I had seen beforehand that there should be an affordable hotel and luckily it was open and had a room for me (as there are not many more places along the road up here).


Nice evening here at the perfect height and location. I had a decent dinner, but the place was rather average. Still nice in being an older smaller hotel, so great. Only worry was that maybe the weather would be less good the next day. This was the day with most km despite the heat, but also thanks to fewer height metres.