Tour of the Alps 2020 – Sunday July 26th

Lüsen/Luson — Bressanone/Brixen — Auer/Ora — Schmiederalm/Malga Schmieder — Mezzolombardo — Sella di Andalo — Stenico (178.3 km, 2993hm)

Lüsen/Luson

This morning started fine with a good breakfast and outside it was dry roads, but unfortunately not as sunny this morning. I managed to take the wrong way out of Lüsen/Luson, but got the view here as I went around the church. I was today going to make some progress in moving myself to another area and went almost exactly southwest most of the day.


Lüsen/Luson

It was nice and the temperature around 16-17°C as I started so did not freeze, but there were some light rain on the way down to Brixen/Bressanone, but not enough to make the ground wet. It was Sunday and I met maybe two cyclists, or so, going up.


Natz/Naz

There were some good views up north along the way down and here I am looking over Natz/Naz on a plateau. Soon here after the road finally started to descend in serpentines to Brixen/Bressanone. I went through the town without stopping and then took the old Brenner road down to Bolzano/Bozen. Down in Bolzano it was sunny and it got quite warm. Turned a corner and was out in the main valley down to Verona. Apart from a bus driver getting irritated on me driving on the road, it was not much traffic down to Leifers/Laives and should not be a problem cycling there (the bus was taking a lot of place, and bike paths were present only here and there – no big problem either way).

I stopped for a somewhat proper lunch in the centre of Leifers/Laives (pasta with salmon) and after waiting maybe a bit too long I put on sun cream. It was soon going over 30°C (in the sun).


Schmiederalm/Malga Schmieder

I had one major climb along my way southwest and it was up to Schmiederalm/Malga Schmieder/Stockwiesen (1673m) from Auer/Ora (247m) – a 1433 height metres climb! 20.5 km with 7.6% on average, taking the steepish (1 km at 11.1%, max 15-16%) short-cut up through Montan/Montagna. Otherwise the more well-known climb up here is to Weissenstein/Petersberg/Pietralba (1520m), but this is a more direct climb and a higher one too (one of the highest climbs in the area, but there are many climbs around here).

I stopped at the restaurant for a hollundersoda and apfelstrudel (as I was now leaving German speaking areas for several days until coming back to Switzerland again).


Schmiederalm/Malga Schmieder

Not totally free views up here, but still nice. Looks like no better views along the gravel road that continues through the forest either. Here I am looking down south where I am going next.


Schmiederalm/Malga Schmieder

Here I am looking up north in the direction of Bolzano and Merano. It was getting a bit more cloudy again now.


Aldein/Aldino

I took a little detour on the way down as I was curious about an asphalt road taking off at a bend straight on and which went to GEOPARC Bletterbach: Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage – the road did not go up much and I saw nothing exciting up here, but believe there is some kind of exhibition and that one cloud walk up the gorge here. Not for road cyclists though. I went back down to Aldein/Aldino where one turns off up here from the main road. This view here was just above Aldein/Aldino.

I then got down to Neumarkt/Egna (220m) and then crossed the first bridge over the Adige/Etsch river to Margreid/Magrè and continued down to Mezzocorona and Mezzolombardo, where I stopped for an ice cream. Now it was more sunny weather again.


Passo del Santèl

From Mezzolombardo (235m) a classic climb that I have not down in this direction before starts. It goes first to Fai della Paganella and then continues to Passo del Santèl (1032m) and the photo here is from between those two places. I had a fair speed up to Fai della Paganella, but despite that I was below average on Strava (but looks like maybe there have been some competition up here too as I recognise names at the top from the Pro Tour).


Sella di Andalo

The climb continues to what has been called the Sella di Andalo (1024m, the top being at 1134m) and I stopped for some more photos and views were getting better now. This is up north from the highest point.


Sella di Andalo

Here looking down south above Andalo (highest point).


Molveno

It was stating to get less warm, but I was going down again. I wanted to get down after Molveno before starting to think of stopping for the day (as it was more exepnsive up around Andalo and Molveno too and not very interesting places to stay at as they are rather touristic). Here on the way down to Molveno.


Lago di Molveno

A photo over Lago di Molveno and Molveno before descending below.


Lago di Molveno

Here on the way down to San Lorenzo in Banale, where I had originally planned to stay a night, but now I wanted to go ahead a bit more to save up as much time as possible for the final days in order to focus on doing the most important climbs I had in mind to do this Summer.

I had originally planned not to go straight down here from Bolzano, but instead to go up Vinschgau/Valle Venosta to climb the Passo dello Stelvio from all three sides and in an attempt to climb maybe up to 10000 height metres there in one day, but decided I was a little too worn down for a successful attempt and also that it simply was not as exciting as to discover new climbs. Stelvio would still be there for another year if I so want to go there.


Stenico

I turned up on the road to Stenico, but twilight was coming in and I looked first at Sclemo if there was somewhere to stop, but saw nothing and continued. Could not see anything near the road on the way to Stenico, so went there and there I soon noticed a place here – the Osteria and the sign for bed & breakfast. They had a room, but it was not so cheap (€50 I think), but also got something to eat here and it was a good place and I also was a bit too late to look around much longer. A fairly good day even if not so many height metres.



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