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I spent the next day doing an easy 110 km ride on rolling terrain along the coastal towns of Umag, Novigrad and Porec.
I spent the next day doing an easy 110 km ride on rolling terrain along the coastal towns of Umag, Novigrad and Porec.
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Umag.
Umag.
Viewed: 450 times.

Spot the intruder! :-)
Spot the intruder! :-)
Viewed: 450 times.

Novigrad.
Novigrad.
Viewed: 470 times.

The following day was quite different - yo-yoing from one hill and village to another and just enjoying the picturesque scenery.
The following day was quite different - yo-yoing from one hill and village to another and just enjoying the picturesque scenery.
Viewed: 450 times.

Oprtalj.
Oprtalj.
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In the background - the only really flat stretch of road in Istria!
In the background - the only really flat stretch of road in Istria!
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Motovun.
Motovun.
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And now for one of the best rides of my life! On 14th of May I jumped into the car and headed off to Italian Alps to do the best part of 20th stage of 2014 edition of Giro d'Italia - a couple of weeks prior to the race! I started in Ovaro but I had a long way ahead of me before I were to return to this spot and climb the infamous Monte Zoncolan.
And now for one of the best rides of my life! On 14th of May I jumped into the car and headed off to Italian Alps to do the best part of 20th stage of 2014 edition of Giro d'Italia - a couple of weeks prior to the race! I started in Ovaro but I had a long way ahead of me before I were to return to this spot and climb the infamous Monte Zoncolan.
Viewed: 451 times.

From Ovaro I went to Villa Santina to join the race route and continued to Ampezzo, where the 11 km long 1st category climb of Passo del Pura begins. Half of it is averaging at 9.8% and the steepest section is 13% near the 1428 alt. m summit.
From Ovaro I went to Villa Santina to join the race route and continued to Ampezzo, where the 11 km long 1st category climb of Passo del Pura begins. Half of it is averaging at 9.8% and the steepest section is 13% near the 1428 alt. m summit.
Viewed: 440 times.

The day was very windy making climbing even harder. Also, the road was officially closed, so I was very lonely up there, not to mention that the roads hadn't been maintained since the winter.
The day was very windy making climbing even harder. Also, the road was officially closed, so I was very lonely up there, not to mention that the roads hadn't been maintained since the winter.
Viewed: 487 times.

After a rough and dangerous descend down to 981 alt. m with rocks and potholes everywhere, I was welcomed and awarded by the sight of a beautiful artificial lake - Lago di Sauris. It marks the start of a 16 km long 2nd category climb.
After a rough and dangerous descend down to 981 alt. m with rocks and potholes everywhere, I was welcomed and awarded by the sight of a beautiful artificial lake - Lago di Sauris. It marks the start of a 16 km long 2nd category climb.
Viewed: 429 times.

Sella di Rioda climb starts easily but ramps to over 9% average going into Sauris di Sotto (1205 m), sticks to a moderate 6% average to Sauris di Sopra (1394 m) and that's where the road gets closed again - no traffic with occasional road works.
Sella di Rioda climb starts easily but ramps to over 9% average going into Sauris di Sotto (1205 m), sticks to a moderate 6% average to Sauris di Sopra (1394 m) and that's where the road gets closed again - no traffic with occasional road works.
Viewed: 453 times.

After a few easy kilometers, the climb goes to over 9% average for the last 3.5 km's, with 15% on the last few serpentines near the summit. I've had a near miss with a blood-thirsty dog at the very last meter of the climb (at 1811 alt. m), which made me realise the whole idea of riding alone on closed mountain roads with no mobile phone signal reception wasn't really a bright one!
After a few easy kilometers, the climb goes to over 9% average for the last 3.5 km's, with 15% on the last few serpentines near the summit. I've had a near miss with a blood-thirsty dog at the very last meter of the climb (at 1811 alt. m), which made me realise the whole idea of riding alone on closed mountain roads with no mobile phone signal reception wasn't really a bright one!
Viewed: 448 times.

I descended carefully down the bumpy and damaged road surface (road works had been going on though) and got back to Ovaro where I had started, at 530 alt. m. And now it was time for "The Hell" - Monte Zoncolan (1730 alt. m)! 1200 m of alt difference in just 10 km's, with the middle 6 km's averaging at over 15% and even with sections of 20% and 22% incline! The climb is a killer on its own, let alone after two hard climbs leading to it.
I descended carefully down the bumpy and damaged road surface (road works had been going on though) and got back to Ovaro where I had started, at 530 alt. m. And now it was time for "The Hell" - Monte Zoncolan (1730 alt. m)! 1200 m of alt difference in just 10 km's, with the middle 6 km's averaging at over 15% and even with sections of 20% and 22% incline! The climb is a killer on its own, let alone after two hard climbs leading to it.
Viewed: 1049 times.

It's not possible to even imagine this climb until you ride it. I even had dirty thoughts of a 34t small front chainring for the first time in my life. Luckily I decided to put a 28t cassette for this ride, so I had 39/28 ratio for survival mode. 3'C with strong winds and ice on the road meant I didn't want to stick up there for too long! The descent was quite difficult as well but all in all - the sense of achievement was immense! I'll be enjoying laying in my bed and watching the pro riders on TV, suffering on the same roads ;-).
It's not possible to even imagine this climb until you ride it. I even had dirty thoughts of a 34t small front chainring for the first time in my life. Luckily I decided to put a 28t cassette for this ride, so I had 39/28 ratio for survival mode. 3'C with strong winds and ice on the road meant I didn't want to stick up there for too long! The descent was quite difficult as well but all in all - the sense of achievement was immense! I'll be enjoying laying in my bed and watching the pro riders on TV, suffering on the same roads ;-).
Viewed: 463 times.

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