Passo Giau is a long, intense climb located in the Dolomites region of Italy. A feature on the 2023 Giro D’Italia, Passo Giau is relatively short at just 9.5km, but its average gradient lies between 9-10% – making for a relentlessly tough ride.
When to ride Passo Giau
Passo Giau is a tough, gruelling climb and can prove incredibly difficult on the legs, for riders of all experiences. In the summer months it is best to ride Passo Giau in the mornings, as the road can be incredibly busy with tourists. Additionally, during warm months the climb can be a difficult task in warm conditions, so check the weather forecast whenever you decide to climb.
Riding Passo Giau
As the ride begins on the SP638, the Codalonga river runs adjacent to the climb as you begin your ascent. In this area, there’s also shaded cover provided by trees, making for a gentle start to the climb.
One unique feature about Passo Giau is that all the climbs corners are numbered, allowing you to know exactly how long you have left, or how far you have to go! Because there are 29 corners, the route can feel incredibly tight and the twisty layout of the climb offers you views of where you have previously been.
As you approach the summit of the climb, there is a long left-hand hairpin (number 24) that provides spectacular views of the climb below and adding to the drama of the finish after a tough ascent. Once you complete turn 24, Mount Nuvolau comes in to view and the ascent begins a 10% gradient for a tough final push. At the top, there is a hotel with restaurant that provides a good opportunity for rest, refreshment and reflection.