We are in Piedmont. In Northern Italy. In the land of mountains as the Italian name suggests (“pie-di dei monti”), or more precisely at the foot of the mountains. Here, when talking about Cycling – with a capital C – there are no missing ingredients. Not only thanks to the territorial characteristics of this region, but also because this area is surrounded by the Alpine chain which offers some of the highest peaks, made for true climbers. Great champions like Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo once called Piedmont their home. Here, they trained and wrote some of the most memorable pages in the history of cycling. And of course, here, cyclists will find numerous stages of the Giro d’Italia. In short, we are talking about a cyclist region in every sense of the word.
Cycling along these roads is an experience that cannot be left out of your cycling passport. Yet riding these routes also means discovering places rich in history and character, offering an extraordinary variety of landscapes, as well as the unique flavours of many typical products.
Today, we will help you discover some of Piedmont’s most famous hills. But don’t be fooled by the name: they are true ascents for the very best climbers. Are you ready to follow us?
Colli di Coppi
The territory that extends between the municipalities of Tortona, Novi Ligure and Volpedo, with Castellania at the centre, has a very clear vocation: cycling ground and a land of great champions. It is here that cyclists can take on the challenge of the so-called “Colli di Coppi”, in other words the climbs, the routes, the continuous succession of ups and downs where the legendary Fausto Coppi trained. Cycling through these hills also means immersing oneself in surprising landscapes, including dirt roads that often skim the typical vineyards of this region and where the wind of the “Campionissimo”, title meaning “champion of champions” earned by the legendary Fausto Coppi, still blows strong.
Colle delle Finestre
Impossible to cycle until a few years ago, the military-origin road located in the Orsiera-Rocciavrè Natural Park climbs like a ramp with average gradients around 9%. The first 11 km are paved, while the last 8 unwind along a fully unpaved road, attributing this climb a cycling flavour reminiscent of the yesteryears, an epic touch that takes us back to the accomplishments of champions of the past. Make sure to take a couple of spare inner tubes with you – the dirt road may have a few nasty surprises in store.
Colle del Sestriere
There are several sides from which to conquer Colle del Sestriere. We recommend the route from Cesana Torinese. The climb starts with two broad switchbacks immersed in the woods as you make your way around Mount Crouzore, with slopes up to 10%. Just enough time to catch your breath along a stretch of slight slopes, before the road once again turns challenging, up to the summit at 2,023 m above sea level.
Colle di Superga
This is the most famous and the most challenging climb when it comes to routes shorter than 5 km. A sort of “direct route” connecting Turin to Superga. If it weren't for the deadly slopes: the average gradient is around 9%, with maximum slopes up to 18%. Unlike other ascents, this one lets you catch your breath along several sections, yet reaching the last ramp just before the Basilica square will be a true test.
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