Rising from the heart of Maiella National Park is Blockhaus, one of the most difficult slopes in south-central Italy, and indeed Europe. Added to the Giro d’Italia in 1967, Blockhaus is what is referred to as a ‘blind ascent’: one slope with three different ways to climb (from Lettomanoppello, Roccamorice or Fara Filiorium Petri).

The mountain’s greatest challenge is its elevation gain: approximately 2,000 metres over 22 kilometres is far from an easy climb. In fact, it’s so tricky that even the first Giro d’Italia champion, Eddy Merckx, struggled to overcome it. It was from its summit that ‘The Cannibal’ proved to everyone that no climb could rattle him.

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Lenght: 22 km (from Lettomanoppello)Start elevation: 369 mSummit elevation: 2,068 mElevation gain: 1,697 mGradient (avg): 8%Gradient (max): 9.4%Gearing suggestion: 34x25

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