From Andraz to the Falzarego and Valparola passes
The Falzarego pass is a great place to cycle since no other Dolomite Pass takes you as close to the dolomite limestone as this one does. Riding across the pass you will have the impression that you are cycling straight into the mountain because one of the hairpins is actually carved out of the rocks.
For the first 7 km the Falzarego pass has a beautiful, easy grade with maximum gradients of 7% on the straight stretches and 4% on the hairpins: an ideal climb where you can gain some speed on the hairpins to help you up the straights.
Continuing the climb, the hairpins will still have a manageable gradient but the straight stretches will become longer and steeper. Enjoy riding with the wall of the mountain straight ahead of you and enjoy a look at your surroundings; straight in front of you, you will see the Lagazuoi peak with a gondola station at the top.
At approximately one kilometre (exactly 900 metres) from the top of the Falzarego Pass, after passing through a tunnel, be prepared to negotiate some 10% gradients.
Once you have reached the top you can decide to go down to Cortina d’Ampezzo or, as suggested in this itinerary, you can continue on the final slope towards the Valparola pass, the last pass the cyclists have to negotiate for the Maratona dles Dolomites.
Passing near the Lagazuoi gondola you will have to ride along a 1.2 km long stretch with a 15% gradient. Brace yourself for the last climb to the top of the Valparola because, due to its geographic conformation, it is pretty difficult to see where it ends and therefore it just seems to go on for ever!
Vertical climb: 885 m
Average gradient: 6.3 %
Steepest gradient: 10% (Falzarego only) – 15% (Valparola)
Starting elevation: 1,419 m
Final elevation: 2,117 m. (Falzarego) – 2,200 (Valparola)
Distance: 10.6 km (Falzarego) – 12.2 (Valparola)
Total hairpins: 17
2 water fountains: one 1 km outside Andraz and one after 8 km, both on the left side of the road
Other roads to the Falzarego pass: starting in Cortina
Dolomite passes following: Passo Campolongo, Passo Giau, Passo Tre Croci
Passages of the “Giro d’Italia”: Falzarego= 19, Valparola = 3