She is called the queen of the Alps, and that is entirely justified. The Passo Dello Stelvio (2760 meters) is the second highest asphalted mountain pass in the Alps, Majestic located in the Stelvio National Park. For riders who reach the top there is not only the eternal fame, but also sensational views about the Ortler massif with the Madatsch Glacier and the Ortler itself. Around tops with eternal snow and below the Bergdal Valle di Trafoi. There are signs that people already pulled over the Stelvio in the Bronze Age (from 3000 to 800 BC), but it took until the start of the 19ecentury before a road was constructed. When the Habsburg monarchy at the end of the Napolitan War the Italian province of Lombardy received as compensation for lost area, Wilde Keizer Ferdinand I A road connection between Tyrol and the new region (with Milan), not least from military considerations. It took the backs of 2500 workers for five years, but as early as 1825 the 49-kilometer road, which overcomes 3400 altimeters, could be opened.
The mountain attracted alpinists, artists, writers, tourists, skiers and cyclists of course. Certainly since Fausto Coppi struck in the penultimate stage of the Giro of 1953. It was the first time that the cycling caravan "climbed the roof of the round". Coppi considered pink truid -carrier Hugo Koblet too strong and imagined himself a chance for the final victory until the Swiss committed a blunder. Completely unnecessary Koblet jumped after the escaped Nino Defilippis, a rider from Turin. Hugo Koblet overestimated his powers and was overtaken and left a little later by the old Campionissimo Coppi, who drove the Stelvio on enthusiastic. At the finish he had a 3 -minute 28 lead. That was enough to win his fifth Giro the next day. That and the storming of the Stelvio was one of the last major operations of the legendary Coppi. In the history of the Tour of Italy, the Stelvio was only climbed ten times, but in almost all cases the mountain caused decisive shifts in the ranking. As in 1980, then an Italian combine at all costs wanted to prevent Bernard Hinault Hún Giro from won. He was driven on him and on the morning of the climb of the Stelvio he was surrounded by seven Italians as number 2, including leader Panizza, Battaglin, Moser and Saronni. Smart as he was, the Frenchman sent three teammates in the first escape and when he himself dragged hard in the head of snow, one after the other italian fired. The pink sweater also had to fit in fireplace bend 34 (out of 48!).
Wladimiro Panizza just had no eye for the grassy mountain pastures, the stream that flows quickly through the valley, the gnarled and bent -grown spruce along the road and the view of 2189 meters, when all hairpin bends can be seen at a glance. The Italian definitively lost the Giro of 1980 there and only saw black snow.
In the descent of the Stelvio, Hinault joined his teammate Jean-Réné Bernaudeau, who had a reputation as a fall. According to Hinault, Bormio drove like a madman in the sink to Bormio: "He didn't even brake in the tunnels, the madman!" They won minutes. It yielded Bernaudeau the stage victory, Hinault his first of three giro victories. The road over the Stelvio was kept a hundred years ago by snow creators (of flesh and blood), since 1959 the mountain pass has been closed from the end of October to the beginning of May. And even then it happens that the Stelvio is removed from the Giro schedule due to heavy snowfall (or bad weather), such as in 1988, 1991 and 2013. That happened in 1984, but then other things played a role. The Italians were terrified that another Frenchman was going to win the Giro and scraped the climb, officially because the Stelvio was impassable by snow.
With photos from the top where barely snow lay, Fignon showed that this was nonsense. The Italians just didn't want him, a good climber, to put Favorite Francesco Moser on an unbridgeable behind. The organization could not be evident and in the time trial a few days later Moser won the Giro. In the final ranking he had more than a minute ahead of Laurent Fignon. Including the mythical mountain in the course of the Tour of Italy remains a risk due to the height and snowfall in the spring. But if the Passo dello Stelvio is climbed by the pros, it is always a memorable day, just as it is for the brave amateurs and enthusiasts who dare to climb. "The highest blessing for a touring cyclist" a friend called it. (He was very well trained, I have to say that.) - -Wiep Idzenga