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Shadow of the Stelvio: The CYCLIST UK experience.

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In the shadow of the Stelvio, with Peter Stuart of 

The route in brief.

Distance 77.00 km
Slope 13.00 %
Difference in altitude 1654.00 m

We traveled the roads that led smugglers to cross into our valleys at the beginning of the century with Peter Stuart. The name of this tour, Shadow of the Stelvio , comes from a beautiful article  he wrote in Cyclist UK magazine. He wanted to find a path in the shadow of his majesty the Stelvio, specific for gravel bikes.

Stelvio National Park in Gravel Bike

It is a tour for the more demanding palates and legs accustomed to fatigue, with a decent amount of climbing, but not out of the ordinary.

We start by crossing the first Cancano dam which offers a spectacular overhang on the valley side to gain altitude of a few meters up to the small church of Solena. Going along the flat road, you arrive beyond the second San Giacomo dam at the entrance of the Val Alpisella which continues up to the same pass at an altitude of 2292 m.

The climb does not offer exaggerated slopes and allows you to enjoy an incredible alpine panorama with mountain pastures, alpine lakes and even some deer and marmot! Here is also where the river Adda begins, which can be easily seen during the descent by taking the indicated path. 

The two variants certainly imply different riding skills. The wide and well-maintained normal road guarantees superior riding ease by paying attention only to the drainage channels that periodically meet along the route.

The path of the springs is much more technical where the advice is to keep your hands in the lower part of the drop bars to have better control of the bike and the brakes.

On the way back, you return to the Torri di Fraele passing on the opposite side of the outward journey along a flat path. After about 1 km and three hairpin bends you will arrive at the beginning of the Decauville, an absolutely panoramic 10 km road that will take you to the town of Arnoga. A mixture of straight stretches and curves in open spaces or in the woods will make you enjoy the ability even as a road rider of a bike with off-road tires that always guarantees excellent grip at speed.

In Arnoga you dive downhill towards Isolaccia with a special eye on your right where the Cima Piazzi glacier dominates majestically.

Your tour will end in Bormio which you can reach by following the cycle path or, if your legs allow it, by opting for a passage to the Forte di Oga going up from the new Fochin forest road and then descending towards the Magnifica Terra.


In collaboration with StelvioMan

Discover the other routes with StelvioMan.

Cancano - Bormio

Cancano - Bormio

Distance 17.60 km
Slope max 11.00 %
Difference in altitude 135.00 m
The Verva Loop

The Verva Loop

Distance 69,5 km
Slope max 23 %
Difference in altitude 1498 m

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Our rental shop is located in Valdidentro, a stones throw from the best trails of the Stelvio National Park.

Via Nazionale, 27

© Cancano Gravel Center di Maccarini Enrico - Via Nazionale, 27 - Valdidentro (SO) P.IVA: 01013010143 -