For your information I used 38-52 at the front (a compact would be much better) and 26-13 at the back.The descend from the top of Sasso Tetto is not too challenging, and the sharp hairpin bends were again well signposted (and the first had a marshall with a whistle). San Lorenzo al Lago (Fiastra) was soon reached and the efficient Caribinieri again had traffic stopped. All the marshalls have radios and report the passage of each group of riders which is extremely efficient. Following a circuit around the western edge of the lake, we stopped at another refreshment point on the climb to Cupi (here the gradients are fat less severe than Sasso Tetto and Gualdo). Continued >
At Morichella we turned left onto the SS 78 which descends gradually until Passo San Ginesio where we turned right at the crossroads. Here was the first climb of the day to Sant’Angelo in Pontano (3k), and it caught a few by surprise due to some steep sections. Having turned right to Gualdo, we began the delicious descent to the river Tennacola, followed by a long climb up to Gualdo. Having turned right at the bottom of the village, we began a short descent, but soon interrupted by some nasty climbs at 10-12% before the eventual fast descent to Sarnano. The dangerous turns were well signposted and marshalled, and it was not long before we entered Sarnano and the major climb of the day up Sasso Tetto. As before there were Carabineri marshalling the traffic in cyclists’ favour.
By this stage it was about 34C and I was feeling the heat on the initial slopes. This is a 14k climb and not for the faint-hearted. While part of the route is surrounded by trees, there are also open sections where you get blasted by the sun. At this stage I was grinding up at about 4-5mph and those around me were doing no better. About 2/3rds towards the top there was a refreshment station where we stopped for water and juice.There was still another 4k or so to go to the top, and we kept the pedals turning, making a further stop at the very stop for yet another refreshment station.