Stage 6

Castione della Presolana – Valle del Chiese

At the foot of the Presolana, the mighty mountain massif that rises 2521 metres above the Val Seriana, on the sixth day we first return to the pass of the same name, which leads back over to the neighbouring valley, to Dezzo di Scalve. From here you could take the road directly down into the Val Camonica, but the long, dark tunnels would be no fun on a bike. It is better to take the well-maintained road over a small, inconspicuous pass, the Croce di Salven. You gain a little over 400 metres in altitude on this longer but more beautiful route and see lush meadows and villages whizzing by, before finally descending some 800 metres on well-maintained roads to Breno. Here, in the valley town of the Passo Croce Domini, the Transalp has only been once, in 2017. Coming from the north, it is the first opportunity ever to pass the Adamello massif. Between the Tonale Pass in the north and the Passo Croce Domini, there is no road for more than 50 kilometres as the crow flies, only mountains up to an altitude of 3500 metres. It is a 230 kilometre-trip on the road around this chunk, one of the most extensive and lonely mountain regions in the Alps. And here at the southern foothills, this tranquillity is even more palpable than at the lively Tonale Pass in the north. The Passo Croce Domini is the centrepiece of this stage. It is a trip through a lonely world. The climb leads from Breno up through small mountain villages at first. Later, a small, little-used road leads over wide alpine pastures up to the pass at 1895 metres above sea level – and on to the actual, less well-known pass summit, the Goletto di Cadino at 1940 metres above sea level. From the valley, at an altitude of only about 300 metres, you have to climb more than 1600 metres. So this pass is not only special in terms of scenery, but also very demanding in terms of sport. After the 30-kilometre descent with a small counter-climb, the route arrives at the shore of Lago d'Idro. Here the river Chiese, which gives the valley its name, flows into the lake. To reach the destination of Roncone, the route continues a few kilometres into the valley. On cycle paths and small side roads that run along the eastern edge of the valley, you now have to climb another 400 metres in altitude. It is this small section that makes this stage the queen stage. Unfortunately, Lake Idro has to be left behind at racing speed. But there is also a small lake at the finish in Roncone, the Lago di Roncone. It's much, much smaller, more like a pond, but it's enough to stretch your feet in after this long stage.

Mountain passes: Passo della Presolana, Croce di Salven, Passo Croce Domini (Goletto di Cadino)

StageRouteLevelKilometerAltitude difference
Stage 6Castione della Presolana – Valle del Chiese5118,363.239