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what is the world's toughest road bike climb?

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what is the world's toughest road bike climb?

Old 05-23-10, 02:45 PM
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what is the world's toughest road bike climb?

I was watching the Giro on TV this morning and the commentators said the Monte Zoncolan at the end of the stage is the toughest climb in any European bike race. The climb is about 4000 vertical feet in 6 miles (12% average grade).

Are there any tougher climbs anywhere in the world (on a paved road open to the public)? Anything with an average grade > 10% with a 5000 foot elevation gain?

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Old 05-23-10, 02:46 PM
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I think that volcano in Hawaii wins


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Old 05-23-10, 02:47 PM
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That climb today was the nastiest climb I've ever seen in a grand tour.
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Old 05-23-10, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
I think that volcano in Hawaii wins
That's only a 5% grade so even your grandmother could do it
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Old 05-23-10, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
I think that volcano in Hawaii wins


It's 10,000 feet but doesn't that calculate out to - like - only 5%?
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Old 05-23-10, 03:29 PM
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toughest i've ever done is the mortirolo, i'd hazard a guess that the ventoux and zoncolan are tougher.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:32 PM
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Old 05-23-10, 03:35 PM
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Yeah, all the Euro bike race guys say the Ventoux is the nastiest climb, but I don't think most of them have done the Zoncolan, which wasn't used for bike races until today's Giro stage.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:37 PM
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mt washington auto road is a burly local climb, not open to the public though.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:38 PM
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+1 on the Mt. Washington climb, that's rather epic from the sound of it.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:39 PM
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I would nominate East Hawley Road 50 miles into the Mt. Greylock Century. Still having nightmares about that one.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Yeah, all the Euro bike race guys say the Ventoux is the nastiest climb, but I don't think most of them have done the Zoncolan, which wasn't used for bike races until today's Giro stage.
???


The Zoncolan has been used in the giro a number of times over the years.

Most recent being 2007.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by TMB
???


The Zoncolan has been used in the giro many times over the years.

Most recent being 2007.
Sorry, I thought the announcers were saying the opposite today. My bad.

They were talking about how they had paved the tunnels and added lighting to them, it left me with the impression that was to make it suitable for the Giro.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
Sorry, I thought the announcers were saying the opposite today. My bad.

They were talking about how they had paved the tunnels and added lighting to them, it left me with the impression that was to make it suitable for the Giro.
De rien ....
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Old 05-23-10, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
toughest i've ever done is the mortirolo, i'd hazard a guess that the ventoux and zoncolan are tougher.
Mortirolo and Zoncolan have about the same elevation gain, but Mortirolo is only 10.5% average.
Ventoux is taller, but only 7.4% average.
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Old 05-23-10, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
Mortirolo and Zoncolan have about the same elevation gain, but Mortirolo is only 10.5% average.
Ventoux is taller, but only 7.4% average.
i know what the statistics are, thanks.
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Old 05-23-10, 04:39 PM
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https://www.dannychew.com/dd.html#anchor003
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Old 05-23-10, 04:45 PM
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From the Maglia Rosa:

“I did the Zoncolan in the 2007 Giro d’Italia and I had bad memories of it but this time it went much better”, Arroyo claimed.

“This is harder than the Anglirů in Spain where you have some breathing space every 500 metres. Up here it goes steep for six kilometres with nowhere to recover
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Old 05-23-10, 04:49 PM
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didn't they used to have a bicycle hill climb on Mt Washington? some sort of annual event?

I think the worst climb I ever tried was Brandon's Gap near Rutland Vt. either that or Grafton Notch in CowHampshire
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Old 05-23-10, 05:19 PM
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I ain't sure in the world, but these are arguably the toughest two in Europe:

a) Nebelhorn (Germany). Some people who actually climbed it say that grade peaks at around 38-42 % at a few points, and that the road is awful (of course, you wouldn't expect nice pavement up there, would you?



(yes, you're right... THAT's the road!)




(profile from Salite)

Here you can read almost everything about it from a few guys who went and climbed it. I'm afraid it's Spanish, but just the pics and videos are really worth it):


b) Scanuppia / Malga Palazzo. This is a concrete road in Italy.





(again, the profile from Salite)




(Yes, the road sign is real and the pic isn't manipulated, although I don't think it's totally accurate either).

You can find a short video of a guy climbing Malga Palazzo on a moutain bike in Youtube.

However what profiles may look like, I know someone who has actually climbed both (one of the guys from the link above), and says Nebelhorn is harder to climb, because there are some points where it is almost impossible just not falling from the bike. To me, they're the same; I cannot differentiate between 'impossible' and 'impossible'.

Last edited by campaleches; 05-23-10 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 05-23-10, 05:25 PM
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That 5.9 km stretch with the 14.9% average grade that makes up the meat of today's climb is just too nasty. I was getting gassed watching that on lo-def TV.
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Old 05-23-10, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Yaniel
Agree hehehehe
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Old 05-23-10, 05:30 PM
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While it isn't the hardest in the world, Skyunka Mtn road/White Oak Mtn road is easily one of the hardest in the Blue ridge Mtns. Only 2-3 miles, but averages 16 or 17%. It's south of Asheville, NC off of I-26. Skyunka Mtn Road goes at it from one way, White Oak Mtn goes up the same mountain from the other side. Here's a pick from the ride up

https://skyukalodge.com/images/shunkewauken.jpg

this is actually taken from the road, it's only about 10 feet away. You go from where the picture was taken to the top of the falls in one switchback.
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Old 05-23-10, 05:35 PM
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Toughest climb I've done in Washington State is from the Ferry landing up Hurricane Ridge. 20 miles and 6200 ish feet from Sea Level to the end of the road. Only about 500 feet of flat/slight downhill otherwise it's all up.

Can't imagine climbing something longer or steeper... I'd be toast.
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Old 05-23-10, 06:54 PM
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Damn. 12% on it's own is steep but in most locales, almost always readily manageable as it usually doesn't stay 12% for more than half a mile.

12% for 6 friggin' miles sound like death to me. Mile one = doable, mile 2 = harder than I thought, mile 3 = WTF!, mile 4 = I'm outta my league, mile 5 = I need cardioversion NOW, mile 6 = I'm a rock star of cycling!
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