Friday, June 17, 2011

Half Way To The Top

We got an early start out of Cuneo. Cuneo was a good place for our rest, we liked the town, and there was a little pull at our heart strings as we rode out. Climbing began immediately even before we were out of town, almost imperceptibly, but the grade kept us in a gear lower than if it was flat.
We had lunch in Demonte, and noticed hand made signs promoting a tunnel project that would bypass the town. It was evident why the citizens of this town supported the tunnel. This is an international highway with lots of truck traffic, but the road is not two trucks wide!

About 10 km past Demonte we rode through this huge fort in Vinadio. It was built in 1834 and could seriously defend the valley from any invasion up or downstream.

Here is a gallery where cannon were placed to stop any attack from the north. The construction required 4000 men, it was bombed by the Allies in WW II and then abandoned.

The scenery just got better and better as we got near our destination of Pietraporizio. We set that as our goal in order to split the climb to Colle Della Maddalena into two days of 750 meter climbs.

We surprised ourselves with an average speed of 12.9 km per hour and reached Pietraporizio at 3:00. We found a wonderful mountain inn, checked in and enjoyed the view.

We had climbed 750 meters in 50 kilometers, tomorrow we will climb 750 meters in 18 kilometers to reach the top. Uh oh!

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