Monte Zoncolan (Sutrio) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

11.1
FIETS
8.1 mi
DISTANCE
3,822 ft
GAINED
9 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

OUCH!!! After Scanuppia, Zoncolan (from Ovaro and Priola) may be the most difficult (at least the most painful) climbs in all of Italy. No wonder it has “only” been included in the Giro 6 times!  But wait - the Giro d'Italia returns to Monte Zoncolan May 22, 2021 for a mountain top Stage 14 finish. 

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio -

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio

Ride 13.1 kilometers gaining 1165 meters at 9% average grade.

Note: The Giro returns to Zoncolan 22 May 2021 Stage 14 - See more below.

PJAMM Cycling’s 2021 Giro d’Italia page.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - photo collage, PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson stands in front of sign for Sella Monte Zoncolan, views along the climb, climb gradient, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

This is the easiest (well, least murderous) of the three approaches to Monte Zoncolan.  

While the Priola and Ovaro routes are 12.8% and 11.7% respectively, Sutrio is much longer and, while “only” 8.9% average grade, 24.5% is between 10-15% and 10% of the climb is at grade 15-20%.  The steepest kilometer begins at kilometer 12.1 and is a murderous 17.2%.

GIRO D’ITALIA

PJAMM CYCLING 2021 GIRO PAGE

The Giro d'Italia has featured Monte Zoncolan 6 times from 2003 to 2018, but only once before 2021 from the Sutrio side.  

Year

Stage

Winner

Side

2003

12

Gilberto Simoni (ITA)

Sutrio

2007

17

Gilberto Simoni (ITA)

Ovaro

2010

15

 Ivan Basso (ITA)

Ovaro

2011

14

Igor Antón (ESP)

Ovaro

2014

20

Michael Rogers (AUS)

Ovaro

2018

14

Chris Froome (GBR)

Ovaro

Table from Wikipedia - Monte Zoncolan.

After a two year hiatus, Monte Zoncolan (from Sutrio) returns as a featured and mountain-top finish 22 May (Cittadella to Monte Zoncolan 205 km/127 mi) of the 2021 Giro d’Italia.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - Giro d'Italia Stage 14 climb profile

Giro d’Italia Stage 14 Profile - Giroditalia.it.

“This mountain stage is divided into two parts: it starts flat and continues on a slight incline for 130 km, all the way to Monte Rest. The route then weaves through a brace of hairpins, on narrowed roadway, both on the way up and on the way down. After going back on broader roads in Priuso, the route passes Tolmezzo and Arta Terme, reaching the foot of the closing climb. The first 11 km ascend in hairpins, on wide roads, with gradients around 7-8%, whereas the last 3 km are very demanding.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - Giro d'Italia climb profile 

 Giroditalia.it

Final kilometres - The last 3 km rise sharply on narrow road with only a few bends, and gradients often exceeding 20% (averaging 13%). The pitch over the final kilometre largely hovers around the 18% mark, with gradients exceeding 25% and topping out at 27% both along the hairpins and in the final stretch. The last 50 metres are on tarmac road and on a slight incline” (Technical Info - Giroditalia.it).

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - Chris Froome wins the 2018 Stage 14 Giro; PJAMM Finishing climb in 2016

Photo left - Chris Froome wins Giro 2018 Stage 14 (photo: Stickybottle.com)

Photo right - PJAMM finishes 21 July 2018.

The great advantage of cycling, over almost all other professional sports, is that the fans can “be on the same field” as the professionals for free.  

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - beginning of climb, in Sutrio on Strada Provinciale 123

Climb begins in Sutrio by riding up Strada Provinciale 123.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - first of 9 hairpin turns (toranti) starting at km 1.5; climb grade and overview

Nine “tornanti” (hairpins) begin at kilometer 1.5:  4.3 km at 8.8%.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - Chiesa Parrocchiale de Sant'Ulderico, an historic church in Sutrio nestled in Italian hillside

Chiesa Parrocchiale di Sant'Ulderico, Sutrio.

Church completed in 1806 and contains historical wooden altars dating to 1600-1700.

(Google Map)

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - entire climb is along Strada Provinciale 123, first 9.4 km are on two lane portion of roadway

Ride on SP 123 for the entire route.

The first 9.4 kilometers are on a two lane road with center stripe.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - Hotel Enzo Moro, a drive-through building you will pass as you head toward the Monte Zoncolan summit in the distance

Be sure to veer left at kilometer 9.3.

Look for the drive through building (Hotel Enzo Moro) on your left as you approach.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - entering Zoncolan Commune at km 9, signs and buildings in this Italian hillside village

Enter Zoncolan Commune at kilometer 9.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - one-lane steep roadway for the last 3.7 km after Zoncolan

From the town of Zoncolan, we are on a one-lane STEEP road the last 3.7 kilometers

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - climb grade for last portion of climb

The final 3.7 kilometers from Zoncolan to the summit average 11.5%.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - charming white Hotel Baita Goles, pink wildflowers and mountain views

Ride past Hotel Baita Goles at kilometer 7.5.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - climb grade and profile for steepest 500 meters

The steepest 500 meters begins at kilometer 12.1 and is a chilling 17.2%.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - last very steep section of the climb before the summit, Italian hillside, spectators waiting at the top of climb

Last push to the top.

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - PJAMM at climb finish

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - PJAMM at climb finish

Wikipedia:

East from Sutrio: This route is less demanding than the road from Ovaro but it is also one of Italy's most challenging climbs. It was featured for the first time in the 1997 Giro Donne and later in the 2003 Giro d'Italia. The actual climb to the summit starts at Sutrio and is 13.5 kilometres (8.4 mi) long at an average of 9% with an elevation gain of 1,210 metres (3,970 ft) and a maximum gradient being 23%. The first 8.7 kilometres (5.4 mi) have an average gradient of 8.7%, followed by a false flat after this section. The most demanding section is the final 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) with an average gradient of 13% and the initial part of the final kilometre at 22% grade.”

The Sutrio/Priola Overlap:  (Monte Zoncolan from Priola is #11 Italy / #60 World)

  • Priola to merge with Sutrio Route:   3.3 miles/5.3 km = 13.3% average grade
  • Sutrio to merge with Priola:  5.8 miles / 9.3 km = 7.9%
  • After merge of Sutrio/Priola routes to the summit:  2.3 miles / 3.7 km = 11.7%

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - from the summit you can ride to Ovaro, view looking down hillside of road snaking up mountain, road signs warn of steep grade and hairpin turns

Ride to Ovaro from the summit.

Monte Zoncolan from Ovaro is the traditional route to cycle Monte Zoncolan (PJAMM Climb Page).

One of the great features of Zoncolan from Ovaro are the historical KM markers.  Below are all of the kilometer signs on the Monte Zoncolan Ovaro climb.  If a year for a Grand Tour is listed, that means the rider won the event that year, unless specified otherwise (e.g., if he was KOM).

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - KM Markers for 0 km and .5 km, Ottavio Bottecchia and Alfredo Binda

Ottavio Bottecchia (IT; Winner TdF 1924-1925); Alfredo Binda (IT; Giro d’Italia 1925, 1926, 1928-1929, 1933; World Road Race Champion 1927, 1930, 1932).

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - more KM markers along the climb picturing famous cyclists

Photos clockwise from top left:  Louison Bobet (FR; TdF 1953-1955); Charly Gaul (LU;  Giro 1956, 1959, KOM 1956, 1959;; TdF  1958, KOM 1955-1956); Federico Bahamontes (ES; TdF 1959); Jacques Anquetil (FR; TdF 1957, 1961-1964; Giro 1960, 1964); Felice Gimondi (IT; TdF 1965; Giro 1967, 1969, 1976; Vuelta 1968; world champion 1973); Eddy Merckx (BE; not enough room for all of his accomplishments  🏆🏆🏆🏆, etc. - but . . . some of them:  TdF 1969-1972, 1974; Giro 1968, 1970, 1972-74; Vuelta 1973; hour record 1972); Francesco Moser IT; Giro 1984; World Champion 1977); The Badger (FR; TdF 1978-1979, 1981-1982, 1985; Giro 1980, 1982, 1985; Vuelta 1978, 1983; World Champion 1980).

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - more KM markers along the climb picturing famous cyclists

 Giuseppe Saronni (IT; Giro 1979, 1983); Gianni Bugno (IT; Giro 1990; World Champion 1991-1992); Miguel Indurain (ES; TdF 1991-1995; Giro 1992-1993; Olympic Gold 1996); Marco Pantani (IT; TdF 1998; Giro 1998); Fiorenzo Magni (IT; #1 Greatest cycling photo of all time  👍👍; Giro 1948, 1951, 1955); Gino Bartali (IT; TdF 1938, 1948; Giro 1936-1937, 1946); Fausto Coppi (IT; TdF 1949, 1952; Giro 1947, 1949, 1952-53); Gilberto Simoni (IT; Giro 2001, 2003).

Cycling Monte Zoncolan from Sutrio - more KM markers along the climb picturing famous cyclists

Franco Ballerini (IT; Paris-Roubaix 1995, 1998; Coach Italian National Cycling Team

from 2001 until his death in 2010); Gilberto Simoni (IT; Giro 2001, 2003).