Climbing from Muro di Sormano to Colma di Sormano… Let us be clear straight away: the Muro di Sormano is not for the faint of heart. Indeed, we don’t consider ourselves wimps! The Muur van Geraardsbergen has an average gradient of 7% with a maximum of 13%. For the Muro di Sormano you can multiply these figures twice: an average gradient of 17% with a maximum of 25% over exactly two kilometers. No small feat making the wall of Sormano legendary.
Anyone who follows the Tour of Lombardy has undoubtedly already heard of this go-getter. The climb was canceled after stages in 1960, 1961 and 1962 because it was “too steep”. Anyone who stops pedaling falls backwards was whispered in the peloton. In 2012 – after fifty years – the Muro di Sormano will be reintroduced in a stage of the Tour of Lombardy. It is super climber Romain Bardet who emerges first. If your Strava shows 9 minutes, then you are one of the fastest (male) climbers in the pack!
The Muro di Sormano is part of the climb to the Colma di Sormano (1124 meters) from Maglio over about 7 kilometers. Because the Muro di Sormano is so steep and narrow, the track is prohibited for cars and other motorized vehicles. Cars can drive to the top via the motorway.
We’re cheating a little today. Due to the bad weather, the planned cycling stages literally fell through. Nevertheless, we really want to conquer the Muro di Sormano. Like real softies, we drive the car to the starting point. Quickly get the bike out of the car, put on the bicycle helmet and start pedaling. The first bend to the left plunges downwards and from then on you literally and figuratively see stars!
White painted numbers on the asphalt indicate how far you are from the top. Handy because you cycle uphill meter by meter. Here and there on the asphalt also some encouragement and the names of the riders with the fastest lap times. Enough time to read because things don’t move quickly. No chance to read because full concentration is needed not to fall over…
The Muro di Sormano knows no mercy. There is no resting point. The heart rate immediately rises to the maximum and will not drop again. The track goes straight up with an even steeper hairpin bend every now and then. At the same time it also gives you a kick. In your mind the cadence continues… Left, right, left, right,… And then suddenly you are at the top with a racing heart, tongue on toes, but with a smile of satisfaction!