Okay, okay, so the title says it’s all about the mountains of the Tour de France. Well, truth is, the travels (and travails) of The Breakaway actually kicked off in Italy.
Our first five days took in the Dolomites and Italian Alps, climbs that were breathtaking to look at and ride, passes infused by decades’ of myth and tifosi passion. My first experience of riding in Italy was unforgettable, but so tough that it nearly ended out trip before it had properly begun.
We were turned to Goonies by the darkness of Lake Garda’s unlit tunnels, almost eaten alive by Dolomiti billy goats, truly humbled by the Stelvio, its innumerable switchbacks and silver-haired Shaolin monks.
The Tour is indisputably the biggest race but the Giro d’Italia is every bit as inspiring. Could it be the fans’ passion, the Italian flair for style and drama, the azure seas and skies? It’s all that and a whole load of truly immense mountains that make the Giro what it is. Unmissable.