The road was built in 1958 on the route of an old mule track. 23 kilometres for a total difference in altitude of over 1600 metres. Figures that suggest you ought to have trained hard to take on this climb. The road is not smooth and this may tempt you to step up the pace, especially at the beginning. Instead, you need to store up some energy because the last few kilometres are the most challenging.
For those climbing from Valsugana, Passo del Manghen starts in the hamlet of Borgo. The road climbs up right away, though not too steep. The first 4 kilometres are within reason, while the more challenging ones plunge into the woods just past the junction of Telve. After about 8 km you breathe for a short distance. Two kilometres that anticipate the start of the real climb, one that, in some places, has slopes of around 13 percent. We are in the heart of Val Calamento, where you definitely start feeling the strain, but where you can admire the beautiful landscape with pastures and dairy huts, with a dairy tradition of excellent quality. You ride for another four kilometres of sweat, then catch your breath for a few minutes on a slight slope before facing the last staggering stretch: 7 kilometres that seem to never end. A climb that towards the end becomes relentless, with no cool air or shade, but that upon arrival gives great satisfaction.
You’ve accomplished the feat, just like Mariano Piccoli did in 1996. The cyclist from Trentino came first over the pass during the Giro d’Italia that year, and for the second year in a row won the climber’s category.