This course is a circular tour suitable for climbers with a certain amount of experience, because in about 80 km it covers some of the most beautiful climbs in the Uso Valley and leads to Barbotto Hill, which enthusiasts surely remember as one of the most well-known mountain scales of the famous Gran Fondo Nove Colli.
The descent from the Monte Titano summit is along the Acquaviva face, then passes the state border in the village of Gualdicciolo and reaches the Marecchiese road and “fords” the Marecchia River in the village of Ponte Marecchia, in the direction of Santarcangelo.
Near the suburb of Santo Marino you leave the Valmarecchia valley and head towards the Valle dell’Uso, where the first climb of the day begins: Gorolo, last of the Nove Colli from the Gran Fondo Nove Colli classic.
The climb is very challenging, but after the first stretch you can regain your breath on a slight slope, to then tackle the last gradients of up to 17%. Once at the top you turn right for Sogliano and the climb continues, alternating with short descents and flat sections, crossing the towns of Pietra dell’Uso and Strigara, where you can “refuel” at the fountain or the coffee bar situated in the main square.
After scaling Strigara, descend towards Montegelli and then tackle the celebrated Barbotto, considered “the agony and the ecstasy of cyclists” and known to enthusiasts because of its part in the Nine Colli. Acknowledged as the hardest climb of the GF course, the last kilometre (which reaches gradients of 18%) makes it legendary. The last climb of the day ascends towards Perticara, the highest point of the itinerary. At this point you can catch your breath and loosen your legs on the long descent leading to Novafeltria and then resume along the Marecchiese (the important access road built in the Roman era, following the course of the Marecchia River, connects Arezzo with Rimini) passing at the foot of Talamello. At the village of Montefotogno you “ford” the Marecchia River and resume the climb towards the starting point up Monte Titano’s Villanova face, passing through the villages of Montemaggio and Fiorentino.
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