Mount Lussari, a fascinating newcomer to the Julian Alps
The Giro d’Italia is history and tradition, but it is also innovation and discovery. Over the decades, the Corsa Rosa has brought new lands, new climbs or, quite simply, new roads into the limelight. After all, is there anything better than the Giro when it comes to promoting a place for tourism? The 2023 edition, for example, puts Mount Lussari on the map for the first time, destined to leave its mark not merely because it is a really tough climb, with gradients in double figures, but also because it will be tackled as a time trial on the penultimate day of the race.
The summit, from which one can admire picture-postcard scenery (it is no coincidence that Mount Lussari is called “the balcony of the Julian Alps”), is made famous by the sanctuary built in the 16th century and is surrounded by a Carinthian-style village, the Tarvisio forest and the Jof di Montasio in the background. To reach the 1790 metres of altitude where the finish line is located, the riders, in a solitary effort, will embark on a 7.3 km climb at 12.1%, with a maximum gradient of 22%, the last agony of the 106th Giro d’Italia, before heading back to Rome for the final parade.
But how is it that such a fascinating climb did not make it into the Giro’s plans sooner? Well, it is very simple, until a few months ago, the road from the Ponte del Torrente Saisera bridge to the Lussari sanctuary was a simple mule track. Thanks to Tarvisio’s tourism development plan, however, the civil protection authorities placed an ecological mix of cement on the eight kilometres of the route, making the road accessible to cyclists and giving this fascinating climb the chance to host one of the decisive stages of the 2023 Giro d’Italia.
Mount Lussari is not yet part of the history of the Giro, but in May it will certainly write an important page of it.
Listen to the episode of In Cima dedicated to the Monte Lussari: