La Fausto Coppi is one of the best-known Italian cyclosportives, and with the Granfondo offering a distance of 177km and 4,125m of height gain (including the Colle Fauniera peaking at 2,480m) it is a major challenge!
You can do this sportive as part of a trip which gives you the chance to explore the very best of two worlds: the Côte d’Azur in France and the Piemonte mountains in Italy – more details and pricing here >>
The ride starts and finishes in Cuneo, so it’s a great one to do without the hassle of many of the bigger sportives which start and finish in different places. It’s a gentle start, the first 40km heading NW out of Cuneo on flat roads, but with the silhouette of the mountains up ahead to remind us of what’s to come. Then at last comes the first test, the 730m climb to the Santuario di Valmala at 1380m.
From here, we’re well into the mountains, heading SW towards the border with France, and the second climb of the day, the gentle 525m ascent of the Piatta Soprano.
Reminiscent of the Telegraph / Galibier “one-two” on La Marmotte, no sooner have we descended off the Piatta Soprano than we start the main course, the ascent of Colle Faunieri. Similar to the Galibier climb, it starts with a fairly gentle gradient up the valley for 130m of height gain but then, with 100km already in the legs, it kicks up onto the climb proper to reach the high-point of the route at 2480m!
In total, the climb is an astonishing 1790m of height gain.
If you add in the Piatta Soprano, it’s over 2300m of height gain with just a short descent in the middle.
Less of a dessert, and more of a sting in the tail, no sooner have we descended an incredible 1740m than we hit the final climb of the day, 570m up to the Madonna del Coletto.
But with the Madonna behind us, it’s an exhilarating descent out of the mountains and back to Cuneo.
The Mediofondo is a respectable challenge too – 111km and 2500m of climbing including the Colle Faunieri and the Madonna del Coletto.