Climb bucket list gems of Europe

11/6/2023 – Lauren Wolff

Climb bucket list gems of Europe

I want to take you on an extraordinary climbing journey! One that will make you feel as though you are outdoors in nature, exploring climbs in Europe. These selected climbs provide exciting insights, background stories, and historical myths and legends to read before you start that will add to your immersive riding experience.

Ride some brand new European climbs hot out the ROUVY oven

We have a variety of new European dream climbs for you to tackle and conquer on ROUVY—cycle along Bavarian green rolling countryside, heading upwards via the famous Rossfeld Panorama Road. Explore the mythical Tindevegen climb to the Land of the Giants at Jotunheim. Climb the Col de la Loze up to the Altiport in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, or tackle the iconic Sella Ronda loop in the Dolomites and then chase your ultimate goal up the long and arduous Grossglockner climb in Austria.

Rossfeld Panorama Germany on ROUVY.jpg Above photo: Climb the Rossfeld Panorama Road on ROUVY

Rossfeld - Germany's highest panoramic toll road to Austria

You will get duly rewarded once you reach the summit of the Rossfeld Panorama Road in the Berchtesgadener Land, a pearl of the Alps located at the southeastern tip of Bavaria bordering Austria. The journey along Germany's highest toll road becomes even more breathtaking as you ride into the striking, dramatic, high-alpine mountain landscape. The climb begins in the picture-perfect setting of Berchtesgaden through lush green pastures in a tranquil country setting. In a clockwise direction, the road winds and ascends towards Austria, offering magnificent mountainside vistas with a sweeping panorama of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

Once you reach the top, it offers magnificent views of the Berchtesgaden and Salzburg regions, with the summit continuing on a high plateau partly into Austrian territory. At the top, one can view the majestic Hohen Göll mountain range, the Kehlstein, Tennen and Dachstein mountains, the Untersberg, as well as the Berchtesgadener and Salzburg, with unbelievable views of the Eastern Alps in Austria.

Tindevegen-Norway-on-ROUVY.jpg Above photo: Climb the Tindevegen in Norway on ROUVY

Tindevegen - Norway's mythical climb through the Land of the Giants

A less known but beautiful climb in Norway within the Scandinavian mountain range is the Tindevegen, starting from the industrial town of Øvre Årdal. The road from sea level at Ardal takes you on an upward journey on snaking hairpin bends from Sognefjord to the high mountains in Jotunheimen. The region has some of the highest mountains in Scandinavia, framing the beauty of the rugged and stark landscape. The area is an adventure playground perfect for cross-country and alpine skiers in the winter, glacier walking, cycling, rafting, rock climbing, caving, canyoning, and horse riding in summer. The breathtaking scenery is a well-deserved reward for all the effort on your way to the summit.

In Nordic folklore and legend, there is a story behind the mythical and mysterious Jotunheimen, also known as the Land of the Giants. Once upon a time, there was a belief that Jotunheimen was the mountainous habitat of the Jotnar, mighty giants and trolls who roamed the region. Also, some of Norway's most famous artists, such as Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Grieg, and Edvard Munch, sought their inspiration for their paintings from the great Jotunheimen, and once you have climbed to the top, you will know exactly why this is so. Experience the myth and legend yourself and climb this magical mountain on ROUVY.

Tindevegen-on-ROUVY2.jpg Above photo: Ride up the Tindevegen climb in Norway on ROUVY

Each year, one can participate in the World At Play charity cycling event over three days with a distance of 300km. The event is fully supported and starts in Western Norway along Sognefjord, Norway's longest fjord over rolling terrain and then up the epic Tindevegen climb.

You'll follow a narrow and steep paved road, which is one of the highest elevation roads in Norway, over an average of 6% gradient and covering 24,7 km of road, but this includes a flattish section after the first difficult 5 km stretch, so don't be misled by the average - it is brutal. Øvre Årdal is the starting point for your ride into the nearby Jotunheimen National Park, Norway's most famous national park, where glaciers formed this residual mountain area during the Pleistocene epoch and eroded the surrounding area over time.

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Co de la Loze-France-on-ROUVY.jpg Above photo: Climb the Col de la Loze on ROUVY

Col de la Loze - France's rollercoaster climb of pain

The Col is ranked one of France's most challenging climbs to conquer, situated in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France, nestled within the Vanoise National Park. It is a climb with many changing gradients that follow every curve of the mountainside, served up by the organisers for the second time in the 2023 Tour de France on the queen stage of over 5,000m tortuous ascent for the pro peloton.

The climb begins in the forest and goes through alpine pastures with magnificent open views of Mont Blanc, the beautiful Méribel valley and la Grande Casse via 17 hairpin bends. The main characteristic of this challenging profile is the frequent and abrupt changes of gradient up to 23% and the narrow road.

We begin on a 7% gradient, and the steep ramps follow for the next 5 km, followed by a 6 km downhill before reaching the final 10% 600m sting in the tail up to the Altiport. The views will take one's breath away, but so will this climb, rated the eighth highest and one of the toughest in France. This Col narrows on the final 6 km, part of the Via 3 Vallées bicycle path. The climb averages a 7.5% gradient for 22.6 kilometres, gaining nearly 1,700 metres.

Tour legends have shown their mettle at the altiport summit of Courchevel: Richard Virenque won there in 1997, followed by Marco Pantani in 2000 and Alejandro Valverde in 2005. Miguel Angel Lopez took a solo victory at the summit in 2020, while Felix Gall won in 2023.

SellaRonda-on-ROUVY.jpg Above photo: Climb the Sella Ronda Loop on ROUVY

Corvara to Passo Pordoi - Italy's bucket-list climb on the Sella Ronda loop

The bucket-list and iconic Sella Ronda loop, which includes the Compolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena climbs, is a popular cycling destination in the Dolomites in Italy in South Tyrol and Trentino in northeastern Italy. Not only is the region a popular ski destination in the winter, but it is also the Mecca of avid cyclists who cycle the route from Spring to Autumn. With its snaking alpine roads, the towering, striking, and dramatic Dolomite massifs create an imposing and majestic backdrop to the course, ridden clockwise or anti-clockwise.

Sella-Ronda on ROUVY2.jpg

The gradients are not extremely difficult but mainly between 8% and 10%, giving you a total ascent of 1800 metres for the entire loop. The roads are mostly in good condition, with numerous hairpin bends and spectacular panoramic views, making for incredible cycling. Each year, in June and September, one can ride the Sella Ronda Bike Day when the roads are closed off from traffic, and cyclists can have the course to themselves and cycle the circuit in an anti-clockwise direction.

In July, one can race the same peaks and others in the Maratona dles Dolomites or Dolomites Marathon, an annual one-day road race aimed at the more experienced cyclists familiar with longer endurance rides and lots of elevation gain. This race attracts well over 9000 participants from 70 different nations.

Three courses are available to ride: a short course of 55km, also called the Sella Ronda loop (see above), a challenging 106 km course with six passes and the notorious 138 km course with eight passes. An advantage of the Maratona is that no matter your route, you start and end at the same place in Corvara.

Sella-Ronda-2-ROUVY.jpg

With a start in a small village called La Villa near Corvara, the event traverses seven to eight famous mountain passes: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Campolongo, again, Giau and Falzarego/ Valparola, and all have numerous hairpin bends. The event, known as 'one of the largest, most passionate and chaotic on earth,' has become one of Europe's most popular amateur cycling events.

Thousands of spectators line the roads, and the riders feel like pros on a grand tour stage with the Italian TV broadcaster RAI covering the event. The well-organised race has plenty of drink stops along the way. Most entrants for this prestigious event ride it to test their physical and mental limits on these challenging slopes, while a few race to be on the leaderboard.

Experience this iconic loop yourself on your bike from home in one go, or split it into two halves. All three options are available on ROUVY.

Grossglockner-on-ROUVY.jpg Above photo: Ride the famous Grossglockner on ROUVY

Conquer the mighty Grossglockner Giant

To top it off, tackle a monster climb in a fairytale setting on the Großglockner High Alpine Road in Austria. The Grossglockner is a bucket list goal and a massively challenging climbing adventure! The building of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road began in the early 1930s as a tourist attraction. Workers moved 870,000 m³ of rock during the massive road construction. Today, the highly popular road continues to draw the crowds.

The beautiful and smoothly paved road connects the towns of Fusch in Salzburg and Heiligenblut in Carinthia. You can find the border in the middle of the tunnel at the Hochtor pass at 2504m, but we will begin our climb from the south in Carinthia from Döllach.

Grossglockner-on-ROUVY1.jpg

You can break the ROUVY climb into four parts totaling 50 km: First, the route takes you via Heiligenblut am Großglockner for 17,5 km, where you take a left and ascend to the Kaiser Franz Josef peak, which is 8,5 km long. You'll turn around at the summit, come down again, and continue straight up via the long climb to the Hochtor. After reaching the Hochtor peak, you'll descend briefly and follow the short, steep climb to the incredible views of the Fuscher Törl, followed by the final section over cobblestones to the Edelweissspitze summit with panoramic views - enjoy your reward of the spectacular and majestic mountain scenery.

The climb is used almost every year in the Tour of Austria, and the first pro rider to summit first is crowned "Glocknerkönig". Also, every June, thousands of recreational and avid cyclists can participate and test their climbing and mental limits in the popular Glocknerkönig event, where one can tackle either the Ultra, Classic or Lite courses. Are you also up to this massive challenge? You can ride it on ROUVY from home!

Tips for newbie climbers

To make your indoor climbing experience even better you might want to consider a few suggestions: Pace yourself conservatively and slowly build up your effort, ideally towards the end. Try using an easy gear and a high cadence to spare your legs and reduce accumulated fatigue. At the same time, watch your heart rate to see that it remains as low as possible until the summit.

Gearing in your trainer setup will also play a significant role in managing these climbs and all climbing routes on ROUVY. They feel realistic and challenging, just like in the real world. You'd want to try and optimise your climb experience as much as possible to get you to the summits, especially for your first attempts at climbing on ROUVY. You should choose your setup carefully at the outset: easy climbing gears are necessary! I suggest the following bikes for your trainer setup: gravel, mountain, or road bikes with a compact crank in front and a 32/34T at the rear. Or you can go for an integrated all-in-one trainer bike where you can pre-select any gear you want. If it is still too difficult, you can do the climb in Just Ride Mode and reduce the reality level, which will flatten out the climb, and you will end up going faster.

Prepare sufficient nutrition and fluid for the journey, do a good warm-up, and let's go; with no GPS map needed, grab a towel, switch on your fans and let ROUVY lead you on beautiful climbing gems with some of Europe's most spectacular views and landscapes.

You can grab the opportunity to test your climbing strength and explore new routes in two new climbing challenges and get your avatar a new well-deserved climbing jersey!

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