Monte Crostis (Comeglians)

Start Town Altitude Elevation Gain Length Gradient Difficulty Rating
Comeglians 1,982m 1,417m 14.0 km 10.1% 1,842 *****

Monte Crostis - Comeglians - Cycling Profile

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Climb Description

Monte Crostis is quite possibly the most ennigmatic cycling climb in Europe. It is well known, brutally hard and should have appeared in the Giro d'Italia - yet you will encounter very few cyclists on its slopes.

Monte Crostis is also holding another secret - at the top of the climb there is a 6km long gravel section which turns it into an authentic pass. Whether or not the surface is suitable for riding on a road bike is a cause for much debate. Alberto Contador believed not and, along with other riders, lobbied the organisers into removing Monte Crostis from the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

Monte Crostis Gravel Road

From the top of the climb you can continue on the gravel road

The villages along their climb had already put up their pink bunting and were holding Giro parties, but the race never arrived. Perhaps it never will.

The gravel is certainly rougher than that of, for example, Colle delle Finestre, but because the road is flat, it is not a particularly dangerous section to ride if you are not racing. And it probably abuses the bike less than the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. Still, you may want to take a tyre patch and a couple of spare inner tubes before attempting the unpaved part!

The gravel section grabs the headlines around Monte Crostis, which somewhat overshadows the fact that it is a really, really hard climb. Gradients remain above 10% for very long periods and, near the summit, there is a long section at oer 14% gradient. Perhaps so hard that one may be tempted to even question the motives of Contador and friends!

Monte Crostis is usually open from May until October. However, it has been known to be open longer in warm years.

Monte Crostis from Comeglians - Italian Alps Cycling Climb

The top of Monte Crostis is open with spectacular views

Roads & Traffic

The road surface is generally in good condition; there are small patches of loose gravel in places, but they pose no real problems even for a road bike.

The gravel road begins at the top of the climb. On a hybrid or mountain bike it poses absolutely no problems. On a road bike you have to go cautiously and be prepared to repair the sidewalls on the tyres! But it is an interesting experience, and allows you to ride Monte Crostis as circular route - descending towards Ravascletto.

Traffic is quiet throughout and virtually non-existant once you pass the village of Tualis after 3.5km.

Monte Crostis Gradients

The steep gradients are the biggest challenge on Monte Crostis

Alternative Routes

Monte Crostis can also be climbed from Ravascletto. This side contains the infamous gravel road on a plateau near the summit.

Nearby Climbs

Monte Zoncolan

Sella Valcalda

Sella di Razzo

Sella Ciampiagotto

Cycling Holidays

Monte Crostis is climbed as an optional route extension on our Dolomites & Italian Alps cycling holiday, which crosses Northern Italy from Zoncolan to Mortirolo.

In the links below you can find out more about this and some of the other tours that we run in high mountains.

Monte Zoncolan
Italian FlagItaly

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 9 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,970 EUR
Lagos de Covadonga
Spanish FlagSpain

Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: from €1,490 EUR
French FlagFrance

Guided Cycling Holiday
Length: 8 Days
Level: Difficulty Challenging-Hard
Price: €1,630 EUR
*Bike Hire Included