Bike One of Italy's Hardest Bike Climbs 'Punta Veleno'
Punta Veleno has been an epic bike climb and part Italy's, extreme bike climb cult. Located above the town of Brenezone, VR, along the eastern shore of Lage Garda, 'Punta Veleno' climb takes you up the western slope of Monti Baldo. The climb was given it's name by one time Giro d'Italia director Vicenzo Torriani. Torriani was scouting routes for the 1972 Giro d'Italia and dismissed using the route because it was ' troppo velenosa', (to sick of a climb). The climb has never been included in the Giro d'Italia, but this year it is part of the Giro Trentino. The climb has been part of several mountain bike events and the fastest time seems to be around 50 minutes.
Bike Profile of Punta Veleno
Many cyclist consider this climb much harder than Monte Zoncolan. Most of the road is one lane and not always well paved, at one time it was a military road up to fortifications that separated Italy from the Austria Hungarian Empire.
Turning off the main road you have a short ramp of 400 meters of 12%, but this drops off quickly as you pass through a small ubran area. After 2 km the road turn up and will continue to challenge the legs for the next 6 km. At this point the road narrows and there starts to twist it's way up the side of Monti Baldo. There are 15 switchbacks to work your way through, with an average grade of 17%.
A the top you will pass through a high point of 1152 meters and began a descent toward the town of Prada. Careful on the first few km's, the descent is not technical but steep and narrow.