Heading west on flats of Po Valley, south of Turin riders will find a link between CP2 and CP3 – Col de Tende – a beautifully located border between France and Italy.
At 1.876m above sea level, Col de Tende is one of the most hairpinned roads in the world, reputed to be one of the most ancient roads in Europe, laid down by the Phoenicians. It was used to carry sea salt from the Mediterranean to northern Italy. Central Fort was built on top of the Col at the end of 19th century.
In 2020 part of the road was devastated by heavy storms. Just before the snowfall, Andy was scouting this part of the route and reported freshly laid tarmac!
Since the French side is closed to cars, the pass has no motorized traffic!
Riding further southwest towards the next checkpoint an altitude will be getting higher as the route will reach the Alps. After the highest point in the Julian Alps, Sella Nevea with 1,195m riders will descend to the flats of Po Valley.
There will be 3 border crossings leading riders to Lombardy: Slovenian, Austrian and Italian.
Checkpoint two is located in Mantua, 1305 km from the start, a city which was established 2000BC, and now it is a cultural center of northern Italy.
The 104th edition of Giro di Italia passed through Mantua on the thirteenth stage to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the pink jersey.
The first stage of Giro was won by Learco Guera from Mantua in 1931 and he was the first one to wear the pink jersey.
Along the route, riders will come across 10 mandatory checkpoints.
All checkpoints are carefully chosen to offer a complete self-supported bikepacking experience – from perseverance over raw landscapes to inspiring views and cultural connections. We will be presenting each CP in the following posts – from historical sites and legendary mountain passes to remarkable natural wonders.
The inaugural edition of the 45-SouthWest will start in Krakow, Poland.
The riders will meet at the Main Square of the Old Town just before sunrise on the shortest night of the year.
4300km journey will start at sunrise heading southwest alongside the Vistula river, national parks, and the Carpathian Mountains. Early dawn and late dusk will give riders long hours of sunlight, and a chance to cover good terrain towards checkpoint 1 located in Hungary.
Interested riders are requested to mark December 1st, 2022, on their calendar as registration will open on that date.
45 stands for a direction of the wind coming from North East. Ideally, we wish riders wind from North East for a little push along the route as you move South West from central Europe to the southernmost point on the European mainland.
45-SouthWest bikepacking adventure is a given route of 4300km in total and 10 mandatory checkpoints. Riders can choose between 3 finishing points, Nice, Pico del Veleta, and Tarifa.
The 45-SouthWest will start on the 20th of June 2023 at sunrise.
We are excited to announce that the website for the inaugural edition of the 45-SouthWest is online.
The idea of the 45-SouthWest was born in 2018. The plan was to create a route that is doable in 12-14 days.
The 45-SouthWest route is about 4300km long and includes many, not only flat but also remarkably fast stretches. Italy and Spain are as flat as possible, the goal is to be able to make the distance on these flat sections between climbs.
There are two things in common between 45-SouthWest, NorthCape-Tarifa, and Iberica-Traversa. One, they all cross the highest point on the route – Pico del Veleta. Two, they share the same finish point at the tuna statue in Tarifa. Besides those two control points, all routes are separate and individual creations. 45-SouthWest offers three alternative finishing points along the route: Nice, Pico del Veleta, and Tarifa.