How long would you take to ride your bicycle up Monte Zoncolan?

How long would you take to ride your bicycle up Monte Zoncolan?

Saturday May 19th, 2018

The combatants in the Giro d’Italia have just completed Stage 14, finishing with the most difficult mountain climb in European cycling.

The stage was won by Chris Froome, with a high-cadence break-away from the leading group 4.3km’s from the stage finish.  I was hoping to time the winner’s effort, but unfortunately my recording stopped with 2.3km to go.  I can say that Froome took 32:19 to complete the first 7.6km of the 9.9km from the left turn at Ovaro.  The KOM for this route is just over 39 minutes, and I’m reasonably certain Froome (and all the other riders) were (at least) a few minutes slower.

So… how long would it take you?  To find out, I created a route on Strava, and checked Strava’s predicted moving time for me.  A very impressive 23 minutes and 40 seconds.  Almost twice as fast as ‘Froomey’, ‘Yatesey’, and ‘Pozzo’.  I’m in the wrong game!

But… just to make sure…  I downloaded the route to RiderLevel ( and checked the predicted results ranked by gender and member’s RiderLevel.  At my current RiderLevel of 57, and as a male rider, I should aim to complete this monster climb somewhere between 1 hour 25 min and 48 seconds (Target Time for a Male with a RiderLevel of 60) and 1 hour 33 min 59 seconds (RiderLevel of 55).  However, as a Subscriber to RiderLevel I am able to get more accuracy by clicking ‘My Target Time’ from the route detail page.  A male with a RiderLevel of 57 is challenged to complete the ride in 1 hour 29 minutes and 43 seconds.  This seems far more accurate than Strava’s suggestion!

But I can get an even better Target Time (again, as a Subscriber).  When I click on the ‘My Target Time’ button I am giving the option to select the specific bike I would ride, and whether I want to include the rides where I have been commuting to and from work in calculating the target time, and which types of ride I would like included in the calculation.  By selecting my road bike, setting commute to No, and leaving ‘Type’ as All (I don’t use Strava’s ‘ride type’ when saving my activities on Strava), my Target Time is reset at a more difficult 1 hour 17 minutes and 9 seconds (RiderLevel of 66).  Now there is something to aim for!

One little caveat: I couldn’t ride Monte Zoncolan.  My power to weight ratio is such that I would be walking within the first 2 kilometres.

One more little caveat: Based on his time, Chris Froome’s RiderLevel would appear to be in the range of 115-125.  However, Froome, Yates, Pozzovivo et al, had ridden for almost 5 hours and 175 kilometres prior to commencing this effort.  Therefore, this implied RiderLevel is significantly understated.

What about you?  What’s your Target Time?  Have you ridden Monte Zoncolan?  Did you make it to the top?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *