Fifty-eight miles through the Alps. That's what was on the agenda for today when we rode the eighth stage of the 2012 Giro Donne. And about 50 miles of that was a climb—nearly 8,000 feet total—over two significant passes.
The owners of farmhouse bed and breakfast Acqua Fracta in Chiavenna stuffed us with fresh eggs, house cured meats, homemade jams and cakes, warm breads and steaming coffee. Then we started off on our route, which climbed for nearly the entire day. The grade was mellow for the first several hours, through farmland and cobble-street villages, and past craggy cliff bands.