The Strada dell'Assietta
Gravel biking at its best
FINISH: Lago delle Rane
DISTANCE: 33km (one way)
The Italian region of Piemonte is a gravel biking paradise. It features a network of old military roads which are just perfect fo this type of off road riding: not too technical, not too steep… and often in beautiful high alpine landscapes.
One of the best gravel roads of Piemonte (or maybe the best?) is the Strada dell’Assietta near Sestrières: 30 km of an incredibly scenic road, all between an altitude of 2’000 and 2’500m.
Alain found out about the Strada dell’Assietta when he took part in the 2015 Transcontinental Race. He was amazed but suffered multiple punctures: « Riding [the Strada dell’Assietta] on a road bike was like bringing a knife to a gunfight » he wrote at the time. He promised himself he would go back with a gravel bike.
A year later, Scott gave us this opportunity and we spent two days in the area. We rode the Strada dell’Assietta and scouted more gravel roads around. These included the Strada Militare Colle Finestre – Gran Serin that goes up to 2'800m and the famous Colle delle Finestre where Chris Froome launched a legendary attack to win the 2018 Giro d’Italia.
Head over to our sister site Switchback for a two day trip around the Strada dell'Assietta with gpx files and detailed descriptions.
TIP: Have a break at Rifugio Assietta. This hut in the middle of nowhere serves great coffee and food. We're in Italy, after all.
Early morning on the far side of the Strada dell'Assietta, above Lago delle Rane.
Riding high above the valley that leads to Sestrières
Switchbacks are good, gravel switchbacks are even better
Near the top of the Colle delle Finestre
In the distance: the Massif des Ecrins in France.
Puncture with a view.