PDS The UK Door and Window Company

PDS's Gran Fondo Stelvio

Fundraising for Springhill Hospice (Rochdale)
raised of £3,000 target
by 3 supporters
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We provide free, specialist care & support to help make every moment count


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It has been about three years since we did a charity cycle challenge. So this year we decided to make it a big one. In June this year, PDS Managing Director Tim Fairley along with Commercial Director Pat Rice will be attempting the ‘Gran Fondo Stelvio’ in Northern Italy, to raise funds for our partner charity Springhill Hospice in Rochdale.

This is a gruelling challenge that they are currently training very hard for. Below is a brief description of the event and what’s involved, which I hope will help persuade you to sponsor us for our worthy charity.

The Gran Fondo Stelvio, goes from Bormio in Northern Italy and finishes at altitude of 2758m at the top of the Stelvio Pass, via the Montirolo (1728m), covering 151 km and a total ascent of 4058m.


Passo dello Stelvio is possibly the most historic of all climbs ever used in pro cycling, a giant in every sense (length, elevation gain, gradient and the elevation at the top). Like most climbs Stelvio has two sides. The classic approach is from the east (Bolzano side). This side features an unprecedented 42 switchbacks and 1900 m of elevation gain. Only Le Mont Ventoux in France comes close to this number. Stelvio, however, does not start at sea level, hence the highest paved alpine pass at 2750 m. Eastern approach is around 25 km long at 7 % average gradient. These stats make Stelvio a beyond-category climb.


Also known as Passo di Foppa, Mortirolo is arguably the toughest climb used in any professional bike race. The foot of the climb is some 20 km south of Bormio on route S38. I do not know, or have any reasonable explanation for how this road came to be. This road connects two small towns, Mazzo di Valtellina on route S38 and Mono on route S42. This is truly a cycling route. Cars are seldom seen on this road, and if you do see one, it is most likely that it belongs to someone local living on the slopes of Mortirolo. The west side of Mortirolo is a very narrow, twisty and extremely steep road. The average gradient of this 12.8 km climb is 10.8 %. Maximum gradient is at almost 20 % and the middle 6 km hold the gradient at over 12%. Elevation gain is considerable (1320 m), considering how relatively short this climb is. The only thing that makes this climb manageable is the low altitude (top is at 1850 m).

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About the charity

We support people living with a life limiting illness, & their families, helping them maintain independence & dignity. We believe everyone should have access to the best care at the end of their lives. To achieve this, our expert team work in people’s homes & at the Hospice to offer specialist care.

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