Monte Barbotto, the hardest climb of the Nove Colli
The Barbotto is the hardest and most splendid challenge of the mythical Granfondo Nove Colli, the oldest in the world and among the most popular in Italy.
The ascent in total is 5.5 km long and has an average gradient of 6.9%, with an elevation gain of 372 meters: the Barbotto is able to challenge even the most trained cyclists, for which a trained leg is needed, one trusty bike and a fair amount of determination. Leaving from Cesenatico, to reach the feet of Barbotto (in the Municipality of Mercato Saraceno) there are 43 kilometers which are rather easy.
But better not to get carried away too much by enthusiasm: even if the climb is not extremely long, it starts with the first 300 meters on gradients between 9-10%. Just enough time to catch your breath and admire the surrounding landscape with the rolling undulating hills, rich in agricultural land and beautiful vegetation, before the road starts to climb up on unevengradients, from 6% to 10%.
A 39 × 25 is recommended so as not to run out of energy in the legs before the notorious and devastating last kilometer of the climb (they become famous with the name of "spauracchio", bugbear in italian). The first 400 meters have gradients of 14% and 5 bends. Finally, we arrive at a real "wall" to conquer, with a slope of 18%.
After a few more bends with irregular slopes, the Barbotto is finally conquered.