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TECHNIQUE

The road winds comfortably for 15 km, climbing 320 m at an average gradient of 2,1% and presents only two real climbs (just before and after Polcanto) with a gradient of 5.6%. This route is ideal for first outings and warm ups. In the first part of the route (9km), it is important to use the right gear (we suggest 39/17-19, but If you are already trained you may like to try 53), while you need at least 39/21 for the more difficult sections. The last part, on the other hand, forces us to push hard if we want to get to the top of the hill. An average time for expert cyclists is 40-50 minutes, while amateur cyclists might take from 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. The Salaiole variant cuts the route by 13.2 km, but it climbs 190 metres in 1.5 km (from 6.7 to 8.2). The average gradient in this part of the tour is 15% and therefore requires low gears, 39/28 or 34/24. 

Download specifications (in Italian)

 

Of the 10 climbs here described, this is the least difficult. It is, however, one of the most cycled routes in Florence, and presents some extremely  demanding climbs on the Salaiole side.

Borgo San Lorenzo as seen from Via FaentinaBorgo San Lorenzo as seen from Via FaentinaThe route leaves from Borgo San Lorenzo  and moves towards Florence by way of via Faentina (provincial road 302). Once we cross the bridge over the river Sieve, we pass the crossroad, on the left, for Salaiole/Ponte a Vicchio (see "Variante Salaiole" below) and cycle on towards Serravalle (3 km). The road appears  to be flat, but is not. We pass the crossroad, on the right, for San Piero and state road 65, and move towards Faltona.

The road climbs slightly for 6 km, alternating apparently flat road and brief descents, except for a climb of about 300 metres near the industrial area.

At about 9 km from the start, the climb becomes more regular; a bit further on, a wide bend to the right takes us to Polcanto and the road begins to climb more significantly (5%). Once past Polcanto and the road for Salaiole the climb becomes fairly steep (300 metres at a 6% gradient) and we reach Mulinaccio. After Mulinaccio, for about 3 km, the climb is easier until we reach Vetta le Croci (518 m.a.s.l.).

The Salaiole Variant

Upon leaving Borgo San Lorenzo, after crossing the bridge over the river Sieve, we turn left on SP 41 towards Sagginale. After 100 metres we turn right again onto the narrow and uneven road that leads to Salaiole. We proceed comfortably  for about 5 km towards the town of Salaiole. Just outside the town we reach an extremely steep climb of about 1.5 km with gradients that go from 12 to 16%. Once over the top, we join the route back at Polcanto.

To make a circular route, once we reach the pass, we turn right towards Vaglia/Bivigliano and at the crossroad in the locality of Casa al Vento, cycle either towards Pratolino or Bivigliano. In both cases the road leads back to the town of Vaglia, from which we cycle back to Borgo San Lorenzo along SP 65. This takes us to the end of this 40 km or so circuit.
An alternative route is described in "Among villas and abbeys".

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