At 28.8 kilometres, we reach the bottom of the valley and turn back towards the Futa Pass along another route. At Cornacchiaia (31.4 km), we start a new ascent. At this point, we may want to fill up on water and, if necessary, have something to eat before tackling the second climb of the day. The ascent is gentle until we reach 32.8 km, but then the road climbs at a minimum gradient of 5 percent for the next 6 kilometres, touching peaks of 10-12 percent after Castro di San Martino and Segalari. A considerable amount of strength is needed to make the climb, and it must be dosed especially well if you don’t want to risk “collapsing” before reaching the peak.
At 38.7 kilometres, we reach the Futa Pass and on the left we descend towards Barberino di Mugello. We will not, however, take the same road down. At Santa Lucia (42.8 km), in fact, we again turn left, his time towards the town of Panna, where the mineral spring by the same name is found (not at all unusual in this territory which is rich in springs). The road climbs and dips through the forest until, in the last stretch, it descends rather quickly. The view is splendid, and given the almost total absence of cars, we can allow ourselves to be lulled by the bends as we glide down to the bottom of the valley.
At 50.9 kilometres from the start of our journey we reach Galliano. We cycle through the open plains towards Barberino. Before returning to our starting point, we can admire Bilancino Lake, an artificial lake that was finished in the 1990s and that has given this part of Mugello a new dimension. It is not only a tourist attraction and a significant font of income for the territory, but also a strategic water reserve for the entire province.
At the crossroad, we turn left onto state road 65, but several hundred metres later, at the roundabout, we go right towards Barberino. A small ramp leads through a short tunnel (opened in 2007) and to a road that coasts the south side of the lake. The limited traffic and lack of difficult climbs allows us to fully enjoy this part of Mugello, which, though it is changing, is still firmly tied to its bucolic past.
After the 66.4 kilometre tour that has allowed us to conquer one of the Apennine passes that is most treasured by cyclists, and to therefore follow in the footsteps of the numerous champions of this challenging and yet fascinating sport, we finally reach Barberino di Mugello.