This is the toughest stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico, featuring a summit finish. Starting in Morro d’Oro, the route is an endless succession of climbs and descents, linked without pause for breath. The stage passes through some of the most popular locations of the ‘Race of the Two Seas’, such as Offida, Comunanza and Amandala. After taking a first pass through Sarnano, the route takes in successive climbs, with KOM points up for grabs in San Ginesio and Gualdo. The course is very demanding in both course and profile. Overall, the roads are relatively wide and well surfaced to slightly worn out. The closing climb from Sarnano to Sassotetto (14.5 kms) has a 6.5% average gradient, with peaks topping out at 12%.
The final kilometres correspond to the closing climb leading to Sassotetto. The gradients are quite steady around 6-7%, peaking out above 10% at points, and long straight stretches alternate with hairpins. The gradient decreases shortly before the finish. The home straight is 100 m long, on 7 m wide asphalt, and slightly uphill.
start / finish
Morro d’Oro, a small town in the Province of Teramo in Abruzzo, rises at 210 m.s.m. on one of the last hills that goes down towards the Adriatic Sea, almost straddling the valleys of the Vomano and Tordino rivers.
The origins of Morro d’Oro date back to the Middle Ages: probably linked to the era of castles (8th-10th century); but, probative news of its existence are not available before a document of 1021, which speaks of a donation made by Adelberto De Aprutio in favor of the monastery of Montecassino and in which appear the holding of Muro and a Castello Veccio is mentioned. Other documents of 1101 and 1128, in which the term Murum (or Morrum) appears, further testify to its existence.
From a geological point of view, clayey areas with local formations of gullies can be seen, more evident in the south-west part of the historic center, which have been enriched with a landscaped walkway suspended in the blank with a breathtaking landscape not to be missed.
For lovers of slow tourism, the territory has a network of itineraries, obtained from the existing rural road system, suitable for mountain bikers but also for walkers and horse riders.
The “Chitarra Teramana con pallottine” is one of the first courses of the culinary tradition of our territory. For those who live in Abruzzo, the “Chitarra (guitar)”, in addition to being a musical instrument, is also an instrument with strings, with which we cut by hands thin spaghetti with a characteristic square shape. A tomato sauce, prepared with “Pallottine” (very small meatballs), enhances the taste of the final meal. The preparation of this recipe is a tradition that dates back to the 1600s, when it was actually invented.
Beans with pork rind: like all typical dishes, “fagioli e cotiche” was born as a peasant and very poor dish: in fact, poor ingredients are used such as pork rind and beans, very simple to cook and at the same time very nutritious. This dish is perfect in the cold months due to its caloric and nutritional content and can become an exquisite single dish if accompanied by crunchy slices of toasted bread.
And then again “fried cheese and mazzarelle”. You cannot leave without having tasted them in our farmhouses.
The farmhouses allow you to experience a holiday in nature, trying the typical products and traditional cuisine of Morro d’Oro. The genuine and zero kilometer ingredients are a guarantee of goodness.
Located on a hill against the background of the Sibillini Mountains, between the Tennacola and Rio Terro rivers, Sarnano, included among “Borghi più belli d’Italia” (Most beautiful villages in Italy) and awarded with Bandiera Arancione (Orange Flag), preserves its medieval town, inside which there is the Civic Art Gallery with works by Vittore Crivelli, Simone De Magistris and Vincenzo Pagani.
Between cultural and sporting events, museums, trekking and biking trails, spas, ski slopes and paragliding, Sarnano offers the perfect combination of art, nature, sport and relaxation. In winter, the ski lifts of Sassotetto and Santa Maria Maddalena welcome ski lovers, while in autumn the caduceus woods around the village are transformed into suggestive itineraries of foliage, in spring the wonderful flowering of orchids blossoms on the Piani di Ragnolo, while summer is perfect for hiking and cycling. Sarnano is also a thermal spa resort known since the 1930s and still operating today with an establishment equipped with therapeutic facilities, a wellness center and residences. Furthermore, it is one of the most renowned hang-gliding and paragliding sites in Italy, thanks to particular favorable air currents almost all year round.
Food & Wine
The gastronomic tradition of Sarnano is linked to the customs of the mountain people and peasant families. On each table you will find multiple reinterpretations of local specialties: simple and genuine dishes, which offer an intense sensory experience, made up of forgotten aromas and flavours.
Start with a slice of fresh bread, rigorously without salt, spread a slice of “ciauscolo” on top, the soft salami, king of local specialties and accompany it with tasty pecorino cheese or delicate ricotta. Don’t miss the lamb offal, seasoned in the most varied ways, then taste the “vincisgrassi”, the Macerata lasagna, or perhaps the “polentone”, cooked in the oven with pecorino, fat and lean or tomato sauce. Or, swirl the fork in a nice plate of “tagliatelle” or “pappardelle” with mushrooms and truffles, or with wild boar, hare or duck sauces. Taste “coniglio alla cacciatora” with herbs from the garden or discover the intense flavor of beans with pork rinds or taste the “erbe strascinate”. Close with a slice of nougat tart, a true Sarnanese uniqueness, prepared with candied fruit and dried fruit mixed with other top secret ingredients, and perhaps accompany it with a glass of long-aged cooked wine. At Easter, taste the donuts without icing, accompanying them with cured meats; at Christmas, lose yourself among the thousand flavors of walnut pizza; in autumn, enjoy the scent of the donut of must to be dunked in new wine and, at Carnival, indulge in a sin of gluttony between “scroccafusi” and “cicerchiata”.