The Wall of Ortezzano
In Ortezzano we can find one of the most famous walls of Marche Region. The area of Fermo and Macerata shows a lot of this kind of climbs. They are short and they have a slope almost impossible to climb. We call them “muri” (walls) or “coste”. The pain to climb it cycling will be immense, satisfaction even greater…
|Elevation gain||92 m|
|Elevation loss||0 m|
|Min elevation||218 m|
|Max elevation||310 m|
The little village of Ortezzano rises on a hill on the left side of the Valley of Aso. The village, with very ancient origins, is known for his tower with pentagonal base and for some country festivals during the summertime, particularly Leccabaffi and Festa del Vino.
In the cycling world its fame is linked to the Tirreno-Adriatico Stage of 2001. The finish line was just after this climb, inside the historic center. The Dutch cyclist Boogerd won the stage and said that it was his hardest wall ever climbed. So “Muro di Ortezzano” was officially born. Today a sign stands at the SP238 Valdaso. The sign wrongly indicates the sea, almost to advise against facing this terrible climb.
We move to Via Calcara, a quiet road in the middle of fields and fruit trees, that doesn’t anticipate the hell that is waiting for us. We meet no cars. Silence is complete. The beautiful village of Ortezzano looks at us from above, closer and closer and we ask ourself how are we going to reach it in a so short distance.
So we come at the begin of the wall. A sign shows us the features of the climb. Length 600 m, slope 20%. We are still in time to go back, but today we are decisive and our legs are ok. So we put our head down, get the shortest gear and start.
Immediately a segment with 14% slope, but it’s only a warning. Then the road gets easier for about 20 m, so we can breathe before the coming hell. There is a beautiful water fountain at the right side, but we resist the temptation to stop. A segment of 300 m, of which first 70 m at 18% and the rest at 21%, is waiting for us. Difficulty increases because of the presence of a couple of hairpin bends. It’s very hard to maintain the balance, sitting at the top of the saddle to don’t let the front wheel leave the ground.
After a few very long minutes suffering ends and we reach the church, with our maximum heart rate, shortness of breath, the sweat pouring out of our skin and the great satisfaction to have climbed the famous Wall of Ortezzano.
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