The first stage of this racing bike tour is relatively flat, with little elevation gain. However, a rapid gain in elevation must be achieved after leaving San Leonardo/St. Leonhard. A few tunnels and switchbacks bring you to the Schönau restaurant at km 18. After a brief stop to catch your breath, head uphill via the steepest section of the tour on seemingly endless switchbacks beginning at the Timmelsbach bridge.
If you can make it up the last 10 challenging kilometres, 1km through the last and unlit tunnel must be completed before reaching the pass. From the Timmelsjoch, the route either continues to Austria or back into the Passeiertal valley on the route you came up by.
The Timmelsjoch is amongst the toughest passes in the Alpine region – the 30 kilometres feel long and an uncomfortably large portion is uphill.
The road surface, however, is fantastic and the reward for your pain is a magnificent view.