Passo Giau is located in the Belluno Province, of Veneto Region. Passo Giau separates the peaks of the Croda da Lago and Averau mountains, which are part of the Pelmo Dolomite Group. The pass sits above the Cortina to the north and the Agordo valley to the south west.
Passo Giau is one of the best bike rides in the Italian Dolomites. The route is challenging so you need good legs or great gearing, with some sections reaching 15% it is considered one of 'THE' rides to do within cycling. The pass is included in the 2012 Giro d'Italia and a must do ride, plus the views at the top are not to be missed.The best places to base yourself is either Cortina or Alleghe. I like Alleghe since it gives you more flexibility to more rides during your stay. Cortina is good for riding Tre Cime di Laverado and the classic Passo Giau loop but then you would need to re-ride the same routes to get to other classic climbs. Alleghe on the other hand is in the perfect position to ride the Giau, Duran Staulanza, 4 passes Padoi, Sella, Gardena, and Campolungo, plus Passo Fadia, and S. Pelligrino.
For me the best route to ride the pass is from the southwest side that starts at Colle Lucia or Selva di Christina. This route is the same utilized in the Giro d'Italia and considered the harder and classic way. Coming from Pocòl on the Cortina side is a nice ride but you do not have the same openness and dynamic scenery to enjoy.