Maratona dles Dolomites
Dramatic Mountain Views and Fairytale Towns With an Exclusive Finale: Maratona dles Dolomites
Experience dramatic mountain beauty and fairytale towns in the Italian Alps. Ride over exhilarating passes, climb among soaring spires and zoom downhill to charming hamlets surrounded by meadows of wildflowers on mountain routes made famous by the world’s greatest cyclists. These are the legendary climbs that have filled Giro history. Challenge your body while you explore a rich mixture of culture and celebrate a sense of accomplishment on this quest through the heart of the Dolomites. The first natural monument in Italy protected by UNESCO, the Dolomites are a roller coaster of sensational rides between World War I sites and quaint villages. This tour offers a perfect blend of athletic challenge, for advanced cyclists who are ready to radically improve their cycling skills. Celebrate the joy and challenge of cycling with on the most important Italian “Gran Fondo”: the “Maratona dles Dolomites.” Feed off the energy of riding and racing side by side with 10,000 other cycling enthusiasts from around the World. Filled by a lottery with almost 50,000 applicants, this Gran Fondo is also among the most popular in Europe! It is also the most prestigious, non-competitive race/ride in Europe and this is your opportunity to participate.
- Best of mountain culture with gourmet dinners
- Discover the ancient city of Bolzano, capital of Sud Tyrol
- Stay in the great mountain villages of Canazei and Corvara
- Daily backdrop of soaring spires, waterfalls, and cool forests
- World War I battlefields and history
- Ride spectacular epic passes in the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Improve your cycling skills with downhill and climbing clinics
- Race for “Ciclismo Classico” on Italy’s main cycling amateur event
Day by Day
Glorenza and Upper Venosta Valley
Today we meet you at 12pm at Bolzano’s train station for a 1.5-hours shuttle ride to our hotel in Glorenza. At 1:30pm we meet at the hotel for a light lunch and intro meeting followed by a warm up ride to the towns below Burgusio: Clusio, Laudes and the small, fortified village of Glorenza. The valley is wide and open, the air clean with the scent of flowers, and you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the Ortles Mountains to the south and Monte Maria’s abbey to the north
Rabla and Passo dello Stelvio
Less then 1 mile from the southeast border of Switzerland, we find the Stelvio pass, also known as “the King.” This road has a lot of history as it was used in the Bronze Age as a trading route between what is currently known as Austria and Italy. During the Napoleonic wars, various countries fought for control of the route, as it was one of the only mountain passes open all year. The top of the pass once represented the border between Austria and Italy. Today, the entire pass is in Italian territory, and other passes are considered more practical for auto traffic due to the Stelvio’s many hairpin turns. The top of the Stelvio is 2728 mt. and the average gradient of the Stelvio is about 7.5% with maximum elevation of about 13%. The Stelvio was first used in the 1953 Giro that saw Fausto Coppi's famous win.
Bolzano, Mendola and Palade passes
Today’s ride brings us to the capital of the region, the lively city of Bolzano, rich with art, history and shopping opportunities. Our route there includes two spectacular passes, the Palade and the Mendola. The first is a bit more calling with steady inclines and a few switchbacks. After a quick break, climb the Palade, which has a more relaxed incline and is the starting point for one of the most spectacular descents of the whole tour. The final stretch into Bolzano is along a bike path passing a line of beautiful vineyards.
Canazei, Pinei and Sella passes
The first ride will lead us to one of the lesser-known valleys of Sud Tyrol - the Sciliar highplan - where Austrian language and culture are still dominant among the locals. Road signs, language, food and tradition are German, here; once again we thank Italy for its diversity! In the afternoon, after having climbed two passes, we’ll reach Canazei, popular ski resort, base for cyclists wishing to explore the Dolomites. In the Val di Fassa, the main language is Ladin, which does not resemble German. Instead, it’s a language derived from the Roman conquerors and from an indigenous mountain tribe.
Corvara, Marmolada and Falzarego passes
We cycle along the same passes as Italy’s annual Giro d’Italia, a three-week bike race that is so important to the history of world cycling. Our first long climb faces the gorgeous “Marmolada,” then rises above the Passo Falzarego, an area where major battles of WW I were fought. Today we experience the landscape’s current peace and tranquility. In addition, we partake of the international cycling present in the summit of the climbs. Our final descent into Corvara is unforgettable.
Corvara Rest Day
The day before the race day we have some registration logistics to deal with and then feel free to enjoy plenty of relaxation, or do a bit of “light training” on a popular ride around the four passes of the “Sellaronda,” one of the Alps most beautiful circuits. A dream for skiers, and a challenge for cyclists, this is a 50-mile ride around the majestic Sella Massif, up and down the passes of Sella, Gardena, Campolongo and Pordoi. Here you will discover, “the soul of the sport of cycling” like nowhere else in the world. Every year, millions of bikes come to follow the tracks of the greatest cyclists of the past like Bartali and Coppi, who built their legends on these ramps.
The Big Day!
The Maratona starts at 6:30 am, there are 3 options: short, medium and long, ranging from 40 miles with 4 passes to 88 miles with 8 passes. Earn your finisher certificate on the best ride of your life! Enjoy the scenery, the fabulous support, the special foods and the huge post event celebration. Meet people from around the world! By providing your cell phone number and email address, get instant results about your ride. You can learn more about the Maratona at www.maratona.it.
After breakfast, around 9am, we will provide one shuttle to the Bolzano train station (1.5hrs) to catch your next connections, so please make your plans accordingly.
Stay an extra day and Explore Beautiful Alta Badia! The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage site, have a look at what else it has to offer while your legs rest up! Check out: http://www.altabadia.org/
- Bike rental equipped with odometer, map case, handlebar and seat bags and bike pump
- Ciclismo jersey and water bottle
- Transfers from, during and to end of tour
On The Tour
- Advanced cycling clinics
- Entry to the Maratona dles Dolomiti and jersey from the organizers
Accommodations & Meals
- All Accommodations
- All breakfasts
- 6 dinners
- 2 lunches
Here’s a sampling of some of the amazing places you’ll stay on your journey.
For a full listing, request a detailed itinerary!
Located in the center of town, enjoy modern-style, comfortable rooms at the foot of the Alps. Complete with a spa and wellness center, the staff are warm and inviting.
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Set in the center of the city this modern hotel offers a cafe with garden terrace, beer bar, piano bar, restaurant, lounge, and laundry service.
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A charming and picturesque mountainside chalet, well furnished with every new comfort. Our hotel offers a wonderful fitness and spa center including whirlpool, sauna, and massages.
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