Spectacular Dolomites (2018 Trip)
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In June 2018 we are delighted to offer you the chance to ride some of the most spectacular mountains in the Alps - the Italian Dolomites.
A fantastic 8 day trip, with 6 days riding will be split between the Eastern and Western Dolomites, allowing us to take in such famous climbs as Tre Cime de Lavaredo, the Sella Ronda circuit, the Passos di Gavia, Mortirolo, Stelvio and many more.
We will spend 3 days in Corvara in the Eastern Dolomites followed by 3 days riding from our base in Bormio at the Western side.
Transport will be provided to and from Milan or Venice airport and vehicle back up will be on hand during your rides each day.
Our hotels are high quality with comfortable rooms, fabulous food and high quality leisure facilities such as pools and spas enabling you to fully unwind after a day in the saddle.
We can't express highly enough what a fabulous trip this is - Superb riding in some of the most wonderful scenery you will come across, outstanding food (it is Italy after all) and top quality accommodation. Read on!
We will meet you at the airport and drive you through the mountains to our first hotel in Corvara in the Eastern Dolomites. Depending on whether you wish to hire good quality Pinarello bikes or bring your own, the first job after settling into your room will be to either fit you to your hire bike or put your own bike together ready for the week ahead.
During the evening we will enjoy a delicious meal at the hotel and we will give you a pre ride briefing on what to expect during the course of the week.
Our first ride of the week starts off with a fairly gentle 6km climb from our base in Corvara over the Passo di Campolongo, followed by a descent to Arabba. From here we will have about 20km of rolling roads (we say rolling but we will actually ride over two small passes) to the base of the Passo di Giau, which is a 10km climb averaging 9% and topping out at 2230m. We’ll then descend to the outskirts of Cortina d'Amezzo before climbing again up the Passo di Falzarego - another high pass at 2200m before descending back to Corvara and another great meal at our hotel.
Stats: 83km 2500m ascent
This is an out and back ride, which we normally try to avoid, but in this case it must be done as it is one of the most spectacular in the Dolomites.
This ride takes us from Corvara over the Passo di Folzarego at 2200m and on to Cortina d'Ampezzo. From there we will climb up the beautiful Tre Cime de Lavaredo. This climb is truly spectacular and will live long in your memories. It's a long climb, at 34km but only the last few km are steep. We will leave Cortina behind and climb up through the forest initially, but given the height around here the forest soon gives way to open pastures. About half way up the climb we will pass the lovely Lago di Misurina before again heading through pine trees on the route to the top.
The top of the climb is truly one of the most spectacular mountain vistas you will see (see image below).
Once we have taken our photos and congratulated ourselves on a climb well ridden, we have the excellent descent back to Cortina to look forward to. Our route back from Cortina involves the climb back over the Passo di Folgarego but thankfully from the easier side.
Stats: 117km. 3541m ascent.
After the exertions of day 2, a less strenuous but still beautiful ride is in store for you on day 3.
Today we will ride the excellent Sella Ronda route. The loop will be one of the most memorable rides of your trip as you pedal in the shadows of the Sella Massif and its dramatic, sheer cliffs. The green pastures and (hopefully) blue sky will complement the vividness of the stark grey mountains.
The four passes on the route are regular highlights in the Giro d’Italia, and three of them exceed 2000m. These four iconic passes: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, and Gardena will reward you with incredible views of the jagged peak of the Sassolungo and breathtaking descents into the valleys below.
It's a short loop of just 52km which we will ride in the morning. After lunch we will pack our bags and bikes before setting off in the van to our next destination in Bormio.
Stats: 52km. 1678m ascent.
Passo dello Stelvio
Passo Gardena on Sella Ronda Bike Day
Tre Cime de Lavaredo
Our first day of riding from the beautiful hotel in Bormio where we will stay, is a classic loop often included in Giro d'Italia stages. Crossing the fearsome Passo di Mortirolo with its steep inclines before tackling the Passo di Gavia at over 2600m.
The Mortirolo in particular is a climb that many riders want to ride due to the legend that has built up around it. It isn't particularly high at 1867m but it's definitely an effort to get up there.
The Gavia in contrast is a much longer, drawn out climb with an average gradient of 7.9% - although there are some short steep ramps of 15%, particularly as you near the top. We will be climbing gently for around 15km after the descent of the Mortirolo, but the climb doesn't officially start until just before Pezzo, meaning there is around 15km of the Gavia to ride on top of the 15km you have climbed already after lunch.
As you would expect at over 2600m, we will be in the high mountains; way above the tree line and the dramatic rock faces surrounding you will leave a lasting impression. Once we reach the top, you'll be pleased to know that there is a restaurant ready to serve you cold drinks and food after your efforts.
The descent of the Gavia is a real treat. At the top, the views of the road are good for a couple of km ahead so you can see what traffic is heading towards you. This side isn't as steep as the climb up which makes for a stress free descent all the way back to our hotel in Bormio.
Stats: 106km. 3065m ascent.
A less intense day awaits us today after day 4's efforts.
We start with a ride to the tax free town of Livigno on the Italian / Swiss border, crossing the Passo del Foscagno at 2289m. We'll stop for coffee in town before climbing gently to the Forcla di Livigno where we cross the border into Switzerland.
After descending the short mountain road to the Swiss border post, we are then in for a treat, with over 30km of easy descending on perfect Swiss tarmac past the lovely Lago di Poschiavo with its backdrop of forest covered mountains and back to the Italian border. We'll stop for another coffee once we cross the border that won't require a mortgage to buy!
After coffee, our route takes us on a very gentle incline northwards back to our hotel in Bormio.
Stats: 128km. 2922m ascent.
You were wondering when we would mention the Stelvio weren't you? Today is a classic to end the riding on this trip. The giant Passo dello Stelvio from both sides.
First up will be the western side straight out of Bormio. 36 hairpins taking us 22km to the top at 2761m; the highest pass in Italy and only a few metres short of being the highest pass in the Alps.
After resting a while in the cafe at the top, we will retrace our route for a few km before turning right and dropping down into Switzerland via the Umbrail pass. A twisty descent with almost as many hairpins as the Stelvio follows before we hit the wider road at Santa Maria Val Mustair.
We will have about 20km of pleasant valley riding in Switzerland and back across the Italian border to follow the descent but the road heads upwards again at the oddly named village of Agumes Agums.
To begin with the ride takes us alongside the river and the road is shaded and very pleasant averaging around 3% gradient and we will pass plenty of places to stop for refreshments. Shortly after the village of Gomagoi, we will pass through an avalanche tunnel and then we hit the first of 48 hairpins on this truly amazing climb. The gradient rises to something a bit more suitable for a mountain of this grandeur - around 7.5% - and the climbing really starts now.
The climb up the Stelvio from this side is one of cycling's great experiences. Being able to look down on the dozens of hairpins you have cycled, below you, when you are near the top is a breathtaking sight and many photos taken from here are framed and hung on walls as a trophy.
The fun isn't over yet though. Once we reach the top and have refuelled in the cafe for the second time that day, we have the brilliant descent back to Bormio to enjoy.
A truly classic end to a spectacular week of riding.
Our final evening will be spent enjoying a top quality meal in the hotel along with some "prize giving" as mementos of your trip.
Stats: 105km. 3492m ascent.
Depending on the time of your flight home we can spend some time relaxing in Bormio before heading back to the airport.
Trip Dates: 6th July 2018 - 13th July 2018
Anticipated Costs: £1395.00 per person based on sharing a room
Flights and bike hire (should you require it) will not be included in the cost. Bike hire will be provided locally and will be good quality Pinarello bikes.
Breakfast and dinner in the hotels will be included in the cost. Wine will be provided with dinner. Lunch is not included.
Support will be provided throughout the trip. A van will accompany you on the ride and will carry drinks, snacks and tools.
Any energy bars, drinks or nutritional supplements you require should be brought on the trip by you. Each person has their own preferences and it is best that you bring the products you like.