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Reach New Heights on This New Mountain Adventure

Challenge your body and elevate your soul while you explore a rich mixture of cultures and celebrate a sense of accomplishment on this quest through the heart of the Dolomites.

Experience dramatic mountain beauty and fairytale towns in the Italian Alps. Each day during your ride you’ll be surrounded by stunning Alpine scenery as you make your way through some of the most beautiful towns and villages of this breathtaking area. Although the focus is very much on the riding, we’ll make sure you get your daily caffeine fix and also have some time to explore places such as Bolzano, Cortina, Corvara and lake Resia. Ride over exhilarating passes, climb by soaring spires and coast downhill to charming hamlets surrounded by meadows of wildflowers on mountain routes made famous by the world’s greatest cyclists.

We’ll stay at some very nice hotels in the Dolomites. And because we won’t be changing hotels every day you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the amenities: spas, saunas, pools, and massages.

Non-riding companions are welcome. Get in touch for details.

Highlights

  • Discover the ancient city of Bolzano, capital of South Tyrol
  • Stay 2 nights in Cortina the “Pearl of the Dolomites”
  • Daily backdrop of soaring spires, waterfalls, cool forests
  • World War I battlefields and history
  • Climb over the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, whose towering limestone pinnacles symbolize the Dolomites
  • Stunning views of mountains and valleys recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Ride spectacular, epic passes
  • Gain a true sense of achievement
  • The surprising food and wine of South Tyrol
  • Ride Stelvio pass
Dates:

July 13 - July 19, 2019

Prices:

USD 4,195

Private room (single supplement) USD 495

Duration:

7 days (6 nights)

Level:

Athletic

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It was another truly great tour – we loved it all!  

Meg Silver Private group leader

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Day by Day

[fa icon="plus"] Day 1

Cortina - 25 miles - Rolling

We’ll pick you up at the Venezia airport and transfer you to the first hotel. After a light lunch we’ll get fitted to our bikes and go on a leisurely test ride heading towards Dobbiaco and Austria along the SS 51 main road past a dense pine forest. After 300 mt of elevation gain, we conquer the easy Cimabanche mountain pass, followed by a gradual ascent to Misurina. Lake Misurina is an idyllic site with a great view of the Tre Cime, three peaks that are the symbol of Dolomites. Enjoyable descent back to Cortina. Our hotel is just a short walk from the lively and fashionable village center. Dinner is at the hotel.

[fa icon="plus"] Day 2

Cortina - 63 miles - Mountains

Our warm up is a manageable ascent to the Falzarego and Valparola mountain passes. After an exhilarating descent to La Villa, we continue on to Corvara, followed by an uncomplicated climb to the Campolongo mountain pass. From here, descend to Arabba. Enjoy the view of the Marmolada. It’s the highest mountain of the Dolomites with its 10,968 ft. During the Great War, Austro-Hungarian soldiers were quartered in deep tunnels bored into the northern face's glacier, and Italian soldiers were quartered on the south face's rocky precipices. As glaciers retreat, soldiers' remains and belongings are occasionally discovered. Near Colle Santa Lucia, we begin the challenging climb to the Giau pass, the highlight of the day (2,233 m or 7,326 ft). The gradients do not go over 12.5%, and this tough climb is accompanied by the stunning scenery along the way. In addition, we partake in the international cycling presence at Passo Giau. A highly enjoyable descent to Cortina is next. Let’s have an aperitif to celebrate this day!

Passes: Falzarego, Valparola, Giau

[fa icon="plus"] Day 3

Sella Ronda - 35 miles - Mountains

Next is the Badia valley, a popular ski resort and base for cyclists wishing to explore the Dolomites. In the Val Badia the main language is Ladin, which does not resemble German at all. Instead, it’s a language derived from Roman conquerors and from an indigenous mountain tribe. The Costa family at Hotel La Perla are proud representatives of the Ladin culture. This day is indescribable, and the remarkable landscape speaks for itself. This is the classic circuit around the heart of the Dolomites: it is definitely a “must ride" for those who love bikes and the mountains! Here you will discover the essence of mountain cycling like nowhere else in the world. Every year, millions of bikes come to follow the tracks. You will be contending with four passes that surround the majestic summits of the Sella Group and lead to four Ladin valleys: Passo Campolongo, Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella and Passo Gardena.

Passes: Falzarego, Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena

 

[fa icon="plus"] Day 4

Corvara - Bolzano - 45 miles - Mountains

This ride leads us to one of the prettiest areas of Sud Tyrol, the Sciliar high plain where the 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! After having climbed two passes, we reach Bolzano. This is where you want to take care of your shopping but be on time for a walking tour of this interesting city, which is always rated as one of the Italian cities with the highest quality of life.

Passes: Gardena, Pinei

[fa icon="plus"] Day 5

Val Venosta - 45 miles - Mostly flat

Today we change areas by following the Adige River Valley upstream. We ride to Merano (Meran), where we will catch the Val Venosta train. The combination of bike and train in South Tyrol is easy and highly recommended. It’s one of the most modern train infrastructures in Europe and inarguably one of the most scenic. After 37.5 miles and over 2,000 feet of elevation gain we arrive at the Malles station and get back on the bikes. Val Venosta, up to this point, is a fertile area covered with vineyards and apple orchards. Deeper into the high Venosta Valley (Obervinschgau) is one of the most Instagrammed sites of the Dolomites: Lake Resia, an artificial lake where the town of Curon was submerged in 1950 when a dam was constructed. Today the only visible reminder of the town is s bell tower that rises from the water.

 

[fa icon="plus"] Day 6

Passo Stelvio - 42 mls - Mountains

It’s the day many of us have been waiting for and perhaps feared. It’s time to climb the king, the Stelvio Pass. We’ll go up its "classic" side from Prato allo Stelvio. With over 14 miles and 48 switchbacks you'll rise to 9,045 feet to conquer the highest paved road in the eastern Alps. It’s mighty and it’s long but it’s one of the most beautiful passes imaginable with endless views into the mountains toward Switzerland from the summit. Weather on the Stelvio Pass can be temperamental. That is why we designed our tour in order to have two days to attempt to make. This is accomplished by swapping day 6 and day 7. Your guides will give you an in-depth briefing this morning to describe the climb and the role of the Tourissimo van on the climb. On top it’s a festival with riders from all over the world and the atmosphere is at once serene and full of adrenaline. After some lunch we start descending and once back at the hotel we’ll all enjoy some recovery time in the pool and a hearty celebratory dinner. You made it!

Passes: Stelvio

[fa icon="plus"] Day 7
Venice
After breakfast, you will be transferred via group shuttle to the Venice airport. Ask Tourissimo about extending your trip to Venice.

 

What's Included

Bianchi Intenso Ultegra-105 Bianchi Via Nirone S
  • Bikes equipped with a Garmin GPS (Bianchi Intenso carbon)
  • Two professional tour guides throughout the program
  • All accommodations in 4 star hotels
  • All breakfasts, three lunches, and five dinners
  • Wine and beer with dinner
  • Walking tour of Bolzano with a local guide
  • The “rules of Ampezzo” institute and visit
  • Support vehicle during the tour and luggage transfer
  • Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
  • All activities mentioned in the day-by-day description
  • Airfare
  • Pre-tour hotel stays and post-tour hotel stays
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and cell phone
  • Guide gratuity
  • Optional tour extension
  • Meals not under ‘What’s Included’

Hotels

Hotel Franceschini Cortina

FRANCESCHI PARK HOTEL

La Perla Corvara

HOTEL LA PERLA

Hotel Jagdof

HOTEL JAGDHOF

More Info

The Riding Terrain

The Riding Terrain The Dolomitic riding terrain is one of our most demanding road cycling and the rides are exactly what you might expect from one of Europe’s major mountain ranges: mountain pass after mountain pass. The route includes numerous serious Giro d’Italia passes, and as such involve a lot of climbing. Two or more significant climbs a day is not uncommon and many will include steep sections. The Stelvio will be the highest pass and we climb it from the Prato allo Stelvio side (read our Stelvio blog here).  Road surfaces are generally good although mountain weather can take its toll. Caution should be exercised when descending as downhills are as frequent and long as the ascents and many feature numerous tight bends and switchbacks. Competent and confident descenders will undoubtedly enjoy the downhill stages whereas less confident riders will be expected to exercise caution. Traffic is generally light throughout however it can become busier on occasional sections especially when nice weather attracts motorcyclists.

UNESCO Site

The site of the Dolomites comprises a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 meters and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. A serial property of nine areas that present a diversity of spectacular landscapes of international significance for geomorphology marked by steeples, pinnacles and rock walls, the site also contains glacial landforms and karst systems. It is characterized by dynamic processes with frequent landslides, floods and avalanches. The property also features one of the best examples of the preservation of Mesozoic carbonate platform systems, with fossil records.

Sella Ronda

Pordoi, Campolongo, Gardena, and Sella. The sequence of those passes comprises a loop called the Sellaronda (the loop of the Sella massif 3151 mt - 10335 ft). Cycling legends have been made on these passes for nearly a century. Mountain stages of the Giro d’Italia – the iconic three-week professional bike race - have seen legendary riders both rise and fall, as riders could gain the Pink Jersey (the leader jersey) and seal the final victory, or lose it all on a bad day. It all happens on the Dolomites year in and year out. Coppi, Bartali, Merckx, Gimondi, Hinault, then Pantani and a few others, all left their mark there. Sellaronda is in practical terms a loop that became a mountain cycling stadium in the middle of the Stunning UNESCO-recognized mountains. Nearly all sports have their sacred venues. Dolomites’ Sellaronda is that venue for mountain cycling.

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