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2017 Maratona dles Dolomites Italy Cycling Trip Itinerary – June 29th – July 9th, 2017

Join us to experience Italy’s most famous cycling locations Dolomites; Alps; Lake Como and extraordinary road cycling event – Maratona dles Dolomites. Located in the heart of the Dolomites the Maratona dles Dolomites is widely recognised as being the most atmospheric and spectacular sportive cycling event on the international cycling calendar.

Our 10 night itinerary focuses on capturing the best of Italian cycling: its best cycling locations; its best and most iconic rides; the best of local cultural life; and its best Gran Fondo event – Maratona dles Dolomites.

Maratona dles Dolomites
The first Maratona dles dolomites was held on June 12, 1987. Since then the number of people wishing to ride the event has grown exponentially. In 2004 the number of participants had to be limited to 9,000 riders and lotteries were introduced to draw participants. For the 2016 edition over 30,000 people registered to take part in the event entry lottery!!Likewise the interest in the event is just not limited to the riders, the Maratona dles dolomites receives tens of thousands of spectators on the sides of the roads and at the finish line in Corvara, and for
those not fortunate enough to be in the Dolomites on the day it is broadcast live on Italian national television (RAI).

The Route
The event offers 3 routes of varying difficulty: 55km (Corto); 106km (Medio Fondo); 138km (Gran Fondo).  All 3 do the famous Sella Ronda (4 passes around Sella mountain group) and start and finish in same locations.  However the Gran Fondo course includes a total a 7 inspiring and iconic Dolomiti passes including the most difficult climb Passo Giau. Total altitude gain for the 138km Gran Fondo ride is 4,190m.

2017 TRIP ITINERARY
Highlights
• Maratona dles Dolomites
• Riders Week (The Dolomites)
• The Legendary Stelvio Pass (Italian Alps)
• Madonna del Ghisallo (Lake Como)
• Pretty much everything!!
Day 1: Thursday June 29th – Arrival (Corvara)
Group transfer from Verona train station to Corvara (Dolomites) our base for the next 4 nights. Recognised for being in one of Italy’s most outstandingly beautiful locations, it makes the perfect hosting place for the Maratona event. Immersing within the majestic surrounding mountain landscapes, we can only look up and around in awe at the riding to be discovered in this area.

Here we stay in a modernised but distinctively South Tyrolean hotel (4 star) that offers the ideal place and facility to experience the best of both the Dolomites and its great cycling event. The hotel is located on the finishing straight of the race, and houses a fully equipped recovery area – most appreciated following the ride.
Meals:D

Day 2: Friday June 30th – Sella Ronda: 55km
Our first ride of the trip takes us on the Sella Ronda, widely considered to be the best circuit in road cycling. This iconic route crosses 4 of the most beautiful passes of the Dolomites: Campolongo; Pordoi; Sella; and Gardena – 3 of which are over 2000m.

The climbs will also feature in the Maratona ride – so opportunity to ‘feel’ the unique twisting and turning upwards and downwards roads of the Dolomites – as well as ‘slowly’ take in its outstanding beauty, away from the excitement of the race. Meals: B; D

Day 3: Saturday July 1st – ‘Easy Day’
Following breakfast, a very ‘easy ride’ will be on offer – mindful of the next days Maratona ride. The special atmosphere of the event will be now on full show, with cyclists aplenty from all around the globe, as well as Bike Expo and local cultural entertainment.

Today is also the opening day of the 2017 Tour de France – thus providing a perfect afternoon TV distraction for those wanting to rest.
Meals: B; D

Day 4: Sunday July 2nd – Maratona dles Dolomites: 55km/ 106km/ 138km
The day of the 2017 Maratona dles Dolomites has now arrived for us and 9,000 other enthusiastic cyclists. From what has up until now been something of a fanciful dream (a Giro d’Italia styled bike race in the Dolomites!!) – is now about to become a reality!
Following an early breakfast we assemble at the nearby event start (4km from hotel). The atmosphere here is beyond expectation, with all 3 route options on closed roads, in World Heritage listed landscapes, and with event support and services similar to that given to professional riders.

At the completion of the ride Maratona dles Dolomites, participants join with the other 9,000 riders for a well deserved celebratory Pasta Party
Meals: B; L; D

Day 5: Monday July 3rd Bormio: Bus Transfer
Today we transfer from the Dolomites to the Italian Alps. From high ground, we are now moving to higher ground – with the Stelvio and Gavia passes (amongst the highest in Europe) – soon on our doorstep and begging to be climbed.

In the Alps we stay in the beautiful ski town of Bormio, our accommodation a 5 star hotel with outstanding thermal wellness facility, the hotel conveniently positioned a couple of hundred meters off the famous Stelvio Pass. Here we stay for 3 days with 3 spectacular rides on offer. Meals: B

Day 6: Tuesday July 4th: The Stelvio Pass: 100km (Option)
Today we provide the opportunity of riding both sides of the legendary Stelvio Pass. Our long route option (100km) takes us from our hotel immediately onto the rising slopes of the western side of the Stelvio (20km), before a dizzying descent into Switzerland, then a return to Italy and climb (25km) – this time eastern side of Stelvio, to its just under 2,800m summit!! From here its all freewheeling to home, a long (20km) descent to Hotel and it’s acclaimed thermal spas.

Both sides are very similar in distance and vertical gain, as well visually spectacular. Those not wishing to do the long ride option (both sides) will have the opportunity of riding it from the eastern side – considered the more classic/ iconic side of the Stelvio.

Expect to be treated to a 5star riding experience today.
Meals: B

Day 7: Wednesday July 5th: Passo Gavia
Another iconic Giro d’Italia climb on offer today – Passo Gavia. As with the Stelvio this climb goes up, up, and up – arriving at a little over 2,600m. Like the Stelvio is it long (25km rising out of Bormio) and equally spectacular – indeed its surrounding natural grandeur that includes alpine lakes are incomparable.

Within the thin air of its summit it is the ideal place to linger and truly take in the special atmosphere of the Italian Alps – with a great café bar to refuel before the mostly downward return to our hotel in Bormio.
Meals: B

Day 8: Thursday July 6th: Transfer to Lake Como
Today we transfer to final destination on Lake Como. Widely considered to be Italy’s most beautiful lake, it offers some of Italy’s most spectacular cycling. Indeed its famous professional race – Giro di Lombardia – is often referred to as the most beautiful of all the one-day classic road races.

Before our transfer is the option of a ride to Lake Bormio, yet another magical rise out of Bormio, perfect to be discovered on bike. The climb is comparatively short compared to previous days, so time to spa, shower, and lunch on return before transfer to Lake Como.

On Lake Como we stay in a hotel that maintains a special old world atmosphere and charm. Situated in the stunning location of Lenno, the hotel is uniquely positioned right on the shoreline of the lake – its beautiful spacious gardens connecting the water of the lake to the hotel.
Meals: B: D

Day 9: Friday July 7th Madonna del Ghisallo: 60km
Our ride today captures the best of Lake Como. Our route includes a roll along its most spectacular section of road along its lakeshore, as well as climbs of Passo del Ghisallo and Colma di Sormano.

Ghisallo, with its spectacular views, has traditionally been a route highlight of the Giro di Lombardia. As well it is recognized as the spiritual home of cycling with its small chapel dedicated to cycling – Madonna del Ghisallo – and impressive modern cycling museum. There will be opportunity to explore the museum.

Expect another 5 star cycling experience. Meals: B; D

Day 10: Saturday July 8th: Lake Lugano-60km
Our final ride of the trip takes us from the beautiful shores of Lake Como, to the nearby beautiful shores of Lake Lugano (Switzerland). As with the previous days ride, we continue to discover more of the incredible riding to be experienced around Italy’s most famous lake: from big gear spinning along the Lake shore connecting villages; to narrow road climbs that twist and weave towards Switzerland.

Our day is completed with a final evening dinner together, a perfect way to pay homage to the great riding and travel experiences that make Italy – for us (Solo Bike) – a favorite destination to share with others.
Meals: B, D

Day 11: Sunday July 9th: Tour Finishes
Following breakfast our drivers will drop you at Como S.Giovanni station where you can link up with Milan or Malpensa airport.
Meals: B

Keep up to date via the official Maratona dles Dolomites channels

Maratona dles Dolomites website – http://www.maratona.it/it/
Maratona dles Dolomites facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/MaratonaDlesDolomites
Maratona dles Dolomites You Tube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3cLOvGpusI

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