Road Bike Travel
Ride the Maratona dles Dolomites – 5 Days
- Race in the Maratona dles Dolomites – one of the most popular Granfondo bicycles races in Italy!
- Ride over breathtaking Dolomite mountain passes, enjoying fabulous ascents over high mountain passes and exhilarating descents into beautiful valleys
- Experience the three cultures of the Dolomites – Italian, German, and Ladin – with their many traditions that make this region so unique
- Enjoy the camaraderie of 9,000 cyclists from over 40 nations!
Cycling in the Dolomite Mountains is an incredible experience. But cycling in the Dolomites with 9,000 riders from over 40 nations!? Out of this world!
The Maratona dles Dolomites is an annual, single-day road bicycle race that takes riders across four to eight spectacular mountain passes in the Dolomites. Open to amateur cyclists, the Maratona is one of the biggest Italian Granfondo bicycle races – mass participation cycling events that have enjoyed incredible popularity in Europe for decades, and are beginning to gain momentum worldwide. Over time, the Maratona has attracted an increasing number of fans, to become one of the most important amateur cycling events in the whole of Europe. The 9,000 places sell out quickly each year – but through this fantastic Dolomite Mountains itinerary, you have guaranteed Maratona entry!
The inaugural ride was conceived as part of the tenth anniversary celebration of the Alta Badia-Raiffeisen Cycling Club. On 12-July-1987, 166 cyclists rode a unique route of 175 kilometers (108.7 miles), with no fewer than seven Dolomite passes to cross. Fearless spirits of the bicycle, with great courage and fair play, struggled to reach the coveted finish line: this was how the fascinating adventure of the Maratona dles Dolomites began. Its organizers certainly never dreamt that they had created an event that, in such a short period of time, would become one of the most important annual events in Alta Badia! Today, thousands of fans participate, many of whom enthusiastically take part every year. The great success is certainly based in part on the splendid setting of the Dolomites, the striking routes that follow legendary runs where great champions have written a rich and glorious page in the history of cycling.
Today, the Maratona dles Dolomites starts in the cozy town of La Villa in Alta Badia. There are three course options for cyclists to choose from – a short course of 55 kilometers (34.1 miles) with 4 passes to cross; a middle course of 106 kilometers (65.8 miles) crossing 6 passes, and a long course of 138 kilometers (85.7 miles) climbing over 8 passes - a truly challenging race! Riders can select the route best suited to their ability at the start of the event, because all of the courses begin with the same four passes and end in Corvara, participants may change to a longer (or shorter) course as they ride.
This is the trip of a lifetime – guaranteed entry into one of Europe’s most popular amateur cycling races – the Maratona dles Dolomites. Don’t miss your opportunity to join us on what National Geographic described as "one of the biggest, most passionate, and most chaotic bike races on Earth"!
Day 1 (28-Jun-2018) ~ Arrive in Alta Badia
Arrive in Alta Badia on your own (private transfer available on request).
Located in a large valley surrounded all around by the gorgeous peaks of the Dolomites, Alta Badia is truly the “heart of the Dolomites.” Geographically in the South Tyrol (Südtirol), this area was part of Austria prior to the First World War.
You’ll notice the street signs are written in three languages – first in Ladino (a neo- Latin language), then in German, and lastly in Italian. The mixed culture is very well marked not only in the language, but also in the architecture and cuisine.
D... Hotel in Alta Badia (3- or 4 -Star)
Days 2 & 3 (29 and 30 Jun-2018) ~ Warm Up Rides in Alta Badia
Alta Badia offers lots of biking options for you to explore. A great ride is to bike famous Sellaronda, the classic Dolomites cycling route that circumnavigates the Sella Massif, and leads you over four major passes – three of which are higher than 2,000 meters (6,600')! This is also the short course of the Maratona, so a perfect chance to check out part of the course for your ride on Day 4. We’ll provide more options for your warm up rides when you arrive. Guided rides available on request.
In the afternoon, take a private transfer to San Leonardo (10 minutes each way) and pick up your race number for the Maratona!
B,D... Hotel in Alta Badia (3- or 4 -Star)
Day 4 (01-Jul-2018) ~ Maratona dles Dolomites
In the morning, after breakfast, bike (10-15 minutes) to the town of La Villa in Alta Badia at (1,436m / 4,711'), for the 6:30am start of the Maratona dles Dolomites.
You have three course options to choose from:
Short (Sellaronda) Course: 55km / 34.1 miles – 4 Passes – Altitude gain 1,780m / 5,839’
Passo Campolongo (1,875m / 6,151'), Passo Pordoi (2,242m / 7,356'), Passo Sella (2,240m / 7,349'), Passo Gardena (2,137m / 7,011')
Middle Course: 106km / 65.8 miles – 6 Passes – Altitude gain 3,130m / 10,269’
Passo Campolongo (1,875m / 6,151'), Passo Pordoi (2,242m / 7,356'), Passo Sella (2,240m / 7,349'), Passo Gardena (2,137m / 7,011'), Passo Campolongo (1,875m / 6,151' – again), Passo Valparola (2,200m / 7,218')
Long (Maratona) Course: 138km / 85.7 miles – 8 Passes – Altitude gain 4,230m / 13,877’
Passo Campolongo (1,875m / 6,151'), Passo Pordoi (2,242m / 7,356'), Passo Sella (2,240m / 7,349'), Passo Gardena (2,137m / 7,011'), Passo Campolongo (1,875m / 6,151' – again), Colle di Santa Lucia and Passo Giau (2,236m / 7,336'), Passo Falzarego (2,109m / 6,919’), Passo Valparola (2,200m / 7,218').
All three courses lead the riders through the Dolomite Mountains around the Sella Group and over roads, where legendary rides by great champions of the Giro d'Italia have taken place. The roads are lined with tens of thousands of cheering spectators, and the entire event is broadcast live on Italian national broadcaster RAI. Along the courses, seven refreshment stations are manned by volunteers, where riders can strengthen themselves with food and drink, varying from sports drinks to coffee, and strudel to speck sandwiches.
Participants are free to select the route best suited to their ability at the start of the event, and may also alter their course during the event. All riders complete the four pass Sellaronda course first. After completing the Sellaronda course riders can either choose to finish the race or proceed directly onwards with the Middle course, followed by the Maratona course. All courses end in Corvara in Badia (end 1,561m / 5,120').
When you complete the ride, enjoy the huge post event celebration – meet people from around the world and enjoy special foods prepared for the event! Enjoy the scenery, the fabulous support, and cherish your finisher certificate from the best ride of your life! You can even get instant results about your ride by providing your cell phone number and email address (details at race registration).
After the Maratona, ride back to your hotel or take a private transfer (on request).
B,D... Hotel in Alta Badia (3- or 4 -Star)
Day 5 (2-Jul-2018) ~ Depart
After breakfast, departure on your own (private transfer available on request).
EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE!
You've come all this way, why not stay a little longer? Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, Florence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!