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  • 1

    Start Badia.

    Start in the charming town of Badia in the spectacular Dolomites (approx 2 hours). Badia is a charming little town in the South Tyrol, one of five local ‘communes’ that form the region of Val Badia. During winter it is very popular for skiing, but the summer months signal the opportunity to ride some of the most beautiful and challenging mountain passes in the world. This is the home to the annual Maratona dles Dolomites gran fondo event that attracts over 9000 riders. This afternoon there will be the chance to build your bike, or collect a bike if hiring locally, followed by a briefing in the evening.

  • 2

    Warm up ride to the Pederu Hut, on the edge of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park.

    Heading north from Badia a steady downhill will get you nicely warmed up before we head onto a very quiet road to climb to the pretty village of San Vigilio di Marebbe. The road continues to climb through dramatic scenery to arrive at the Pederu mountain hut, the door to the Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park. After a well-earned drink and the chance to take in the views we return by a similar route back to Badia. Approx. cycling distance - 69km with 1750m ascent.

  • 3

    Classic loop climbing the Campolongo, Falzarego and Valparola passes, all frequent challenges of the Giro d'Italia.

    Today we enjoy the classic ‘Fodom’ loop that’s a real favourite with the local riders. Heading south we pass through La Villa and Corvara for the start of the climb of the Passo Campolongo (1875m). This is a nice steady pass followed by an excellent swooping descent into the small town of Arabba. From here we enjoy a rare flat stretch of riding before arriving at the start of today’s main challenge, the Passo Valparola (2200m). The climb is 11.8km in length, with an elevation gain of 786m at an average of 6.7%, taking in the summit of the Passo Falzarego (2117m) en route. Another fantastic descent winds its way back down to the valley floor at Badia. Approx. cycling distance - 57km with 1650m ascent.

  • 4

    Today's route is short in distance but still very challenging as we climb the beautiful Passo delle Erbe.

    Today's route is short in distance but still very challenging as we climb the beautiful Passo delle Erbe (2004m). Heading south again we ride to the town of San Martino in Badia, to start the climb to Erbe. This fabulous route climbs 15.2km, with an elevation gain of 1049m at an average of 5.9%. Don’t be deceived by the average gradient though as this includes around 3km of downhill towards the middle, the final 5kms are particularly challenging with pitches up to 14%. We return by a different route, climbing to the village of Pescol before dropping down into Badia at the end of the ride. Approx. cycling distance - 54km with 2150m ascent.

  • 5

    Heading north today we ride the 'sunny road' of the Val Pusteria, stopping en route for an ice cream.

    Heading north today we ride the Sonnenstrasse or 'sunny road' of the Val Pusteria. The scenery is quite different in this other region of the South Tyrol. It’s an undulating route with a number of climbs rather than any one major challenge, but these all add up to a tough day and you will have certainly earnt the traditional ice cream stop en route. We will ride through the town of Brunico before the long steady climb back to Badia. Approx. cycling distance - 96km with 2650m ascent.

  • 6

    Sella Ronda Bike Day. Ride the most famous loop in the Dolomites, on closed roads, with thousands of other cyclists.

    After the previous days riding on quiet roads, today may be a bit of a shock to the system as we join thousands of other cyclists for the Sella Ronda Bike Day. This will be an incredible day out and a unique opportunity to ride the most famous cycle loop in Italy on roads completely closed to motorised vehicles. In June the event attracts over 22,000 riders and in September around 12,000. The ride takes in the four spectacular passes of Gardena (2119m), Sella (2230m), Pordoi (2241m) and Campolongo (1875m) – all regular challenges of the annual Giro d’Italia and amateur Maratona dles Dolomites races. Approx. cycling distance - 67km with 2300m ascent.

  • 7

    Ride through the most beautiful gorge in the Dolomites to the Passo Fedaia, set beneath the famous Marmolada peak; return via the Pordoi and Campolongo passes.

    We end the week on a high note with the most challenging ride of the trip! The first 26km follow the Fodom route that we did on our second ride, before heading further south to Rocca Pietore where the ‘fun’ begins. The Passo Fedaia (2057m) is infamously known as one of the toughest climbs in the entire Dolomites. The climb is 14.1km in length, with an elevation gain of 1059m at an average of 7.5%, but what is really likely to hurt are the stretches tipping 18%! That said, the incredible scenery makes up for the effort involved and the views of the Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites at 3342m, are not to be missed. After some refuelling at the summit you should be ready to take on the final challenges of the week, the Passo Pordoi (2241m) and finally the Passo Campolongo (1875m). Arriving back in Badia we will enjoy one final diner and perhaps a drink or two! Approx. cycling distance - 100km with 3400m ascent.

  • 8

    End Badia.

    The trip ends in Badia after breakfast.

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