Arrival: Verona / Cavalese
The team will meet you at Verona Airport, after which you'll transfer together to our accommodation in the town of Cavalese. The journey will take approximately 1h 45 mins. On arrival the bikes will be build and/or fit bikes before spending what is left of the day relaxing and getting to know your fellow riders.
Cavalese to Alleghe - distance 65km
Your first stage is a fantastic introduction to the region and it isn’t long before you find ourselves surrounded by the domineering 3,000m peaks.
Its a comparatively easy start, which breaks you in gently for what lies ahead. After a short warm up along the valley road, leading to Moena, you get your first taste of climbing in the Dolomites as you head for Passo San Pellegrino (1,918m). The climb itself is also relatively gradual and leads you along a dense forested valley which eventually opens up into an expansive pasture. After taking some time to rest at the summit you’ll head down the other side towards Falcade before taking the valley road to the idyllic lakeside village of Alleghe where you'll spend the night.
Alleghe to Cortina - distance 45km
Today things will become a little more serious as you tackle Passo Giau (2,236m), one of the most important passes in the Dolomites, and a regular inclusion in the Giro d’Italia which sometimes features as the Cima Coppi – (the highest point reached during any particular Giro).
You continue along the valley toward Caprile where the road begins to rise gradually through a dense forest, a short section of rolling downhill from where you can clearly see the high mountains ahead, then delivers you to the start at Giau. The early stages of the climb are a shock to the system with gradients quickly ramping up into the low teens. Things do settle down after the first few kilometres, although the gradient rarely dips below 9% all the way to the summit where you are rewarded in spades for your efforts with magnificent 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.
The thrilling descent from the summit brings us back down to earth in Cortina which will be your home for the next two nights.
Cortina Loop Ride - distance 55km
Considering the rigours of yesterday, and with a much shorter day ahead of you, you’ll allow ourselves a relaxed start. Today’s loop ride takes you gently upwards into the National Park of Ampezzo where we head for the Misurina Lake. From the lake you’ll take a detour to see the magnificent Tre Cime di Lavaredo (the Three Peaks of Laverado). Its a steep and challenging climb to get the best view but well worth the effort to see this most iconic, dramatic and unmistakable of all Dolomitic landscapes in all of its glory.
After taking in the views and resting for a while you'll turn around and roll generally downwards to Passo Tre Croci (1,809m) before heading back down to Cortina where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring some of Cortina’s many cafes, restaurants and bars.
Cortina to Canazei - distance 65km
You leave Cortina heading west today, with two important passes separating you from your destination near the Dolomites of Sella. The route out of Cortina rises gradually through a forested valley and an alpine prairie landscape scattered with numerous pretty villages and hamlets.
Later, as you proceed up and over the Passo Falzarego (2,109m), you find ourselves surrounded by the majestic pinnacles of Lagazuoi. After a visit to the café at the summit you set off again to enjoy a wonderful 10km multi-switchback descent followed by a further undulating 10kms along the Arabba Valley before you reach the start of Passo Pordoi (2,239m) your second and highest climb of the day.
You’ll take a breather at the summit where you can take obligatory photos in front of the Fausto Coppi memorial before beginning the long and thrilling descent to Canazei.
Sella Ronda Loop Ride (Optional Rest Day/Guided Hike) - distance 70km
A real challenge awaits those who opt to ride today, with the opportunity to sample a section of the route taken by the thousands of cyclists who participate each year in the Maratona delle Dolomiti, the country’s biggest and most famous Gran Fondo event.
With four major mountain passes ahead. Explore the roads around the Sella Ronda Massif in the shadows of its enormous grey and orange craggy pillars. You’ll be presented with breath-taking views and jaw-dropping scenery as you take on Passo Sella (2,244m), Passo Gardena (2,121m) Passo Campolongo, and Passo Pordoi (2,239m) in succession, before making your way back to Canazei.
For those looking for a less strenuous day you also have an equally impressive option to take a cable car high into the mountains for a guided hike along some beautiful alpine trails. Alternatively some may opt to simply take it easy and relax in Canazei.
Canazei to Cavalese - distance 55km
Your last day in the saddle will offer yet more great riding, beautiful scenery and classic passes to conquer. You start the day gently again as you head out along the Val di Fassa to reach the start of the Passo Costalunga, by Dolomitic standards a moderately challenging 5km climb which tops out at 1,745m above sea level before a rolling plateau leads you to the fantastic 18km descent down the other side.
The road twists and turns through dense forest and past pristine alpine lakes until you the final challenge of your tour, Passo Lavaze (1,807m). After enjoying your final picnic lunch beside the lake at the summit you are left only with the thrilling descent to Cavalese to complete your journey through the Dolomites.
Departure: Cavalese / Verona
After breakfast you head back to Verona for our return flights. Those with later flights and who wish to spend the day exploring Verona can easily leave luggage at the airport and hop on the bus into the centre of the city.