Monday, July 25, 2011

This Week's Cycling Adventure: The Dolomites

I just booked a flight. I'm off to the Dolomites on Wednesday morning. In case you don't know, the Dolomites are located here in northern Italy. The Dolomites are a limestone mountain range and appear quite different than the Alps, even though they are just a couple of hundred kilometers away. 

Last week, I spent a couple of days planning my trip. This is how its shaping up:

  • Wednesday: 830am EasyJet flight from Barcelona to Milan. Pick up a rental car and drive 400km to Badia. 
  • Thursday: the Maratona dles Dolomites course (another cyclosportif, or Gran Fondo as they are known in Italy). The Maratona was held last month, but I plan to ride the 7 passos anyway (total: 138km and 4190m of climbing).
  • Friday: the Sella Ronda course. Another Gran Fondo, and covering several of Thursday's passos, but in reverse.
  • Saturday: rest day. Drive to Trento.
  • Sunday: I have entered The Charly Gaul Gran Fondo in Trento. The race is 145km and 3,600m of ascent. Looking forward to it.
  • Monday: rest day. Drive to Bormio.
  • Tuesday: I plan to ride the Marco Pantani Gran Fondo (already held this year, so I'll just ride the course). 175km and 4500m over Passo Gavia, Mortirolo and Cristina.
  • Wednesday: Climb Passo Stelvio (hopefully from the north and south) and Passo Umbrail. 
  • Thursday: drive to Milan for a 6pm flight back to Barcelona.
  • Friday: sleep for ~24 hours. Clean up the apartment before my friend, Ari Patni, visits for the weekend.

So, a nine-day trip, five of the Dolomites' six highest passos, two rest days (or buffer-days, just in case), and lots of awesome cycling.

I am expecting a rough week. The Dolomites are steeper than the Alps and Pyrenees. And although the Dolomites are popular with cyclists, I get the impression they attract the more serious cyclists. That is fine with me; I just hope there are plenty to meet while I am on the road.

For more information on the Dolomites, click here. And below are some Google images of the Dolomites.

Stay tuned. I'll be posting from the northern Italy shortly.


  1. Cool. The Stelvio!! Good luck and have fun. Can you imagine planning a trip like this before the internet?

  2. This is a really full program :-) Have fun and enjoy the Dolomites.

    And for the next time, if you have more time to ride some hidden Dolomites roads/passes check some of my training rides on Garmin Connect.