What are the 5 most beautiful Gran Fondo races in Italy
Cycling with thousands of people on routes characterized by some of the most beautiful landscapes in Italy is a truly magnificent experience, especially when the organization of the event is almost perfect and able to support cyclists in all their needs.
This time we talk about the Gran Fondo races (sporting events for amateur cyclists), a phenomenon that continues to attract many bike lovers every year. This type of long-distance road cycling ride originating in Italy and could be translated in English as “Big Ride”.
We picked the five events that shouldn’t be missed in 2020, also recommended for those who want to ride without the hassle of timekeeping and having more track options to choose from in relation to their training level.
In addition, many of these events have made their bike path longer “permanent”: in other words, the route is accessible at any time of the year thanks to the fixed road signs.
Gran Fondo Gimondi Bianchi
An event that pays homage to the recently deceased champion from Bergamo Felice Gimondi, winner of three Grand Tours and a World Championship.
You can cycle in the Bergamo hinterland, through valleys that are popular for local specialties such as cheeses, amazing natural sights such as canals, ravines, streams and climbs well known to travelers.
The race starts from the suggestive Lazzaretto with the possibility to choose between three routes of 89,4, 128,8 and 162,1 km. Some ascents are very hard, including Colle Gallo and Selvino, but also the Forcella di Berbenno and the Costa Valle Imagna, the last ascent before the finish with a 28 kilometer drop-off from the latter. The total height difference of the long track is 3.000 meters, of which 48 km are uphill.
Info: Gran Fondo Gimondi Bianchi 10th May
Gran Fondo Nove Colli
This is one of the most important events in this sector: in fact it came to its 50th edition. Over 10.000 bike tourists will start from Cesenatico. You can ride in the dazzling greenery of the Romagna hinterland between castles and hamlets, driven by the embrace of an always large and warm public.
The two tracks of 205 and 130 km that require good preparation. The start at dawn from the canal port designed by Leonardo da Vinci to tackle, in the long route, nine climbs, some of them are very demanding: Barbotto (5,5 km at 6,9%, here usually there is many people), Monte Pugliano (9 km at 5,6%) and Gorolo (4 km at 6%).
Info Gran Fondo Nove Colli 24th May
Gran Fondo Maratona Dles Dolomites
An event with a unique charm: cycling in the “Pale Mountains” on paths closed to traffic, through places that have made the history of cycling. The Marathon of the Dolomites (“dles Dolomites” in Ladin language) is an event by the impeccable organization with great refreshments that attracts 8.000 fans, a number that could even be tripled if the organizers had not wisely decided to put the “closed number”.
The routes are 3: 138, 106 or 55 kilometers, the longest route is characterized by seven climbs starting and finishing in Corvara: twice Campolongo Pass (5,8 km at 6,1%), Gardena Pass (5,8 km at 4,3%), Pordoi Pass (9,2 km at 6,9%), Sella Pass (5,5 km at 7,9%), Giau Pass (9,9 km at 9,3%) and Passo Falzarego (11,5 km to 5,8%), for a total height difference of 4.230 meters. It should be noted that the entire Dolomite passes will be completely closed to traffic the entire week before the event, allowing cycling enthusiasts to ride though the passes in absolute safety.
Info: GF Maratona Dles Dolomites 5th July
Gran Fondo Pinarello
The event sponsored by the famous bicycle brand turns 24 this year and returns to its original period in the calendar.
The starting point is Treviso, then you can cycle among some Palladian Villas (Unesco World Heritage Site) in Veneto, soft hills that are home to Prosecco and peaks on which epic pages were written during the First World War. Two tracks of 152 and 113 km with the GPMs (Gran Premio della Montagna, King of the Mountains in English) of Collalto, Muro di Ca ’del Poggio, Passo Rolle, Combai, Pianezze and Santa Maria della Vittoria.
Info Gran Fondo Pinarello 19th July
Gran Fondo L’Eroica
Since 1997 L’Eroica has been an example of enhancing the environmental heritage, sustainable lifestyle, and cycling. This is a very peculiar event: you can cycle in the heart of Sienese Chianti (departure from Gaiole in Chianti) on routes largely made up of “white roads” (dirt roads) and also, whoever wants to, is invited to relive the event in a “heroic” way with vintage bikes and vintage clothing. So this is also an opportunity to admire the typical bikes from the ’30s, ’40s…, as well as vintage clothing and even very traditional refreshments such as cured meats, eggs and wine!
There are five tracks, therefore suitable for everyone: 46, 81, 106, 135 and 209 kilometers.
Info Gran Fondo L’Eroica 4th October
Credits foto di anteprima:ecodibergamo.it