Cycle utopia: the Italian Dolomites

Cycle utopia: the Italian Dolomites

We love the Italian Dolomites for its incredible winter sports and unmatched gastronomic delights, but its summer sports have just as much to offer. We decided to have a closer look at what’s on offer for cyclists (spoiler alert: it's absolutely unsurpassed on every front!).

This year marks the centenary of the Giro d’Italia and Alta Badia’s dramatic and challenging Dolomite passes of Campolongo, Falzarego and Valparola having been the battleground for some the Giro’s biggest battles (Campolongo, Pordoi, Falzarego, Sella and Giau are legends who were all born here), so it’s perfect timing for a bespoke cycle tour in this breath-taking region.

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InGamba offers cyclists the chance to experience a taste of the pro’s life, complete with a team car for support, a professional mechanic on hand, a bike and kit cleaning service, a GPS pre-programmed with the routes, and a Pro Tour soigneur to massage tired legs after an exhilarating day in the saddle. Such a prodigious experience warrants an exceptional steed: a Pinarello Dogma F8 bike with SRAM Red eTAP and Zipp wheels, measured to fit each cyclist, personalised with their name and national flag and pre-adjusted to the rider’s measurements. There are no half measures here and by all accounts it is something all passionate cyclists should have the privilege of experiencing in their lifetime.

The rides are challenging and physically demanding, so fortunately cyclists are spoilt for choice when it comes to refuelling their bodies with delectable cuisine. This region is renowned for its unmatched gastronomy: no other valley in the Alps can boast a higher concentration of highly-decorated restaurants.

Cycling has really taken off in Alta Badia with new cycle events popping up regularly to make the most of this challenging setting’s unforgiving undulations and scarce flats.

The first Dolomites Bike Day is taking place on 18th June: a non-competitive, free event which snakes from Alta Badia to Arabba and the Livinallongo valley, crosses the Campolongo Pass, before navigating the Falzarego and Valparola Passes and arrives in the villages of La Villa and Corvara. This is the exact route that is planned for the leg of the Giro d’Italia to be ridden on 25th May, so cyclists will have the chance to test themselves only a few weeks after the professionals conquer the route. The 51km course, with a 1,290m change in altitude, will be closed to traffic from 10am to 3pm and anyone is free to participate.

One week later, on 25th June, is another opportunity to explore the Dolomites: the Sellaronda Bike Day, now in its twelfth year. It is similarly a non-competitive event and roads will be closed to traffic from 8:30am to 3:30pm.

The Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel is considered Europe’s most famous and atmospheric “cyclosportive” (an organised, mass-participation cycling event), and its 31st edition will take place on Sunday 2nd July. There are three distances to choose from: 55km, 106km and 138km. Gorgeous views, challenging courses and a real party atmosphere: it deserves a spot on any amateur cyclist’s bucket list.

For those who’d rather not struggle up the steep inclines of the Dolomites but don’t want to miss out on discovering this beautiful area by bicycle, the innovative E-Bike Sharing Scheme is ideal. Pinarello’s brand new E-Bikes are electric, so you won’t put your fitness to the test while you explore the three national parks within the Movimënt Area. The E-Bikes can be picked up and dropped off at the stations above Col Alto, Piz La Ila and Piz Sorega and in the villages of La Villa, Corvara and La Val.

It’s clear that when it comes to cycling, the Dolomites have something for everyone, and we can’t think of a more perfect way to enjoy this incredible destination in summer. 

Cycling can form a large part of any adventure itinerary in the region and we’re ready to help put a bespoke programme together that will tick all the boxes for everyone in your group. Find out more about our Air & Space adventure holidays to the Italian Dolomites here.