Start date: 2023-07-23
End date: 2023-07-29
Cancellation policy: Up to 46 days before 80% refund. Up to 45 days before 50% refund.
Welcome from the staff and bike tour presentation.
Dinner based on local product and excellent wine from the Valtellina in a typical mountain restaurant.
Bormio - Passo Gavia 2621 m - Passo Mortirolo - Bormio 108 km, 3180 m
Starting off from Bormio the first step on our tour will be the least demanding pass of the week: Passo Gavia. One of the highest mountain passes in Europe, it represents one of the epic climbs of the Giro d’Italia: unforgettable images broadcast around the world of exhausted cyclists in the snow in some editions of the Giro.
Starting from Bormio we head towards Santa Caterina on a wide road with substantial gradients which, as the road narrows, become really demanding. This very special stage alternates easy stretches, that allow us to enjoy the beautiful view, with demanding sections, with an average gradient of 5.4% and a maximum of 15%. After the effort of the climb, once we have reached the top and put on the protective clothing provided by our loyal minibus, we carefully face the descent to enter the province of Brescia, in Ponte di Legno, famous ski resort, in the splendid Valle Camonica. This valley is well-known for its rock etchings, prehistoric remains that led to the area becoming the first UNESCO world heritage site in Italy in 1979. On the same day the same recognition was awarded to sites such as the gardens of Versailles and the Egyptian Pyramids.
Going down the valley we reach Monno, crossroads for Valle Camoica and Valtellina. Here starts a new extraordinary ascent: Passo Mortirolo.
This side of this epic climb is easier than the Valtellina side, but after having done Passo Gavia, it will be a great challenge.
Getting to the top, a fast downhill take us in Bormio
Our first day ends here, we load our road bikes onto the minibus, and return to Bormio to enjoy an evening in good company, with excellent local food and wine.
Tirano – Passo Bernina 2328 m – Passo Forcola 2315 m - Livigno - Passo Foscagno 2291 m - Bormio 101 km, 2878 m.
After breakfast, transfer to Tirano, where the climb is rather demanding, to reach Lago Poschiavo. Here we get our breath back for a moment before getting back on our bikes to continue the climb, short of breath, but also with the constant presence of the minibus at our side, to reassure us and provide any necessary assistance. A very large difference in altitude, with an average gradient 5.5% and a maximum of 12% … but the breathtaking landscapes and fabulous scenery of the Bernina glaciers will give us the strength to conquer the summit with our road bikes.
It is a Swiss pass that connects the Valtellina and Alta Engadina. Boasting spectacular panoramas towards the Alpine peaks Pizzo Bernina (4049m), Pizzo Palù (3906m) and the Morteratsch (3751m) with its imposing glacier.
After this spectacular summit we head to Livigno, a beautiful mountain village called Little Tibet too, a really famous ski resort.
The last effort takes us to Passo Foscagno, starting the descent towards Bormio.
As a reward we can expect an abundant and excellent dinner, as always based on products of Valtellina: pizzoccheri, sciatt (although the name, in Valtellina dialect, means “toads”, do not be fooled: they are delicious savory croquettes with melted cheese in the middle), polenta taragna (made from cornmeal and buckwheat flour) and bresaola, all washed down with local wines.
REST DAY – LAGO DI COMO - MADONNA DEL GHISALLO 85 km - 600 m
Just like professional cyclists during the big races, also our cycling team needs a more relaxing day to recover energy. Immediately after breakfast, with the bikes on the minibus, we head for the lower Valtellina. Today’s ride is an easy trip completely on the flat. Enjoying the incomparable beauty of Lago di Como, we will arrive in Varenna and then reach Bellagio by boat.
In Bellagio starts our climb towards the famous Madonna del Ghisallo, Patron of Cyclists.
Then back in Bellagio where the ferry wait for us for our transfer to Menaggio.
From there, cycling on the east shores, we will conclude the day.
Mazzo di Valtellina - Passo Mortirolo (1850 m) – Aprica-Tirano-Bormio 101 km – 2050 m.
Full of energy once again thanks to the pleasant and relaxing previous day, after breakfast, we take the minibus to Mazzo, the starting point today. The climb par excellence is that on the Valtellina side, which stretches for 12.5 km, with a slope of 1300m and a steep but steady gradient (average 10%; maximum 18%). These characteristics make it one of the most popular but also hardest ascents in Europe; it became famous when it was included in the Giro d’Italia route in 1990. It was here that, in 1994, the great Marco Pantani broke free, winning the stage, and in memory of the epic endeavours of "Il Pirata” a monument was placed in his honor at Km 8 on the Valtellina side in 2006.
Passo Mortirolo is “the master climb”, where the toughest, most important and exciting battles of the Giro d’Italia are fought. We too will have the opportunity to try out this ascent, always with the minibus for support should it be required. We return via a different route, through Trivigno, to reach the Passo Aprica. Thoroughly deserved after so much effort, a succulent dinner, as always based on the best local products.
CIRCUIT PASSO DELLO STELVIO
Passo dello Stelvio 2758 m – Passo Umbrail 2501 m -105 km, 3100 m.
A generous breakfast will help us to face the last of our epic climbs, from Bormio to the Passo dello Stelvio: average gradient of 7% with peaks of 15%. This is the highest Italian summit open to motorised vehicles and connects the Valtellina with Val Venosta in the province of Bolzano. An impressive series of hairpin bends and breathtaking nature write the story of this famous climb. The grandeur and majesty of the Ortles, with its huge glaciers, will be the reward for our efforts. After getting warm clothing from our minibus we head downhill to visit the Trentino side, from Prato dello Stelvio up to the fortified town of Glorenza, a few kilometers from the Swiss border.
After passing the Swiss border, another epic ascent is waiting for us: Passo Umbrail.
From the top, we return to Bormio for our dinner to end an unforgettable week
Breakfast and departure.
EXCLUDED: tips, laundry, service, drinks at dinners, lunches, and everything not explicitly written in this page!