“AS GOOD AS IT GETS” – Alta Badia, a Cyclists Paradise

Keen cyclists will love Alta Badia in the summer when the rich cycling heritage of the Dolomites for those on two wheels comes to the fore. A packed calendar of events has been put together, making the most of the facilities in the villages and the iconic Dolomite mountains.

Alta Badia (South Tyrolean Dolomites/Italy) – The peaks of the Dolomites have always acted as a draw for cyclists, coupled with the area’s rich cycling heritage. Maria Canins, two time Grande Bouche (female Tour de France) winner and Olympian in cycling and skiing is Alta Badia’s most famous daughter and still takes tours of the area. Iconic races have also included the roads in the area such as the Giro d’Italia and the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel with its 9,000 participants. More casual rides such as the Sellaronda Bike Day also attracts up to 20,000 riders to this Dolomite location each year. This year’s Sellaronda Bike Day is the 22nd June.

Bike Friendly

Bike Friendly is the name given to the infrastructure put in place to support avid cyclists when they are in Alta Badia. Aimed at both road and mountain bikers the tourist board produces maps with itineraries and tours arranged through Dolomite Biking for both individuals and groups. Facilities range across the villages with hotels, shops and restaurants all aimed at those looking to cycle here. In hotels such as Hotel La Perla, Melodia del Bosco and Hotel Gran Paradiso, to mention just a few, there are storage, wash and repair facilities for bikes along with a hearty breakfast packed with carbohydrates and energy. The lifts will carry bikes free of charge and upon return to the hotel a cold snack or cake is readily available to replenish energy.

Dolomites Cycling Weeks

Between the 25th May and the 22nd June there is the opportunity to enjoy four days guiding in preparation to potentially ride the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel. Run by Holimites the expert guides take into account physical condition before planning routes. The participants of each week will be split into three ability groups and equipped with energy packs, saddlebag, water bottle and route book with a support van on hand for any technical difficulties. For prices and availability visit www.holimites.com/en/sport-packages

La Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel

This year will be the 28th staging of the televised (RAI TV) Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel and will take place on Saturday 6th July starting from La Villa and ending in Corvara. The race has grown in popularity over the years with foreign riders being drawn to the race along with the Italians. 35,000 contested the 9,000 spots available in the starting peloton.

Michil Costa, local and patron of the event says: “Taking part is not just about overcoming fatigue, nor about contemplating and being contemplated about and by nature, but it is about a form of spirituality shared by thousands of persons who wish to experience a special occasion. The Maratona dles Dolomites is all about throwing yourself into an arduous activity and hours later coming out as new.”

There are three routes available this year of varying lengths and difficulty from 138km hardest route with 4,190m of climbing to the medium course of 106km with 3,090m climbing and the 55km Sellaronda route with 1,780m climbing. Visit www.maratona.it

Pinarello Partnership  

Alta Badia has partnered with the world famous road bike manufacturer Pinarello, supplier of bikes to Team Sky. Pinarello now supports all cycling activities in the Alta Badia area having been a longstanding partner of the Maratona dles Dolomites. Guests will be able to try out the latest Pinarello bikes including the famed Dogma series, the preferred bike of Team Sky.

Mountain Biking in Alta Badia

Cycling on mountain trails is just as popular and impressive as the roads in Alta Badia. The Sellaronda route and the new downhill route from Passo Gardena towards Colfosco are amongst the highlights, both are accessible from the Gardenaccia lift. Lifts used on the 58km Sellaronda MTB route reduces the climb to just 500m from 3,400m. The Sellaronda lift system operational from 22nd June to the 21st September.

Biking Up!

A new ‘Biking Up!’ Dolomiti Supersummer Card gives mountain bikers access to the lift system with their bikes attached to the sides. Guided tours available with www.dolomitebiking.com

Sellaronda Hero MTB Race

The Sellaronda Hero MTB race, dubbed as the toughest in the Alps, will this year take place on Saturday 21st June. Routes are either 62km or 84km in length.

E-Bike Sharing at 2,000m

An e-bike sharing concept in the mountains has been launched by Alta Badia working in a similar way to ‘Boris Bikes’ in London. There are three drop off points in the valleys in Corvara, la Villa and San Cassiona whilst there are four on the peaks at the Col Alt, Piz la Ila, Piz Sorega and Pralongià which also act as recharging points. The bikes are all new this season and feature the newest e-bikes from Trek. Suitable for over 14s the prices start from 21€ for adults and 15€ for adults based on half day rentals.

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