Journeying over the most prestigious peaks and dramatic landscapes that the Dolomites are renowned for, as well as conquering the truly iconic 2,757m high Passo dello Stelvio, if you have a passion for Italy then this is going to be an unbelievable week of cycling, adventure and post ride wellness.
Italian mountains at their very best, we’ll be exploring some of the most prestigious and beautiful climbs that this country has to offer including the jaw-droppingly spectacular Sella Ronde loop, iconic Passo Giau and more before heading west to tame the mighty Passo dello Stelvio and the Passo di Gavia. Steeped in cycling history and mystique this week will give you a truly complete experience of the very best that northern Italy has to offer.
WHO’S IT FOR
This tour is for any rider who wants to experience the beauty of the Dolomties and ride the famous giants of the Italian Alps. There’s no doubt it’s a toughie, made in part by the steep gradients and long ascents that each region offers, but our routes and hotels have been carefully selected to enable riders of all abilities to join in and enjoy the tour. If you’re nervous at the number of climbs on a day, or even just fancy taking it a little easier, then you’ll be able to recover and relax in an idyllic mountain setting with soothing wellness facilities aplenty. Likewise if you’re looking for a challenging week in the mountains then this tour definitely won’t disappoint.
Capturing the spirit of the Dolomites and Italian Alps we’ll be hosting just one tour in 2019, with a maximum group size of 8 riders and full on the road support from The Col Collective.
04th - 11th August 2019 (7 nights)
€3350 - based on twin share accommodation, includes our exclusive Col Collective mountain essentials kit bag! See ‘what’s included’ for details.
Single supplements available. Please contact us in advance to confirm pricing.
10% discount for non-riding partners.
5% discount for group bookings of 3 or more.
The Col Collective premium mountain essentials kit bag!
We are currently working on our 2019 Col Collective kit bag which will include the highest quality mountain essentials gear from our premium partners including custom limited edition Col Collective jersey, nutrition, lighting, tools and more. In 2018 the value of this kit bag was over €850!
THE WEEK IN BRIEF > 14 Cols / 400km / 14,000m elevation
Day 1 - Arrival and collection from Innsbruck airport at midday and transfer to Colfosco, bike build and short spin to loosen the legs and get ready for the week
Day 2 - Sella Ronda loop clockwise (Passo Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena) > 51km / 1683m elevation
Day 3 - Passo Valparola, Passo di Giau, Passo Falzarego > 96km / 2,500m elevation
Day 4 - Passo Fedaia, Passo Pordoi > 90km 2,400m elevation
Day 5 - Passo dello Stelvio Prato side > 45km / 1,808m elevation
Day 6 - Passo di Gavia from Bormio > 51km / 1404m elevation with option to add Gavia from Ponte di Legno > 85km /2750m elevation
Day 7 - Passo dello Stelvio from Bormio and Umbrail Pass > 60km / 1,800m elevation
Day 8 - Grande breakfast (you’ll need it by now) and transfers back to the airport.
Arriving at Innsbruck airport we’ll collect you and your bike then transfer 20 minutes to the Infocrank HQ where we’ll build bikes over light refreshments and drop off bike boxes for the week. We’ll then transfer to Colfosco in the heart of the Dolomites with a gentle spin to get the legs turning again after travel.
Starting the week in style with one of the most famous rides in the Dolomites, the spectacular Sella Ronda! Immersed in Dolomite greatness from the very beginning we’ll head clockwise to ascend the Passo Campolongo (1,875m) followed in quick succession by the eastern side of the Passo Pordoi (2,239m), the Passo Sella (2,218m) and Passo Gardena (2,136m). It may only be 51km in length but with four climbs (three of which are over 2,000 metres) this is a ride that’ll leave you in absolute awe by the mountains. Many have said that this is a ride that every cyclist should experience at least once in their lifetime and we’d be honoured to share that experience with you.
Today we have a three climb beauty on the menu starting with a 7.5km descent as we head towards the town of La Villa Stern for the start of the Passo Valparola (2,200m). After some rest and refreshments at the summit we head south enjoying the long descent towards Selva di Cadore for one of the most famous passes in the Dolomites and the Queen climb of the day the 10km ascent of the Passo Giau (2,236m). Fortunately the final climb of the day, the Passo Falzarego is more forgiving with a gentler average gradient of 5.5% making it a beautiful way to end the day, and by now the spa will surely be calling!
After enjoying a hearty breakfast we’ll take on another classic route of the region starting with the Passo Campolongo (which you’ll be familiar with from the first ride) except after the descent this time we’ll be making a beeline for the foot of the Passo Fedaia, also known as the Marmolada. There’s no denying it the Fedaia is a brute with sections in excess of 15% so making sure that you have low gearing will be essential. Fear not, there is absolutely no rush and the feeling of conquering this classic is indescribable. You can do it! The highlight of this climb is when we head through the enchanting delights of the Sottaguda Gorge (sorry support car, you’ll have to take the main road) as the imposing Marmolada keeps a watchful eye on all below. A welcome strudel stop in Canazei will help recharge the legs as we turn our attention towards the western side of the Pordoi where the lure of the Fausto Coppi statue awaits at the summit.
After three magical days in the Dolomites today we take a short 2.5 hour road trip to turn our attention towards the Italian Alps. The day may look like a short one but don’t let that fool you as we saddle up for possibly the most famous climb in Italy of all, the 2,757m Passo dello Stelvio! This climb needs little introduction, the highest road pass in Italy and from the start town in Prato you have 24.3km at 7.4% average gradient to conquer…....oh and 48 hairpins!! Pacing is going to be crucial on this one and you’re in good hands as we’ll be supporting you all the way and the good news is our second hotel awaits after the long descent down to Bormio. Bellissimo!
While the Stelvio often steals the limelight, its little brother the Passo di Gavia (2,621m) is no less of a challenge and, in our opinion, one that out trumps the Stelvio for pure beauty. Starting straight out of Bormio it’s amazing how close both climbs are to one another and yet how different they feel. The Gavia feels more wild and forgotten in comparison with iconic images of Andy Hampsten fighting the blizzard during the 1988 Giro d’Italia forever in its mind. Take your time, focus and enjoy the moment. At the summit you can either head back to base or if you’ve still got the energy it’ll be onwards (and upwards again) with Mike for the southern face of the Gavia from Ponte di Legno.
Finishing the week off in perfect mountain harmony and adding to your, by now, bulging palmares, as we start our journey back towards Austria we have just two little challenges in store. The first you’re well acquainted with, albeit not from this side, as all eyes focus on the Stelvio from Bormio. At the summit we’ll retrace our wheel tracks for 3km before saddling the Umbrail Pass (2,501m) taking us down the third side of the Stelvio and into Switzerland. As we shuttle the last few kilometres back to Austria the anticipation of an evening of celebration awaits, and after all these legendary cols boy do you deserve it!
After all that climbing you’ll be quite right in feeling very proud of yourself, and we will be too for being able to share the whole experience with you. After we hoover up the breakfast table all that remains is a little bike packing and transfer back to Innsbruck for a midday drop off. The legs may be stiff but we can guarantee the mountain memories that you’ll now have will burn brightly forevermore.
This is a general itinerary to give you a good idea of what to expect. We may make some adjustments if we think we can further improve the week or if we need to dodge Mother Nature at any time. There’ll be options throughout the week to trim the days down depending on how you’re feeling so rest assured we’re here to look after you.
For our four night stay in the Dolomites we will be enjoying the stunning Romantik Arthotel Cappella nestled in the highest resort in Alta Badia at the foot of the remarkable Sella Massif. Discover the spa area with its large chlorine/ozone swimming pool, the heated outdoor pool, the ‘Sky Room’ rest area, and the idyllic lawn with a panoramic mountain views. Relaxation takes on a whole new alpine meaning here. The steam sauna, the Finnish sauna and the brine sauna as well as the generously equipped fitness room (if you need this we’re going to be asking a few questions about how hard you’re trying on the rides) mean that you have everything to hand to recover in the best possible way post ride. The chef will prepare international and mediterranean dishes as well as regional quality produce and fresh herbs from their own garden.
We are currently in the process of confirming our hotel in the Italian Alps and more details will be posted here soon.
For our final night we’ll stay in Innsbruck at the Wellness Hotel Stubaier Hof where we’ll celebrate a week to remember.
Booking Terms Please complete the below booking request form so that we can start working with you to confirm your Col Collective cycling tour. We’ll give you a call or send you an email with more details, also prior to booking we can answer any questions that you may have. Once you’re happy and have confirmed the booking we ask for 30% of the full price of the tour at this time, with the remaining balance paid in full 12 weeks before the tour. Changes and cancellations are detailed in our terms and conditions.
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to welcoming you to the Dolomites!
Ride safe, Mike Cotty
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