New Gran Fondo Pages

As an ongoing display of “Too much time on my hands”, “I have no life” and “Do you not understand the futility of what you’re doing?”, the answer to that being “Bite me – I know you love it”, I have added pages for my favorite Gran Fondos.

They are: the Maratona dles Dolomites, the Marmotte Alpes and the Sella Ronda Bike Day.

Yes, I could have spared myself the effort of creating a page for the latter, as it is part of the long version of the Maratona.

Did you not understand the first sentence of this post?

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Maratona dles Dolomites

The Maratona dles Dolomites is, like the classic Marmotte Alpes in France, one of these events that is hard – and expensive – to get a ticket for.

While an entry itself carries a fee of €150, which is perhaps reasonable, there is hardly a guarentee that you will actually get one.

Unless you buy a package via the Official Tour Operators and you’ll be lucky to get away with a package costing less than €2,000…

However, and to be honest, these all inclusive – accommodation and food – packages usually are multi-day events, including other scheduled rides.

At any rate, this has long been on my bucket list and I eventually cycled it all by myself, accompanied by Paula in the team car, during my Giro d’Italia of 2020 (Stage 6).

Which is probably what a lot of other people will do, albeit that you will have nothing to show for it in your hall of fame at home.

The “Percorso Maratona” is 138 kms long, with 4,230 m of elevation gain.

This long version of the Maratona dles Dolomites contains of two loops, the Sella Ronda and a loop over the Giau and Valparola.

The latter includes a second ascend of the Campolongo, but down in Arabba, you’ll turn left instead of right.

The shorter “Percorso Medio” (106 km/3,130 m elevation gain), splits and turns left in Cernadoi to get up the Falzarego/Valparola.

Other than in my Giro’s Stage 6 report, you can find more info on the official Maratona dles Dolomites site.

(At the time of writing, its homepage featured a photograph of the Campolongo –  which is the first climb after the start in la Villa – with a gazillion cyclists, giving you a good impression of the number of participants.)

Giro d’Italia 2020 Report

stelvio-stage-9So, how did I fare this Giro d’Italia 2020, compared to what I had in mind beforehand?

Well, I choked on the Mortirolo (from Mazzo) again and – barely – made it up the Bernina, all the way from Tirano.

The difference with last year being, that this did not happen during the same stage and that the Mortirolo was just as hot, but the Bernina was the coldest of all.

But, I kinda, sorta, had my revenge on the Mortirolo, as I was on its summit no less than four times, twice during the same stage.

I also ended up on the Stelvio summit three times, during my prologue and as finishes for stages 7 and 9.

And, I was able to complete the Maratona dles Dolomites, which had been on my to-do/wish list, since I first visited the Dolomites in 2011.

Not surprisingly, that stage (6) also came with the highest elevation difference (D+) of all stages: almost 4,250 meters.

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Giro d’Italia 2020 Plans

Contrary to my past ‘Grand Tours’, I’m not going to write a road book for my Giro d’Italia 2020.

Every time I put a lot of effort in it and while I usually manage to generally follow the stages I had in mind, I frequently have to change plans anyway.

This can be for any number of reasons, my advancing age probably not being the least important.

But, I’ve also suffered from a cyclist nodule and intense, hernia induced or incident related (back) pains.

Plus, the weather can be a force to reckon with and not seldom have I been cycling in near freezing conditions or ice cold rain one day, only to have my brain blown out because of the heat the next.

And while I have new climbs to discover during this Giro, I am already quite familiar with the area(s) and most of its climbs.

So, I can leave it that and you can stop reading if you’re no longer interested, but I’m writing down a few (loose) ideas anyway…

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Giro d’Italia 2020

Late 2019, we initially booked a vacation on Tenerife, where I would cycle up and down El Teide and Paula would bake in the sun.

Then Corona/Covid-19 happened and we decided to not take avoidable risks and cancelled that trip.

Paula being who she is, then asked me if I would be in for an alternative, like Italy, maybe the Dolomites…

The occasional visitor of this site will know that I didn’t need a lot of time to think that over.


So, we found a hotel in Ponte di Legno, at the base of…

  • Drum roll *

the Gavia.

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