Destination of the Month: The Dolomites

Written by Luke Jeffrey on 10th July, 2019

Sunday 7th July marked the day cyclists clicked in their cleats ready to ride the Maratona Dles Dolomites in Northern Italy. The sportive offered those competing a chance to challenge themselves across the famous Sella Ronda route against a backdrop of incredible peaks and forestry.  

As one of the Love Velo Travel Specialists, I joined the clients who booked their Maratona Dles Dolomites space with Love Velo in the historical tourist town, Corvara. Along with the rest of the Love Velo team, I collected clients from Venice Marco Polo airport and transferred them past beautiful vineyards into the dramatic snow capped mountains that is the Dolomites. Love Velo cyclist in Dolomites, Italy Whilst Corvara transformed into a cyclist hub during the weekend of the Maratona, as it is a stone’s throw away from the starting line, the relaxing landscapes are also attractive to skiers in the winter along with hikers and casual cyclists during the summer.

T minus 2 days before the race began, some of the Love Velo clients and myself as their guide embarked on an initial ride through the mountains to check that legs and bikes were in good shape. We ascended an easy 10km up the Gardena in reverse to what would be the last peak of the Sella Ronda route, stopping for a coffee with a view at the top.

The Maratona Dles Dolomites provides 3 alternative routes that you can choose from depending on your cycling fitness. Most popular with Love Velo clients are the 106km Middle route and the 138km Maratona course, although the shorter 55km Sella Ronda route is just as challenging. All feature fantastic switchback climbs that snake through the spectacular Dolomites scenery, so no matter what you choose, you’re in for an unforgettable experience. Cyclists cycling up switchbacks in Maratona Dles Dolomites, ItalyIt’s 4:30am on race day, and the Maratona cyclists are awake and gearing up for an epic day in the saddle. The valley temperatures ensure a chilly morning when we greet our clients at their hotel, before they rolled down to their respective starting pens. A loud gunshot rattles its way across the valley, signalling to the anticipate cyclists that it is now 6:30am and time to push toward their first conquest.Love Velo cyclist doing the Maratona Dles Dolomites, ItalyMusicians are scattered at the roadside, many ringing giant cow bells to spur cyclists on. The atmosphere is ecstatic and friendly, with even the locals getting involved by handing out baked goods to hungry onlookers. I stood about half way up Campolongo, awaiting our clients working hard and wanting to ditch their warmer layers as they continued on to the summit.Cyclist friends doing the Maratona Dles Dolomites, ItalyOverall, the 2019 Maratona Dles Dolomites was a great day of serious, yet fun cycling in one of the best locations Europe has to offer. We want to say a massive congratulations to all of our clients that participated, including our own Love Velo Sportives Director, Kevin, and especially to Davide Covolo who won the Sella Ronda race with a sub 2 hour time.

The Maratona Dles Dolomites was a great start to July, which is why we’ve decided to make The Dolomites our July Destination of the Month with British Cycling.

If you think you have what it takes to cycle the Maratona Dles Dolomites, get in contact with us to book your guaranteed place for 2020.