102 miles with 15,800 feet of climbing
Dolomites • Climbs
Dolomites • Description
The Dolomites are arguably some of the greatest mountains in the world. This ride covers the passes of the popular Maratona dles Dolomites: Valparola, Falzarego, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Campolongo, and Giau. In addition, this longer route also includes Fedaia Pass, which leads up to Marmolada, the highest peak of the Dolomites.
The ride starts in San Cassiano, one of the villages of the Alta Badia region. It leads either up or down, there are almost no flat sections in between. Different combinations of passes are possible, both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Most passes have numbered switchbacks (tornanti), some with altitude display. All passes have a restaurant at the top. Falzarego, Fedaia, and Giau have one or more tunnels.
This route starts with Valparola Pass, followed by a descent to the top of Falzarego Pass. It then descends Falzarego Pass and continues towards Pordoi Pass. Pordoi features 33 switchbacks and is one of the four passes of the Sellaronda, a course that leads around the Sella Group. The other Sellaronda passes include Sella, Gardena, and Campolongo.
At the top of Pordoi Pass is a monument of Fausto Coppi (Il Campionissimo), one of the most successful cyclists of all time. After completion of the Sellaronda, Pordoi needs to be climbed a second time in order to get to the next pass. Fedaia Pass leads up to Fedaia Lake, which is supplied with water from the Marmolada glacier. The descent visits Rocca Pietore, the lowest point of the course.
From here there are three more climbs, one to the bottom of Falzarego Pass, one to the top of Falzarego Pass, and one to the top of Valparola Pass. Instead of going up Falzarego Pass directly, Giau Pass can be climbed first, followed by Falzarego Pass from the Cortina d'Ampezzo side. Valparola Pass finally leads down to the starting point.
Dolomites • Interactive Map
Dolomites • Pictures
View of Marmolada (from Passo Valparola)
Fausto Coppi Monument (Passo Pordoi)
View of Marmolada (from Passo Gardena)
Corvara and Passo Campolongo
Fedaia Lake and Marmolada
The Dolomites are a great location for an active vacation. Besides cycling, we did some hiking and mountaineering. A highlight was Marmolada, which we ascended via the West Ridge Via Ferrata and descended via the glacier route.
Thanks to my dad and brother-in-law for letting me borrow a bike and accessories.
By: Bernd Straehle
See Also: American & European Rides
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