Raid Dolomites

Dolomites

  • Awe-inspiring 9 day journey across 3 countries
  • 1180km route encompassing 40 cols and 20,900m ascent
  • Infamous Giro passes, and highlights of the Stelvio and Giau
  • Official route including registration plus certificate & medal for successful finishers
  • Comfortable 2 and 3* hotels with local cuisine geared to cyclists
  • All evening meals & wine included
  • 2 customised support vans with attentive, and proactive guides who love a laugh
  • Experienced and passionate service from Marmot Tours

Days on the bike

9 days

Just a quick note to say thank you for an absolutely brilliant trip.  As ever - superbly organised and great fun.  I know a huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes to get 20 plus people from A to B safely and smoothly and as ever you guys did the job superbly well.

J O'Brien July 2013

Introduction

If you have experience cycling in the mountains, and maybe a Raid or 2 under your belt, then the natural progression of things should lead you to the pinnacle of your Raid career: the Raid Dolomites, (also known as the Raid Alpine Leman Adriatique).

Starting in Thonon Les Bains, France, you face an epic journey over the Alps through Italy and Switzerland, taking in some monstrous cols. The Simplon, the San Bernardino (over 31kms of climbing but at a lovely average of 5.4%) and the Splugan are the first ones topping 2000m.  The Stelvio features later, (do all these big cols begin with ‘S’?), which at 2758m high is infamous as the highest paved mountain pass in Europe, frequently featuring in the Giro d’Italia. The descent around 48 hairpins on the Eastern side is something truly memorable. Col after col tops the 2000m mark: Sella, Pordoi, Valparola, Giau and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo (3 peaks of Lavaredo) from the summit of which you have a magnificent panoramic view of the Dolomites.

For a decade now we have been supporting cyclists in achieving their goals. We are passionate about our product being the best it can be, and the expertise and experience of our team really shows. We provide two highly customised support vans per group, our guides are attentive and energetic, and we know that this is not just a cycling challenge – it is also a holiday, so we keep it fun. It is also about your goals and aspirations and we pride ourselves on our individual customer focus from your first enquiry to the last moment of your holiday.

If you want to visit the Dolomites, but do not have 10 days to spare, then our Dolomites Minibreak or Classic Cols of the Dolomites, with its flexible itinerary, may be the cycling holiday for you.

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

It is important to us that you book the correct holiday so do download and read the Trip Notes for all you need on how this holiday works, food, accommodation & travel…

Departure Dates & Prices

2018

Month
Departure
Amount
Single Room Supplement
Jun
6th Jun - 16th Jun
£1850.00
Single Room Sup. £360.00
Jul
4th Jul - 14th Jul
£1800.00
Single Room Sup. £360.00
Aug
15th Aug - 25th Aug
£1800.00
Single Room Sup. £360.00

Map

Itinerary

Day 0: Travel Out

We offer included transfers from Geneva Airport to Thonon Les Bains (1hr).

 

Full travel advice and our group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.

Meet your guides, assemble your bikes and come to the welcome briefing followed by a great dinner.

Day 1: Thonon Les Bains to Simplon (195km with 2580m ascent)

Kick off from Lake Geneva’s shores on quiet roads with classic Alpine scenery. The gradients of the first col, Pas de Morgins (1371m) are pleasant and you will be loving the ride by the time you get your first carnet stamp. Descending into Switzerland’s Rhone Valley you pass the 2000yr old towns of Martigny, Sion & Sierre. This section is flat (ish) so its worth working in a group before the ‘break’ is over at Brig with the start of the Simplon Pass (2006m). Apart from a rude start, it gains height gracefully and you will love the climb. After a photo at the top, you descend to the village of Simplon for some Swiss hospitality.

Day 2: Simplon to San Bernardino (157km with 2240m ascent)

Digest breakfast on the 35km descent into Italy (already 3 countries in as many days!). Its a beautiful road to Masera where you climb Druogno (831m) to warm up the climbing legs and get your carnet stamped. The Sella Piano di Sale (941m) lies between you and Lake Locarno, cycling around which is very pleasant indeed! You pass through Bellinzona with its UNESCO heritage hill top chateau before the last significant climb today: the Passo de San Bernardino (2065m). We aptly stay in the mountain village of San Bernardino.

Day 3: San Bernardino to Saint Moritz (121km with 2590m ascent)

Finish the Passo di San Bernardino (2065m) in the cool of the morning before a wonderful 18km descent to Splugan. The infamous Splugan Pass beckons you with its incredible views and cafe at the top. Its all downhill to Chiavenna (30kms down!) but its not over yet as you still have the Passo del Maloja (1815m) to conquer before reaching the infamous destination of Saint Moritz.

Day 4: Saint Moritz to Prato Allo Stelvio (125km with 2880m ascent)

Staying high for a while the route undulates over 5 massive cols, just dipping down 3/400m in between each. Fabulous mountain riding. The largest is the last in line, the Passo dello Stelvio (2758m) which needs little introduction. Its a bit of a beast with many 8.5% sections and a few at 9% so you’ll be pleased to get to the top! Our hotel is at the base of the climb so a lovely descent awaits you – wrap up warm!

Day 5: Prato Allo Stelivo to Selva Val Gardena (168km with 2680m ascent)

You descend for 50kms or so to start today so won’t be tempted to take the short cut to Bolzano, instead heading into the hills to climb the Passo dello Palade (1512m) and the Passo della Mendola (1363m) for a carnet stamp. A wicked descent to Bolzano (we avoid the busy roads by using the cycle paths here) before thankfully climbing into the Dolomites and being rewarded with breathtaking views of the towering limestone peaks. This will hopefully distract you from the ‘upsettingly steep’ Passo del Pinei (1437m), still to be climbed before Selva Val Gardena!

Day 6: Selva Val Gardena to Cortina (108km with 3100m ascent)

Its a spiky profile today so don’t be fooled by the ‘short’ distance. The Passo Sella (2244m) comes first with its 10 – 11% sections so you will be nicely warmed up (or knackered!) for the classic climbs to follow: Passo Pordoi (2239m), Passo di Campolongo (1875m) and the Passo di Valparola (2198m). You’ll hardly notice the Colle di Santa Lucia (1435m) before the final climb of the day. The Passo di Giau (2233m) is a sting in the tail; generally 10% with a couple of 12.5% sections to get you truly grimacing. Your reward is the long descent to our destination of Cortina D’Ampezzo (1956 Winter Olympics town) which hosts us for 2 nights.

Day 7: Cortina & back (55km with 1550m ascent)

Its ‘almost’ a rest day today so you can enjoy a bit of the Dolomites off the bike and recuperate slightly! The scenery is just stunning and you will love climbing the Passo Tre Croci (1805m) before descending to the beautiful tranquil Lago di Misurina aka ‘Pearl of the Dolomites’. There is a cheeky ascent to the Refuge Auronzo for a carnet stamp before the brutal climb up the Tre Cime di Lavaredo with 4km of 11.5% (did I really say rest day!?). Head back to Cortina via the Passo di Cimabanche (1530m) for a relaxing afternoon (unless you would rather climb the Passo Falzarego (2105m)…?

Day 8: Cortina to Tolmezzo (156km with 2700m ascent)

Enjoy stunning views of the Tre Cime from the other side as you ride today. The gentle gradients of the Passo di Cimabanche take you back up to the Raid route and a roll down to Dobbiaco with its Austrian feel. The Passo MonteCroce di Comelico (1626m) is very enjoyable but the significant climbs are the Sella Ciampigotto (1790m) and Sella di Razzo (1760m), interspersed with descents to picturesque mountain lake resorts. The last ‘proper’ col of your Raid is the Passo del Pura (1428m) from where you descend to Tolmezzo and our Auberge. The optional extra of the Zoncolan Pass (1734m) is on offer from the end today (adding an extra 41km and 1430m of ascent!)

Day 9: Tolmezzo to Trieste (134km with 500m ascent)

It feels like you are nearly there but there is still some distance and 3 little pimples between you & a BIG, and very well deserved celebration in Trieste!

Day 10: Travel Back

We offer transfers from the hotel to Venice Airport (2hrs) at specific times.

 

 

Full travel advice and our group airport transfer arrangements (essential reading before booking your flights) can be found in our Trip Notes.

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