La Pinarello Granfondo – Italy [Weekender]
Friday July 11th – Monday July 14th
The story is now well-known. Before João made his comeback to professional cycling with the Cervélo TestTeam, he was out of shape and overweight. One day at a Granfondo in Italy, Fausto Pinarello, the legendary framebuilder, noticed Joao’s still-smooth pedaling technique, and asked if he’d ever raced. João said yes. Fausto replied, simply, that his friend ought to really start riding again. And that is where the unlikely transformation from office worker to ProTour racer began.
During his time as a pro, João lived and trained just outside of Siena in the Chianti region of Tuscany — an area that, with its rolling hills and postcard views, is known as of the best places on the whole earth to ride a bike It also happens to be the epicenter of the food and wine world.
Our weekender takes in this magical region during four days of riding and satiating your senses with the sights and delights of Treviso, Tuscany and the most magnificent parts of the Veneto. The heart of the whole trip is La Pinarello Granfondo, a challenge taken by more than 3,000 cyclists from around the world. This adventurous ride over undulating terrain between the southern Dolomites and the Venetian coast has two route options: the 106-mile granfondo or the 73-mile mediofondo. Both begin in Treviso’s evocative Piazza dei Signori, the heart of the city’s historical center, then explore the rest of the province, thanks to a course that runs along the Montello and through the splendid hills of Prosecco. The most courageous riders split off before returning to Treviso, and venture all the way up the Monte Grappa to experience the thrill of summiting one of the most beautiful and challenging climbs in Italy. (It proved to be a daunting climb even for professional cyclists during the 2011 edition of the (Giro d’Italia.)
If you bring along friends or family who aren’t so ambitious (at least in the cycling aspect), they’ll enjoy their own epicurean challenge: The 25-mile La Gourmet version of the route is a food- and wine-centric experience that can be enjoyed by cyclists of any level.