Mangia. Beve. Bici. Italy – [Maratona dles Dolomites & La Pinarello]

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 trip takes in Tuscany and the most magnificent parts of the Veneto in Northern Italy. We start with five days in Lecchi — João’s home while he trained — where we’ll experience the best that Chianti has to offer on the road and at the table. Then we travel to the Veneto, where we enjoy four days preparing for and riding La Pinarello Granfondo.

More than 3,000 cyclists from around the world take part in La Pinarello, an adventurous ride over undulating terrain between the southern Dolomites and the Venetian coast, with two route options: the 125-mile granfondo or the 80-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.

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As with all inGamba trips, you can expect to be cared for with the same personal attention reserved for world-class professional cyclists. For details about our bikes, soigneurs, mechanics and overall approach to creating the most carefully curated cycling experience available, please read about Our Mission.