Mangia. Beve. Bici. Italy – [La Pinarello Granfondo & Dolomites]
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.
Many parts of the inGamba story are anchored in this pivotal moment, so the trip to Treviso to ride in the namesake gran fondo can be considered kind of pilgrimage. You’ll climb storied mountains, dine at a Michelin star restaurant (and many other superb establishments), and take in the splendor of the Dolomite region. But the real magic is in the relationships and history that underpin the journey; get an insider’s view into the Pinarello empire, meet and dine with João’s old friends, pedal alongside pros and former pros.
Our trip starts in Treviso the home of Pinarello in the northern region of the Veneto where we will ride the legendary Pinarello Granfondo. More than 3,000 cyclists from around the world take part in La Pinarello, an adventurous ride over undulating terrain with two route options: the 171 kilometer granfondo or the 117 kilometer 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 by way of challenging climbs, sweeping vistas and charming villages. The most courageous riders split off in Follino, veering right to tackle the longer route which begins with a refreshing ascent of the Praderadego. This punishing 7k climb covers a stretch of road called Via Claudia Augusta Altinate, dating back to 15 BC and the narrow path to the summit is cut directly from the surrounding rock, topping out at 15-16%. From there, you’ll glide along the bank of the Piave River, before hitting the final climbs of the day—Monte Tomba and La Pressa XIII—where Italy’s famous double-digit grades will once again test your legs before a return to Treviso.
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.
After the Pinarello Granfondo we will drive two hours into the heart of the Dolomites, where we enjoy six days based in the town of Corvara. During the week we will explore the Dolomites region and some of its famed climbs, making our way over a few passes each day.
Once in Corvara, we’ll stay in Hotel la Perla, a warm and inviting inn run by Ernesto and Anny Costa that specializes in hosting cyclists (we’ll make extensive use of their Dogma Pinarello Passionate Lounge). The property features a historic wine cellar containing more than 30,000 bottles of wine and 2,000 labels. Ernesto prides himself on this town and this region—his home since childhood—and we’ll spend time during the week with him learning about the area and it’s hidden secrets. We’ll even have a chance to visit Ernesto’s nearby childhood home, which has been preserved with all of its original historical items intact.
Friends, family or spouses who opt out of pedaling up the staggering grades of the surrounding mountains will be well looked after with daily cultural activities ranging from exploring historic churches to learning how to make essential oils from the abundant surrounding pinecones.
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.