Verona & The Maratona dles Dolomites


The Maratona dles Dolomites is the queen of grandfondos. It’s gruelling, beautiful, fun, irresistible, unforgettable. It’s breathtaking, both figuratively and literally. It’s a celebration of cycling. It’s also incredibly inclusive and with three different courses to choose from, there’s something for every fitness level. Its roads are steeped in history and include some of cycling’s most legendary climbs, from the Passo Pordoi, where Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali fought one of their most famous battles, to the iconic Passo di Giau, the race’s highest point, where you’ll be 2,236 meters above sea level, surrounded by snow and rock and little else.

This incredible trip combines the thrill of amateur cycling’s greatest event with the beauty of fair Verona. Starting out near the city, the first few days of this package explores the surrounding countryside and the rolling hills above Lake Garda, all with the best guide possible: Eros Poli, the local boy who went on to win Olympic gold and one of the most famous Tour de France stages of all time. And then, we’ll transfer to the gorgeous Hotel La Perla, deep in the mountains and right at the heart of the Maratona action.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F10 Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • One Giordana FRc custom inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included

**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:


Finish Location:


Days Riding:


Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:


Total Elevation:


Longest Day:

Day 7. Maratona dles Dolomites. 138km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 7. Maratona dles Dolomites. 4,250m


Day by Day Breakdown



Welcome to Italy! For our bike fitting and test ride we will discover the hillsides of the Valpolicella wine area. Second only to Chianti in terms of production, this region is most famous for its light, fragrant, red wine that is meant to be consumed quickly after harvest, and for it’s heavyweight Amarone, a perennial favourite among connoisseurs. Our ride begins on the flat plains of Verona, but quickly begins to climb. This is the time to make adjustments to your bike fit. If something isn’t quite right please have the mechanic make the adjustments.


The UCI World Championships visited Verona in 2004, and today we'll ride the best part of the course, including the famous, Cyprus-lined climb of Torricelle. Although the stencilled names of that day's biggest champions have long since faded from the tarmac, our own Eros Poli still has vivid memories of the action and will be sure to regale you with some colorful highlights.


Today we ride through two distinct areas: The Lessinia mountains, and Soave wine country. In the valleys and on the lower slopes of the Lessinia for the first part of our ride, we will be riding through vineyards and olive groves. As we continue upwards to the plateau that characterizes the heart of Lessinia, the hillsides shift to orchards of heartier walnuts and chestnuts. We will finish our ride by descending into the Soave wine region which is world renowned for its production of a wonderfully dry, white wine of the same name.

Passo Giau

Today we transfer from Verona into the Dolomites and start our climbing adventure. The stunning cliff faces of Cinque Torri have stood as sentinels looking over the switchbacks that climb to the summit of Passo Giau for centuries. During the First World War the Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers battled each other and the elements for control of the strategically important mountains. These slopes have witnessed grand battles between Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali, bore witness to the genius of Eddy Merckx and carried the late Marco Pantani to glory.

Passo Falzarego

The Passo Falzarego is named after a myth about a wicked ruler turned his back on his people and was turned to stone. In the local Ladin language, it means “False King”. There's nothing fake about this climb's pedigree though, because it was where the legendary Fausto Coppi secured his first mountain victory over Gino Bartali, in the 1946 Giro d'Italia. The gradient overall is a manageable 6.3% over 16.4 kilometres, and includes plenty of switchbacks and gorgeous views. Towards the top, it gets harder, but the dramatic surroundings always seem to add a little bit of kick to the pedal stroke!

Passo Campolongo

It is important to take it easy today in preparation for tomorrow’s Maratona dles Dolomites. The beloved pre-race ride that most cyclists do on this day is a ride up the Passo Campolongo and back down to Badia. Don’t push it too hard today. You will need your strength for tomorrow.

Maratona dles Dolomites

This is it. The day we’ve all been waiting for. The Maratona dles Dolomites. There are three courses available so be sure to choose the most comfortable one for you and go have fun. The shortest is just 55km but still climbs almost 1,800m, so it’s hardly a walk in the park. The medium route has 3,090m of elevation over 106km, and then there’s the full Maratona, an unforgettable challenge that ascends some 4,230m over 138km. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Corvara – Venice

After breakfast we will say goodbye to the Dolomites and take the winding trip down the mountains to the Veneto plains and the Venice airport. If you would like to stay a few additional days in Venice there is a boat service that departs from the airport directly into the heart of Venice. After a week in the mountains, and the hustle and bustle of the Maratona it would be nice to relax among the sights of Venice for a few days.

YOUR Guides

Eros Poli

The Champion

The night before Eros Poli took victory atop Mont Ventoux he couldn’t sleep. It was not like he was dreaming of victory or even had the slightest idea the next day's stage would change his life forever. It was just that it was hot. Unbearably, unsleepably hot in his less-than stellar French hotel. His roommate had taken his mattress off the bed and was sleeping on the small balcony outside their room. And the man who would shortly become known as Monsieur Ventoux was watching football, Italy vs. Brazil in the World Cup final, to be exact. Italy lost. The following morning as Eros dragged his weary, tired legs out of bed and down the stairs, as there was no lift, James Brown came into his head. “I feel good, I knew that I would now,” started to repeat over and over in his head. As it would the rest of the day. He felt good and the rest, as they say, is history.

André Cardoso

The Zealous One

When he was but a wee-tot André fell in love with the majesty of cycling. The racers used to come to his hometown once a year and he would set his alarm clock to wake him in the wee-hours of the morning, so he could run to town and take in all the majesty of the days races. It wasn’t too much longer he started bugging his father for a bicycle of his own. His father thought it was a fad, his father told him he loved everything and his father thought this love affair would pass like so many young men's dreams. But his father finally caved to young André’s drive to ride the bike and bought him a bright and shiny race machine from the local shop. André went on to finish on the podium in his local race, then pile up a huge list of professional palameres and, luckily for us, his love of bicycling has never faltered.

Manuel Cardoso

The Quiet Crusher

Manuel Cardoso is no longer sitting on the front of the pack, pulling everyone along at what some would describe as a “brisk” pace and what others are unable to describe at all, because they're too busy gasping for breath and holding onto the wheel in front of them for dear life. Manuel is now sitting just slightly off the back of the pack. As I look back, I realize he has that look on his face. The look which struck fear in the hearts of the Pro Peleton for many years. The look which is part grin, part mischievous child and all business. He is about to start some shenanigans. Sure enough, just a few kilometers later and Manuel has picked one lucky contestant out of the pack and they are sitting-in, waiting, like predators, for the perfect moment. For Manuel, just like when he raced pro, this is when the road turns slightly up, a spot in the road where it gets tough for everyone. And he accelerates with his breakaway “partner” in tow. It is something to see. He ramps it up to a speed with which no one can latch onto the back and with such precision you have to question whether or not you actually want to try and close the gap he has created. And you can’t see it, but you just know, he is grinning from ear-to-ear.




Pinarello Dogma F10 Disk


ZIPP Service Course SL




Speedplay (or your own)


Selle Italia


Zipp 302 Carbon Clinchers


Vittoria Corsa CX


Elite Custom Race


Elite Corsa Team


Garmin Edge 820