Secret Sardinia

$7,950

Sardinia is a land of contrasts. The coastline is full of calm, cerulean-blue bays and spotless beaches, while the interior boasts a rugged, unforgiving beauty. Its historical towns and cities are steeped in history and have played a huge part in mediterranean culture, but riding in the countryside offers a rare kind of peace and seclusion. Known in Italy as a summertime playground of the rich and famous, it is also synonymous with shepherds and a bygone agrarian lifestyle.

In short, it’s the kind of place you need to experience for yourself, because everyone will take home something different. It might have the population of a medium-sized city, but when it comes to art, history, and cuisine, it packs the kind of punch that would knock out most large countries. And, of course, the landscape is stunning. This point-to-point adventure will explore the best that this incredible island has to offer, and introduce you to a completely different side to Italy. There will be beaches, mountains, delicious local food, incredible hotels, quaint old villages and medieval towns – and mile after mile of unforgettable riding.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F12 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:

Olbia

Finish Location:

Olbia

Days Riding:

7

Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:

560km

Total Elevation:

8,348m

Longest Day:

Day 3. Santa Teresa di Gallura. 110km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 4. Pevero – Castelsardo. 1,502m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Porto Cervo

Our warm up ride will give you a good chance to shake out your legs after your flight and a little taste of what’s to come on this incredible week in Sardinia. Heading north towards Porto Cervo, we’ll then turn inland and head back south, exploring the countryside of the province of Sassari. After the town of Portisco, which is famous for its marina, we’ll follow the coastline back up towards our base in Pevero. Sardinia is all hilly terrain, but today’s route features only gentle climbs. This is also the ideal time to adjust anything on the bike that isn’t quite right, so if you need to make any changes, let your mechanic know right away.
2

GOLFO ARANCI

The first 45km of this route are relatively flat, hugging the coastline as we head south as far as the historic city of Olbia before turning inland, where the climbing begins. The highest point of the day is only 400 meters, but as we’ll be starting from sea level, this is still a testing climb and in terms of vertical gain it is similar to well-known climbs like the Passo Sella in northern Italy. As we work our way inland, we’ll pass Lago Liscia, an artificial lake that is one of the biggest on the island. After that, it’s all downhill – in a good way.
3

SANTA TERESA DI GALLURA

The first half of this loop brings us up along Sardinia’s beautiful northern coast-line, as far as the town of Santa Teresa di Gallura, a popular summer destination for Italians that featured briefly in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. From there, you should be able to see the southern coast of Corsica. The sec-ond half of the route takes us through the island’s sparsely-populated interior, where we’ll also start to climb, before the final 20km flattens out and brings us back to the coast and on to home.
4

PEVERO – CASTELSARDO

This route brings us to our next base in Castelsardo. The current town originates from the castle built in 1102 by the famous Doria family of Genoa, but archaeolog-ical excavations have revealed almost 4000 years of human habitation. Just shy of 100km with 1,500m of vertical, this is a testing course, but without any major climbs as the gains come from the seriously undulating terrain and a series of medium hills in the middle.
5

Isola Rossa

The ride will take us to Isola Rossa, a seaside resort that gets its name from the red colour of a small island opposite the village. Originally a fishing village with his characteristic pink granite rock, white beaches, and dense Mediterranean vegetation, it is not to be missed. Before that though, we’ll start out heading inland, where the roads are perfect and almost always deserted. These roads will take us towards a series of gentle but fun climbs, the biggest of which gains almost 450 meters, before we descend to the coast and beautiful Isola Rossa.
6

Coghinas

The only real climb today comes right from the start, but there’s still 70km to go once you get to the summit so you might want to hold something back for later. This route rolls through several quaint little towns as it explores the Sardinian interior, heading east as far as the Coghinas river before turning back towards the sea and Castelsardo.
7

MARINA DI SORSO

This ride takes us along the coastline to the famous Marina di Sorso, which is one of northern Sardinia’s most popular tourist destinations, thanks to the area’s incredi-ble views out over the Gulf of Asinara and the fine white sands of Platamona beach. For the most part, our route is an out-and-back along the shore, with plenty of views out over those wonderful azure waters, but with 7km to go we’ll turn inland for a moment to tackle one little climb before arriving back to base. 

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.

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.

BIKE OPTION

PINARELLO DOGMA F12 DISK

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Dogma F12 Disk

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap AXS

PEDALS:

Speedplay (or your own)

SADDLE:

Selle Italia

WHEELSET:

Zipp 302 Carbon Clinchers

TIRES:

Vittoria Corsa CX

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite Custom Race

BIDON:

Elite Corsa Team

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 820