Alentejo: The Hagens Berman Axeon Edition with Eddy Merckx


The Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team represents the next generation of professional cyclists. Founded in 2009 by former professional cyclist and Olympic bronze medalist Axel Merckx, it is cycling’s premier development program. In eleven seasons, they have advanced 31 riders into the World Tour ranks.

Axel’s father, Eddy Merckx, won it all. The Hour Record, three World Championships, 11 Grand Tours, and 19 Monuments are just the highlights in a career that included a whopping 525 victories in total. The man is a living legend and an inspiration to millions of riders around the globe – and this fall a lucky few will get to share the road with inGamba, the Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team and him in Alentejo, Portugal.

Better still, it’s all for a great cause, because Eddy is joining us to raise funds for the Hagens Berman Axeon Cycling Team. So if you want to turn pedals with Eddy, hear all about running a professional cycling team from Axel, ride some of the greatest miles in Europe and raising some money for a worthwhile cause in the meantime, then join us in Portugal for what will certainly be an unforgettable and totally unique week of Mangia, Beve, Bici.

Travel + Leisure recently traveled to Alentejo with inGamba. You can read all about it here!

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:


Finish Location:


Days Riding:


Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:


Total Elevation:


Longest Day:

Day 2. Setubal – Évora 131km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 2. Setubal – Évora 1,045m


Day by Day Breakdown


Costa Azul Test Ride

Bem-vindo a Portugal! Lisbon is beautiful, but too busy for cycling, so we’ll start our trip just south of the city, along the coast in Setúbal, where we'll be staying at the Pousada de Palmela, a remarkable hotel that offers 21st century luxury within the walls of a 15th century monastery. This 38km loop may be short, but has some good climbing in it and we guarantee it will work out the cobwebs from the flight. The other reason for this test ride is to make sure that you’re comfortable on your Pinarello. If something is not quite right, this is the time to have the mechanic make any adjustments. We’ll descend down toward the coast, and climb through the hills south of Palmela, which boast fantastic views out over the Atlantic.

Setubal – Évora

Today we will depart for a quick ferry ride to the coastal town of Tróia. After snapping a few selfies on the ferry our course is flat with low traffic. The group's finish line is in Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s oldest towns, that is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Portugal. We’ll be staying at the wonderful Convento da Espinheiro, a convent dating back to the 1500s, which has been lovingly converted into a luxury modern hotel. We guarantee that it will leave an impression.

Évora – Barrocal

This route begins in Évora and continues eastwards towards the Spanish border and the deepest heart of Alentejo. Be prepared for some larger hills as the landscape becomes more rugged, with deep ravines and valleys taking over from the plains.

Barrocal Loop

The Barrocal ranch has been in José Uva's family for eight generations, and was recently renovated and modernized to become a luxury hotel. Our ride today will explore some of the surrounding villages and the sparsely populated, captivating landscapes to the north.

Barrocal – Torre de Palma

Tonight you are in for a treat as we will be staying at the wine hotel, Torre de Palma, which was built in 1338. After a day of almost a 100km rolling across the backroads of Alentejo, you should have developed a healthy appetite for some fine Portuguese food, wine and hospitality.

Cabeço do Mouro – Torre de Palma

Another chance to explore the back roads of the Alentejo, where we'll start from the Serra de São Mamede Natural Park after a short 45 minute transfer. There will be plenty of rolling climbs, fields of cork and olives, while the surrounding fields and hillsides should be in full bloom.

Montemor – Casa Palmela

On our final day, we'll leave Montemor and head back to our beloved Pousada de Palmela, after a short transfer. The day will be spent riding on what we lovingly refer to as Portuguese rollers, passing through the villages of Lavre, Fazenda das Figueiras and Canha before the finish.


All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, and today it's time to say goodbye and return to Lisbon.

YOUR Guides

Joao Correia

The Boss

João Correia is Portuguese. He spent his formative years in New York. And he lives in California. He is not defined by any of this, but this diversity informs all he does. He loves his refurbished ‘69 VW camper. He lives to make a deal. And his favorite lunch is a giant pot filled with chicken cooked in its own blood. The one defining factor in João’s life is the importance of family. He’s fiercely loyal and you can take his word straight to the bank. It’s his bond. Which explains why you will see very little turnover within the staff at inGamba. We’re family, and like a family we look to the head of our table for inspiration, encouragement and direction. He carries this burden as the don with passion and pride.

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 F12 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