Italy is a beautiful country, with its varied landscapes, Mediterranean climate and unbeatable cuisine.
Qualities for which the Bel Paese is famous throughout the world and a source of interest for tourists who decide to visit it ...
Let us not forget, however, that Italy also has its points of favor with regards to sport.
In cycling, for example, our peninsula boasts the organization of wonderful competitions, in truly fascinating places.
We cannot fail to mention the Gran Fondo: competitions that every year attract sportsmen from all over Europe, excited to ride in routes as challenging as they are enchanting.
Here are our top 5 favorite. And if you need to remove some rust read our tips to get in shape for the cycling season.
But be careful, every demanding ride requires a good preventive training, in order to avoid that the physique suffers excessively.
Before participating in the competitions, prepare your muscles and your mind by following our tips to train yourself during the winter period
Let's start this list by naming what can be called the empress of all the Gran Fondo:
the Maratona dles Dolomites . (Appointment 7 July 2019)
It is a wonderful competition, where you cycle surrounded by the Dolomites, imposing and suggestive mountains.
The surrounding landscape is certainly an incentive to pedal with more enthusiasm even if it must be admitted that it is a very demanding race.
The Marathon route in fact has a length of 138 km, not very many, but with a whopping 4,230 meters in altitude.
The situation becomes harsh, if we consider that we will have to climb Important steps such as Passo Campolongo, Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena, Passo Giau, Passo Falzarego, Passo Valparola.
However, there is the possibility of choosing two alternative routes: the Middle Route with a length of 106 km and a height difference of 3,130 meters, and the 55 km long Sellaronda Route with a height difference of 1,780 meters.
A challenging competition we were saying, especially considering that most of the time it is very hot.
If you participate, we advise you to bring at least 2 water bottles.
Another tip is to look around while you ride on the Pordoi Pass: the view pays for most of the effort.
We are always in the mountains with another very tiring but equally beautiful competition:
the Gran Fondo Stelvio Santini . (Appointment June 2, 2019)
We find again a challenging race that however gives so much satisfaction, both for the effort and commitment, and for the wonderful landscape.
It starts in fact from the beautiful Bormio up to the Passo dello Stelvio.
The long route has a length of 151.3 km and a climb of 4058 m
Here too there is the possibility to choose 2 less difficult routes: the Middle Route of 137.9 km with a 3053 m climb, and the Short Course where you travel 60 km and 1950 m uphill.
A very heartfelt competition, at times even almost touching if, while climbing these mountains with difficulty, we remember the exploits of Pantani and Coppi who pedaled with great passion precisely at these heights. Leaving the Dolomites behind us, we go down to the Romagna, where we cannot fail to mention a great classic of the Italian Gran Fondo: the Nove Colli (Appointment May 19th 2019).
Very participatory and festive competition, in full Romagna style, which attracts thousands of runners every year.
The route is not one of the simplest, in fact we find ourselves facing a 205 km race with 3840 meters in altitude.
The race is suitable for experts and less experienced, but bearing in mind that amateur racers will have to take it more calmly, without considering the time factor, perhaps taking advantage of the many well-equipped refreshments along the way.
However, we recommend a good preparatory training for the agonists: it is not a simple competition and the difference in height is felt.
The Nove Colli is renowned for its excellent organization and, although the landscapes are pleasant but not as fascinating as the two previous races, we advise everyone to participate at least once in their life.
If you are looking for something a little less demanding but still want to be surrounded by beautiful landscapes, we must move to Tuscany, to be precise to Siena.
We are talking about the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche (Appointment March 10, 2019), a competition that will make you ride through the picturesque hills of Chianti.
The surrounding landscape is beautiful and the journey is not very long, 122 km.
This is not an easy competition, but it can easily be tackled with a good leg.
The route includes about twenty kilometers of unpaved roads, which are however well maintained, with a good bottom and with little presence of gravel.
This race, besides being very beautiful, can also be a good training in anticipation of more demanding competitions.
We could not close this list without naming the Gran Fondo Milan San Remo (Appointment June 9, 2019).
Competition which, as the name suggests, starts from Milan to San Remo, for a total of 300 km of rides
A long path, however, that boasts multiple landscapes, which alternate between views of the Ligurian Sea and enchanting hill views.
The race, in addition to being a very popular event, is a good opportunity to visit the west side of our country, made even more inviting by the local gastronomic products that we recommend you to taste during your stops.
Inevitable at the end of the race the traditional Pasta Party!
We hope to have encouraged you to participate in at least one of these beautiful Gran Fondo, or why not, even to all five!
And please, remember that to get satisfactory results during competitions, the important aspects to consider are a good workout and a bike with excellent components. Follow these tips to improve the performance of your two wheels!