This has to be one of the most beautiful races in the world. Period. I know it's considered the most beautiful granfondo in Europe. It's also superbly organized with some 1,000 local volunteers involved. For these reasons 16,000+ people enter a lottery in November of each year for 8,500 spots.
Last year participants came from 35 countries. Approximately half the entrants come from Italy; the other half are from foreign countries. Only about 85 entrants come from the USA. Germany, Netherlands, Austria have the largest number of entrants among foreign countries, approximately 2400, 900, and 200 respectively.
Held in the Alta Badia region, in the Dolomites (named after French geologist Déodate Guy Silvane Tancrède de Grandet, lord of Dolomieu, who discovered them) in northern Italy, the setting is surreal.
The region also has a long and interesting history dating back to the middle Bronze Age which you can read about at http://www.altabadia.it/en/history.htm
Photos: the scene early Sunday morning looking down towards Corvara from the Passo Campolongo