Showing posts with label Maratona dles Dolomites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maratona dles Dolomites. Show all posts

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Last Days for Pre-regist​ration to 2014 Maratona dles Dolomites

Have you already pre-registered for the 28th edition of the Maratona?
If not, hurry up: the pre-registrations close at midnight of November 6th 2013 (GMT +1).

For the pre-registration use the following link!

Further information on our website www.maratona.it

Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Win VIP Entry to Maratona dles Dolomites

Like them on Facebook, here. Always over subscribed, it's a chance to get in late. Includes starting in the first group and two nights accommodation! The date is 30 June.

For 2014 the date will be 6 July.
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Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Guide to Cycling the Maratona dles Dolomites

The following story is used by permission of the author, Alwyn Jones, and was originally published in www.pedalmonsters.co.uk.The full story is entitled, "My guide to cycling La Marmotte and Maratona Dles Dolomites". If you also wish to read the La Marmotte section go here.

Before continuing onto the story note that the random draw for this year's Maratona already took late last year.  However, an additional further 190 entries will be sold online on www.maratona.it on March 27th 2013, check there for details.

My Guide to Cycling the Maratona dles Dolomites

"My passion for cycling the most challenging and hilliest sportives I suspect comes from my roots living in the Conwy Valley in North Wales. Cycling up the steepest climbs we could find with our old Raleigh 5 speeds zigzagging our way up to the lakes above. Then suddenly the MTB was here and years of majestic riding and racing followed in the great forestry’s of North Wales.

Then suddenly I found myself in Lincolnshire, and my passion for MTB and cycling began to wane. Simply put; not enough mountains or even the modest hill! My friend however persuaded me to buy a road bike and suddenly my passion for cycling was reborn.

My first challenge was to cycle a 100 miles locally in the Lincolnshire Wolds which I enjoyed but was already hungry for the next challenge.

Then the challenge moved swiftly to cycle the hardest British Sportive over 100 miles, widely recognised as the infamous Fred Whitton Challenge.

Then after completing the Fred Whitton you naturally look for something even harder and I soon learned of ‘La Marmotte’ widely recognised as the most challenging of European sportives!

After completing the La Marmotte three times in the French Alps my focus turned to the Maratona dles Dolomites in Italy and still my passion for sportives continues.

The Maratona dles Dolomites is one of Italy’s greatest Gran Fondo style rides. It is televised live and ridden by some big name retired ex professionals. Miguel Indurain was in the 2012 event.

he Maratona is a mass participation event, and in 2012 attracted 31,600 applications for 8,800 places. Anyone can enter online at their website, but unlike the La Marmotte, it is a lottery.

I was drawn to this event looking for a new challenge for 2012, after in previous years participating in La Marmotte.

The event itself is not considered as hard as La Marmotte, due to the fact there is less vertical climbing (4190m) and it’s shorter in distance (138km). But the experience of riding in the picturesque and majestic Italian Dolomites and to ride up the same passes made famous by the Giro d’Italia makes this Gran Fondo a must do event.

There seems little rest bite from the off as you climb 7 Dolomite Passes. Namely Passo Campolongo, Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena, Passo Camplongo (2nd time), Passo Giau and Passo Falzarego/ Passo Valporola.

8703 cyclists started the 2012 event from LaVilla. Within minutes you are climbing the first pass the Passo Campolongo wheel to wheel, shoulder to shoulder with thousands of cyclists. Cyclists jump for gaps ahead, cross your path, cyclists shout out aloud for fear of losing their partners, and worse of all for me, braking and coming to gridlock as your going up hill!

1. Passo Campolongo

Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/1493686
Average: 5%
Length: 6.15 km
Height: 1875m

Going up the next two passes Passo Pordoi and Passo Sella the crowds of cyclists slowly start to thin out. Passo Gardena follows with then a second ascent of Passo Campolongo which is much more enjoyable without the crowds.

2. Passo Pordoi

Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/2503
Average: 6.8%
Length: 9.4km
Height top: 2239m

3. Passo Sella

Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/2273645
Average: 7.3%
Length: 5.5 km
Height: 2214m

4. Passo Gardena

Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/1493739
Average: 4.2%
Length: 5.9 km
Height : 2121m


5. Passo Campolongo (a second time)

5.5 minor bumps on the way to

Once Passo Campolongo is completed the second time around a timely interlude from climbing with a faster section of rolling hills before the harder part of the ride begins with the relentless ascent up Passo Giau. Save yourselves for this one it’s the hardest part of the ride. After Giau the last long climb begins up to Passo Falzarego followed by the short extension up to Passo Valporola.

6. Passo Giau

Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/618935
Average: 9.1%
Length: 10.12 km
Height: 2236m

7. Passo Falzarego/Passo Valparola

Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/699200
Average: 5.4%
Length: 13 km
Height: 2192m

After Valporola there is only 20km left. Downhill to LaVilla and then a steady incline to Corvara to finish in a blaze of glory.

The Maratona in my opinion is a must do event. It is the best organised and value for money event I have ever done, at home or abroad. I’ve come away with great memories and I am already entered in Maratona 2013.

If you are interested in entering the Maratona in 2014 you can find all the information you need at their website www.maratona.it.

Yours in Sport
Alwyn Jones"

Strava Leaderboard for Maratona dles Dolomites here.




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Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.  There are now more than 2,700 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog. There is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2012 Gran Fondo New York Registration + Maratona


This is the schedule for opening of registration for the 2012 Gran Fondo New York which will be held on May 20th:

"Survey respondents: September 6 at 12pm ET, the survey respondents have a 24 hour window when they can register. You will receive an email invitation directly from Eventbrite when registration is live.

2011 participants: September 7 at 12pm ET, 2011 participants can register and take advantage of the early registration. You will receive an email invitation directly from Eventbrite when registration is live.

General registration: September 8 at 12pm ET, general registration opens on www.granfondony.eventbrite.com.

The entry fee for the Gran and Medio Fondo remain the same: $195 and $165 respectively until October 31. Great news: we were able to waive the processing fee so the only additional cost is your credit card fee (3%). Hence, the actual entry fee is lower than 2011!

Spots are limited. If you want to race, make sure you register asap."


Note also that the GF NY is organizing a trip next year that will include entry into the Maratona dles Dolomites. Initial info:

"Join Team Gran Fondo New York for an exclusive trip to the 2012 Maratona dles Dolomites on July 1. Not only will you enjoy a guaranteed spot for one of the most spectacular and challenging Gran Fondos but also have everything taken care of from the moment you land in Venice, Italy. And while you're there, you'll also get to ride legendary climbs like Stelvio and Cime di Lavaredo as well. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Tentative itinerary:
- arrival June 23 and departure July 2
- accommodation in *** or ***S Hotel
- roundtrip transfer from Venice airport
- June 24: Sella Ronda bike day
- June 25: day off
- June 26: Passo Stelvio
- June 27: Tre Cime di Lavaredo
- July 1: Maratona dles Dolomites, entry for second start block

Package includes:
- a local guide from the 26th to the 29th for the different rides
- mechanical assistance on place from July 25th to 30th
- Gran Fondo New York kit
- bike rental can be arranged
- companion/non-rider activities: every other day of the week there will be guided walks around the Dolomites
- the estimated cost is $2,800 for the riders (less for companions) plus flights to/from Venice, Italy

Check out this video of the Maratona 2011!

Bookings: Please email us at info@granfondony.com and we will put you in touch with the Official Tour Operator "Holimites" (Holidays in the Dolomites). Packages start selling mid September and must be booked by November."

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Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 2,000 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog. There is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page.

Monday, June 6, 2011

More Maratona dles Dolomites Race Advice

I thought I would re-publish my own Maratona dles Dolomites experience which has some tips contained within. It was my second Maratona and I had learned some lessons from the first:







Race Day

The race begins in the town of La Villa at 6:15 a.m. All roads are closed after 5:55 a.m., even to cyclists, so that translates into a very early wake up call. The call comes at 4:00 a.m. Fortunately, I had a great night's sleep. The hotel has breakfast starting at 4:30 a.m. and Ms. E is kind and crazy enough to join me. I ate four slices of delicious rye bread with brie and prosciutto, two brioche, juice and drank a cappuccino. At 5:00 a.m. I'm back in my room making final decisions on what to wear based on the temperature which is 9 C ( 48 F) in the valley in Corvara where we are staying. Final choices: Bib shorts with no leg warmers, base layer, jersey, arm warmers, my Gruppo 1 cycling jacket minus the sleeves, and short fingered gloves; I pack long fingered gloves in the back in case the descent of the Passo Pordoi is too cold. I stuff 3 Powerbars into my jersey as part of my strategy this year is to not stop at the first three rest stops which tend to be traffic jams.

At 5:15 a.m. I'm off in the dark, to descend into La Villa from Corvara. Cyclists are coming from every direction and volunteers have the roads well marked and are directing cyclists to their proper starting grids. One of the reasons to arrive earlier than later is to at least have a good starting position within your grid. Even though your race time is personalized from when you cross the start and finish lines it's best to try to start in front of as many people as you can. This year it seems everyone arrived early and I'm waaaaayyyyyyy in the back in the last grid amongst a sea of cyclists. As I wait for the start I'm amazed by the number of ultra high end bikes. These are serious dudes and women (nearly 900 participate). One guy next to me, that was so old that flesh was hanging off his arms, has a SCOTT Addict frame with LIGHTWEIGHT carbon wheels ($4,000 a pair). As they say here, it's in the "gamba" (legs).

I'm very relaxed but shivering. The sun is starting to peak over the mountain tops. I know it's chilly now but once the gun goes off it's all uphill to where the first pass, Campolongo, begins. The roads are lined with speakers so we can hear all the announcements being made at the starting line. The helicopters are in the air, the race is broadcast live on RAI. You hear the sound of cleats coming at you in a wave as everyone clips into their pedals.

It's slow going towards the start line but once you reach it the road opens up as everyone is motoring. I grab wheels here and there, people are hopping onto mine. It's crazy. I know the first climb will weed a lot of riders and it will thin out more and more as the day goes on. I plan on riding a steady pace, not frying myself. Through Corvara and we are onto the Passo Campolongo climb. The legs take a few minutes to get accustomed to the effort. At the top I skip the rest stop, and make a fast descent into Arabba. I pass many people and only a few pass me; the Richard Sachs is great. Reaching the bottom it's a very quick right turn and bang, it's the Passo Pordoi climb. Many people have to get off their bikes as they get caught in their big chain ring. I roll down my arm warmers and unzip my jacket. It's a grind up to 2,239 m (7, 345 feet). I concentrate on turning the pedals and riders, it's still a bit crowded. The descent of Pordoi into Canazei can be very cold as it's in the shade early in the morning so at the top I roll my arm warmers back up and zip up my jacket. Down the Pordoi like a rocket; unfortunately I pass my first accident. I imagine this is what a WWII dog fight was like....you're passing people left and right, people are passing you...this on downhill straights and switchbacks. It's wild. Arriving in Canazei I skip the rest stop. It's now the climb of Passo Sella, 2,244 m. Now I'm starting to feel it. I make it over Sella, descend, and then it's up the Passo Gardena. Over the Gardena and then it's a rocket ship descent, and yet another accident, into Corvara.

This is where your head plays game with you. In Corvara you go down the finishing stretch. BUT, oh NO. Only those that opt for the 55 km course finish now. The 106 and 138 km riders stay to the right with the full knowledge that you have to climb Passo Campolongo AGAIN. In Corvara, Ms. E. is waiting for me and I quickly give here my cycling jacket which is completely soaked. I start climbing Campolongo again. At the top I stop at the rest stop this time to quickly fill my water bottles. I descend again but this time instead of turning right we turn left and head towards the village of Andraz. For all the spectacular sights of the Maratona this is my favorite stretch of road as we head towards the very nasty Falzarego climb. You ride along the edge of a road that looks down into an incredible valley. I'm getting tired now and I try to grab a wheel here and there. We turn left onto the Falzarego (here I can opt to go on the 138 km route having easily made the time limit but sanity prevails and I stay on the 106km course). This climb just kills me. It's long and goes to 2,200 m. I'm looking at my watch, trying to calculate if I can make the 6 hour goal. It's going to be close. Bad thoughts come into my head, "Shit, why am I killing myself." But, I hang in there. It's one of those climbs that when you look up you just say to yourself, "My god, I'm going up there?". I make to the top, welcomed by an abandoned WW I fortress where the soldiers must have spent miserable times. It was cold. I decided I really had to take advantage of the descent so it was really, really fast going back into (I've read that Sean Yates, known to be a great descender, reached 70 mph on this road) . I'm not sure I can make the time of 6 hours (so I can get into a better starting grid next year) as it's uphill towards from LaVilla to Corvara and the finish. I'm tired. But, I keep going. I make it to the finish and I think I've made it in just under 6 hours.

I go to the hotel, shower and change and come back for the Barilla Pasta Party. Ms. E is awed by the crowd. Everyone is feeling that special sense of accomplishment you get when you do these crazy things.

I received this email from the Maratona:category: 106km Uomini/Herren/Male 58-65

race time:5:54.53,9
place overall: 1246 (out of 8,000+)
place category: 84 (out of 270).

I made it!! Last year my time was 6:47 so I made quite an improvement. Who says you can't get better with age?

Photos: me at 5:15 a.m. leaving hotel; the start line; Passo Campolongo; Passo Sella.

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Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 2,000 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog. There is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page.



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Maratona dles Dolomites Race Advice


Having just written about the Dolomites, and with the Maratona dles Dolomites coming up on July 10th, I thought it would be a good time to time for "Maratona dles Dolomites Race Advice" written by professional photographer and cyclist Dan Patitucci. You can see some of Dan's great photos at www.patitucciphoto.com

"In 2007 I did my first Maratona dles Dolomites. It was, without a doubt, one of the most rewarding days I have ever had in a competition. To stand on a Granfondo starting line with over 8000 other cyclists, at sunrise in one of the world’s most spectacular settings, with a massive day of riding ahead – and to feel the energy – is pure bliss.

Before the race I had been lucky enough to spend the six weeks leading up to the big day training in the very region – so, I was at a locals advantage of knowing the course inside and out. I had even ridden the course two times before race day. But still, I hadn’t raced it, I hadn’t pushed myself that hard yet, and I hadn’t done it with thousands of other cyclists around me.

A few friends had offered some advice, most of which I took, but one key piece I failed to act on cost me a top 100 finish. So, with this in mind, and with the Maratona fast approaching, I thought to share my thoughts on the event in the hopes that you will take something away of value. Keep in mind that after the race I had fallen so in love with the Dolomites and its rich cycling culture that I decided to call it home, I have been riding the same roads ever since 2007.

This advice is for those planning to push themselves as if it really were a race (and you’ll see, it is). For those looking to just survive, you get to simply enjoy the day, but you too must read on.

Stay in Front: This is basically impossible unless you have a starting number in the first 1000. But do your best to get by as many people as possible by the top of the second pass, the Pordoi. After the Pordoi it gets pretty tough although it does thin out. However, unless you have super climbing endurance, don’t blow up on the Sellaronda (the first loop and first 5 passes) as the Giau awaits – and it is the killer climb.

Careful on the Descents: Italians descend much closer together than Americans, it is pretty unnerving to have your leg hit someone’s handlebars at 75km/hr. Italians, being a vocal bunch, will be sure to let you know if you are screwing up. For the most part, people descend well in Europe, just relax and hold your line – practice the hairpin turns prior to racing, you’ll have the whole road on race day, use it.

The tricky sections in descent are:
Passo Pordoi: Long, fast straights into tight hairpins… just be ready for them.
Passo Sella: There is a right turn which will have flaggers standing as warning, who’s radius is longer and sharper than it looks. It is approached after a long and fast straight section after the initial turns off the Pass itself. This turn is so serious that there is an emergency medical team and helicopter on standby at the turn.
Passo Valparola: After the switchbacks on top, a long, straight section is descended at high speed. This is the approach to a tricky right turn that is sharper than it first appears, again, get to know it before race day. Though they are for motorcycles, there are grave markers in this turn for a reason.
Overall, the roads should be in great condition as many of them get re-surfaced prior to the Maratona.

Eating: This was where I made my mistake. While there are impressively stocked aid stations around the entire course, you won’t be checking in for a panino crudo if you are in race mode. But, you may want to consider it, either that or have your own pockets filled with what works for you.

After the Sellaronda there is the day’s only flattish/moderate section of road, and it is here where you must get some food down. It is the section after the descent of the Campolongo, from Arabba to Andraz and then again to the Colle Santa Lucia where there is a great aid station.

After Arabba, get some calories and salt in you for the evil Passo Giau, then let it digest enroute to the start of the climb after the Colle Santa Lucia.

Now… where I made my mistake. A good friend who does the Maratona every year warned me to be sure to eat something on top of the Giau or risk bonking on the last climb of the Falzarego.

Locally, I have heard the Giau referred to as Monkey Hill, for when you are climbing it you are sure that monkeys ran out from the forest and jumped on your back. But on race day, my friend warned me it is more like Cow Hill, you’ll feel as if you have a heifer on board. Fair enough, I would agree. It is a suffer fest.

In 2007, my data chip revealed I was in 90th position on top of the Giau, I did NOT eat, I bombed down in a small group I had cimbed with. I would pay the price, for on the last climb up to the Fazarego 44 people would pass me. There I sat, crawling up the pass with visions not of finish line glory, just pizza and pasta.

Water is found throughout and will be handed to you roadside.
Eat on top of the Giau, let it digest on descent. There is an aid station.

Gearing: I have embraced the Compact set up; 50/34 – 12/25. For me this is perfect. But I climb a lot in training and weigh 61kg (132lbs). Substituting a 12/27 could be nice.
Again, the Giau…. cows will be along for the ride.

Temperatures/Weather: Even if the day dawns clear and warm, you should be somewhat ready for anything. When riding in the Dolomites, I almost always carry a super light rain jacket in my jersey along with a thin headband – they can save the day and weigh next to nothing. Afternoon rain showers are pretty common.

Etiquette: Do your thing, but remember the Golden Rule (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) as there are a lot of people around.

Do not throw your trash on the road – there will be trash cans after aid stations, use them. You are not a pro so don’t act like one, it is no big deal to put your wrappers back in your jersey. In 2009 the second place overall finisher was DSQ’d for tossing trash on live TV.

Things Not to Miss in the Dolomites

The week leading up to the race is a cyclists dream. There are daily group rides to both check out the course as well as to tick other passes not in the race. Much of the fun simply comes from being around so many nationalities; Italians, Dutch, Germans, Americans, Swiss… they are all in great abundance, making friends is easy.

To Do List

Passo delle Erbe (my personal favorite in all the Dolomites) loop: From Alta Badia; Climb the Passo Gardena, descend west to the autostrada, climb the Erbe, descend back to Val Badia via San Martino (100km, difficult)

Cortina d’Ampezzo and the Tre Croce Loop: Less than an hour (in a car) from Alta Badia is the famous posh village of Cortina. Sitting right amongst many of the Dolomite’s iconic peaks, it is well worth a day to explore. If you want to ride, check out the Tre Croce loop from Cortina that takes you through Misurina and the most famous of all Dolomite areas, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. From there descend to Carbonin and then back to Cortina (about 50km, moderate).
Post ride, eat a Pizza Fantastica at Ristorante Ariston in Cortina – my vote for best pizza in all of Italy.

Walk up to the Rifugio Santa Croce above Pedraces (Badia): This is kind of a rest day activity, or something for the family – quite possibly the most peaceful, beautiful place in all the Dolomites. And good food… There is also the option of taking a lift nearly to the top from the village of Pedraces, or it is a one hour uphill (easy) walk through the beautiful forest.

People watching/bike gawking is as good as it gets. Grab a Gelato or Radler (beer and limonata) post pedal and soak in the fun sitting roadside in the village of Corvara. Better yet, do it daily in each village and decide which is best.

Note: in Alta Badia, the focal point of the race, all the famous villages where most racers stay (San Cassiano, La Villa, Corvara, Pedraces, San Leonardo) are just a few kilometers from one another, so getting around on a bike is actually about the most efficient. At some point in the week prior to the race, the area will be so thick with cyclists that being in a car is slower than walking or riding.

For more information about the area, and for guided events, visit our partners at Holimites.
For more information about the region, including hotels & guides, visit our own DolomiteSport Network."


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Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, etc. are always welcome.
Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 1,900 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog. There is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page.

Monday, October 4, 2010

2011 Maratona dles Dolomites





The annual cycle of entering the Maratona dles Dolomites is about to commence! The Maratona is beautiful beyond words. The first announcement from the organizers regarding the 2011 Maratona which will be held on July 10, 2011:

PRE-ENTRY (to enter drawing for a spot): from October 14th to November 4th 2010.
The pre-entry can be made exclusively online on our site www.maratona.it. The drawing of the starting numbers, half of which will be for Italian participants and the other half for foreign participants, will take place in the second half of November 2010. The list of participants drawn will be published on-line afterwards. Read the conditions of entry 2011 published on our website http://www.maratona.it/info/a-conditions-entry/en Please find the details of registration under
"How to register at the race" http://www.maratona.it/info/how-to-register/en.

HOLIDAY PACKAGES WITH GUARANTEED REGISTRATION:
As from 21st October 2010 holiday packages including accommodation and guaranteed
registration to the Maratona dles Dolomites will be offered by our official tour operator Holimites. These offers include the registration fee, accommodation in facilities of various categories beginning from a period of 4 days, along with different benefits for participants and their companions. If you plan to stay 6 nights or more you will take part to the draw of two special racing bikes Pinarello. More information soon on the website of our official tour operator Holimites: http://www.holimites.com.

KEY DATES:
IMPORTANT APPOINTMENTS:
-------------------------------------------------
14th October to 4th November 2010: Pre-entry
opening

21st October 2010: Availability of starting packages on-line on www.holimites.com

Second half of November 2010: draw (the list of participants drawn will be published
on-line afterwards);

24th November 2010: on-line availability of 165 starting numbers which surcharge will be assigned to charitable institutions;

1st December 2010: first day for confirming the
participation;

24th March 2011: on-line availability of 160 starting numbers which surcharge will be assigned
to charitable institutions

The 325 slots via on-online availability give persons another chance to enter that missed being selected in the drawing.

14th April 2011: last day for confirming the participation to the race in July and for paying
the balance.

Photos: 2010 Maratona

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, etc. are very welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 1,500 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog and there is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page. What I'm riding.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010 Maratona dles Dolomites



The 2010 Maratona dles Dolomites took place on July 4th. A beautiful day was enjoyed by 8,798 participants (of which 8,640 finished) from 42 countries.

Well known organizer Michil Costa will surely be planning something special for next year when the Maratona will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. The event date will be July 10, 2011. The registration for the Maratona typically opens in mid-October.

Photos: Foto Planinschek

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondos, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, etc. are very welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 1,400 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog and there is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page.

Friday, November 20, 2009

2010 Maratona dles Dolomites, Part II


25,000 applications for the Maratona 2010 were received, 1,500 more than 2009. This for the approximately 8,900 slots available. The list of participants that were selected from the random draw can be found here. The "travel packages" are sold out.

For those that were not selected in the random draw there are 150 charity slots available beginning at 6 p.m. (GMT +1) on November 25th.

Last year, with part of the proceeds from the Maratona, a school and dispensary in Burkina Faso were equipped with solar panels which are providing light for the first time. This year the Maratona asked the Association "Insieme si può" Onlus/ONG (www.365giorni.org) of Belluno to suggest a project to finance. The proposed project is called "Clean Water" and consists in helping Uganda to reduce one of its many "evils", that is the difficult access to drinking water which contributes to social, health and economic problems. The project consists of drilling new water wells in the region of Karamoja, located in north-eastern Uganda. For more information see here.

Michil (the well known leader of the Maratona) leaves us with this poem:

This is for you, cyclist,
despite all your efforts,
Fortune has not smiled on you.
Here at the Maratona,
we feel a grain of guilt.
The beauty of the Dolomites
is over and above human beings and partly
to blame.

You will see your companions,
the one who has been kissed by Fortune
then you turn round and words fail you
and you feel fragile, angry and abandoned.
And you remain silent, in amazement.
The hope is that there remains
a skeleton of love,
a beauty that is never dimmed
that nothing ever ruins your great passion
And then and again and now you can
cry and smile
And then you become as immense as the earth
and raise your song of love
The divinity is eternal in you
May you live long, great Man.

This is for you, cyclist
whom the Goddess has kissed
may joy pour from your heart.
Your dedication
for us of the Maratona is love
and for you it becomes reality.
With enthusiasm and effort you will reach
the slopes of the mountains
like a child full of smiles,
who asks for light and walks.
It is our joy to lead you
towards peace, everywhere,
as though it were a mouth to feed,
a merry-go-round to ride.
The song of glory of all of us
goes to you, Pale Mountains:
silent masters, you listen
to the heartbeats of many soldiers,
you watch the gasping mouths
of men of strength,
more sinuous than the Giau Pass
twisting and turning more than the Sella Pass.
They are like the untouchable lips
of the woman they love.

Photo: Patitucci Photo


Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 1,000 stories in this blog; the search feature to the right works best for finding things in the blog.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

2010 Maratona dles Dolomites


The annual cycle of entering the Maratona dles Dolomites is about to commence! The first announcement from the organizers regarding the 2010 Maratona which will be held on July 4th:


PRE-ENTRY from October 15th to November 5th 2009! The pre-entry can be made exclusively online on our site http://www.maratona.it/ The drawing of the starting numbers, half of which will be for Italian participants and the other half for foreign participants, will take place in the second half of November 2009.The list of participants drawn will be published on-line afterwards. Read the conditions of entry 2010 published on our website http://www.maratona.it/info/enrolment/maratona/2009/en/
Please find the details of registration under "How to register at the race"http://www.maratona.it/info/how/register/the/en/


NO LUCK? No luck at the draws for 2008 and 2009? Don't worry, if you will not be extracted at the draw in November you will be readmitted to the race in July 2010. In fact all pre-registered participants not drawn at this year's draw, who were not lucky in the previous two editions (2008 and 2008) and had no starting right will be readmitted in the starting list of the 23rd Maratona dles Dolomites.


Holiday packages with guaranteed registration: As from 22nd October 2009 holiday packages including accommodation and guaranteed registration to the Maratona dles Dolomites will be offered by our official tour operator Holimites. These offers include the registration fee, accommodation in facilities of various categories beginning from a period of 4 days, along with different benefits for participants and their accompanying persons.


If you plan to stay 6 nights or more you will take part to the draw of a special racing bike Pinarello: http://bit.ly/4kPFAP


IMPORTANT APPOINTMENTS:


-15th October to 5th November 2009: Pre-entry opening


-22nd October 2009: Availability of starting packages on-line on http://www.holimites.com/


-Second half of November 2009: draw(the list of participants drawn will be published on-line afterwards);


-25th November 2009: on-line availability of 150 starting numbers which surcharge will be assigned to charitable institutions;


-1st December 2009: first day for confirming the participation;


-25th March 2010: on-line availability of 150 starting numbers which surcharge will be assigned to charitable institutions;


-15th April 2010: last day for confirming the participation to the race in July and for paying
the balance


Committee
Maratona dles Dolomites


Ed. note: The Maratona committee also has positions reserved in the Maratona through several bike tour companies; examples: in the USA: Granfondo Cycling Tours, in England: La Fuga

Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.com. See here for a chance to win a T-shirt for submitting a ride story; contest ends October 31st.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2009 Maratona dles Dolomites












Only two months since the 2009 edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites the yearly cycle of announcements and preparations for the 2010 edition have already begun.

The organizer has announced that the conditions of entry of the 2010 Maratona dles Dolomites will be published as of September 30, 2009. The 2010 event date will be July 4th. Note: traditionally the registration period is open from mid-October until the first week in November.

Some statistics from this year's July 5th event:
8.864 participants; 8,762 finishers
767 women at the start
37 participating nations
104 Italian provinces at the start

If you followed Pietro's reports, from the Andy Hampsten tour, you know that he tackled the Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella passes on one day, and the Falzarego and Giau passes the following day.

In the Maratona dles Dolomites granfondo you can have the pleasure, or pain if you wish, of doing them all in one day!

The Maratona has 3 distances that participants can choose to ride, and that choice can be made on the road:
-corto, Sellaronda, course: length: 55 km, elevation gain: 1780 m; passes: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena
-mediofondo course: length: 106 km; elevation gain: 3090 m; passes: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Campolongo, Falzarego
-granfondo course: length: 138 km; elevation gain: 4190 m; passes: Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Giau, Falzarego.

My account of riding the mediofondo in 2007 is here, along with a funny story of meeting Greg LeMond. Search "Maratona" within the blog for more stories and photos.

Entry in the Maratona requires planning and luck (entrants are chosen in a lottery) but you can also get in through one of the reserved slots allocated to authorized tour organizers.

Photos: by PatitucciPhoto; used by permission (http://patitucciphoto.com/). Grazie!

Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Maratona dles Dolomites 2009







In October the lottery for entries to the 2010 Maratona dles Dolomites will open. Stay tuned here for announcements.

Why should YOU do this? Because it is incredibly fantastic! "Will" just completed it and said, "Maratona dles Dolomites, 138 kms; 4,000 metres of vertical ascent along maybe the most beautiful route I have ever ridden. This event was brilliantly organized. Amazing course, roads closed to cars for entire route, frequent food/drink stations, frequent mechanic aid stations, newly surfaced roads, above average after race food, etc."

Photos: taken by "Will" during his ride in the Maratona

Search in my blog under "Maratona" for more stories and photos.
Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.com

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Campagnolo C11 Dream Team at Maratona dles Dolomites




On Sunday, 5th July, the champions of the Campagnolo C11 Dream Team took to the road at the 23rd edition of the Marathon of the Dolomites.


The champions who tackled the difficult and splendid climbs of the Alto Adige, one of the most enchanting mountain regions of Italy, toiled together in the framework of a unique contest on bikes equipped with Record™ 11 Speed groupsets and Shamal™ Ultra 2Way-Fit wheels.


These champions are champions even when they’re not competing in their own sports events, as they clearly demonstrated by confronting the passes of the Dolomites with Olympic grit and intensity.


Some of them rode in the short course, others chose the medium, and Andrea Facchin and Troy Bayliss contended with the strenuous marathon course. An incredibly tough 138 km with a whopping 4190 metres of altitude difference, and the three-time World Super Bike Champion managing to finish in 100th place among the 4300 contestants who chose the full marathon course.


Joseph Vanspringel and Gianluca Canovi, the two C11 competition winners (see: http://italiancyclingjournal.blogspot.com/2009/04/campagnolo-win-tour-dream-contest-part.html), who also proved their love for biking by choosing the long route.


Each of our athletes made his/her personal contribution to creating a real Team. Nothing would have been possible without the passion of Stefano Baldini, Troy Bayliss’s determination, Jury Chechi’s energy, Andrea Facchin’s generosity, the altruism of Rossano Galtarossa, Margherita Granbassi’s beauty, Isolde Kostner’s endurance, the sweetness of Giulia Quintavalle, the charisma of Antonio Rossi, Peter Runggaldier’s warmth, tenacious Alessandra Sensini and an explosive Cristian Zorzi.


Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Last Chance Entries for Maratona dles Dolomites





The 8,000+ lottery slots (of 19,500 requests) for the 2009 Maratona dles Dolomites have been spoken for since November. However, there are a few upcoming ways to obtain an entry.


150 special charity registrations will be sold online on March 26th 2009. Even these sell out quickly.

- 144 "Gold" starting-numbers at a cost of Euro 150,00 each
- 6 "Platinum" starting-numbers at a cost of Euro 300,00 each

The organizers write, "These registrations will go towards Sporthilfe which supports real sporting talent, young people who cannot afford to finance their competitions; and to GMM (Missionary Group, Merano) which this year proposes a project which will be implemented in West Africa. The project consists in helping Burkina Faso, one of the poorest countries in the world, to exploit what is perhaps its only wealth: the sun. Solar panels to give light to a school and a small dispensary; it will be possible to switch on 18 bulbs in the school and 17 in the dispensary."


The last method of registering directly is to contribute through "VIIM VÊENEM" enrollments.
A "Viim Vêenem" (in the local language it means "light of life") enrollment costs 1,500 Euro and will cover the costs of purchasing and installation of a solar panel (including needed material).


It will be possible to register only through the Internet with on-line payment by credit card at http://www.maratona.it/en/. These special starting-tickets will also be entitled to a small souvenir of the event and to start in a preferential grid.

The last remaining possibility for entering for 2009 is to select a tour company that has guaranteed slots for the Maratona.


Photos: Maratona images, 2009 event logo; search within my blog for "Maratona" for more stories

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

2007 Maratona dles Dolomites, Part III








Race Day






The race begins in the town of La Villa at 6:15 a.m. All roads are closed after 5:55 a.m., even to cyclists, so that translates into a very early wake up call. The call comes at 4:00 a.m. Fortunately, I had a great night's sleep. The hotel has breakfast starting at 4:30 a.m. and Ms. E is kind and crazy enough to join me. I ate four slices of delicious rye bread with brie and prosciutto, two brioche, juice and drank a cappuccino. At 5:00 a.m. I'm back in my room making final decisions on what to wear based on the temperature which is 9 C, 48 F, (bib shorts with no leg warmers, undershirt, jersey, arm warmers, my Gruppo 1 cycling jacket minus the sleeves, and short fingered gloves; I pack long fingered gloves in the back in case the descent of the Passo Pordoi is too cold). I stuff 3 Powerbars into my jersey as part of my strategy this year is to not stop at the first three rest stops which tend to be traffic jams.






At 5:15 a.m. I'm off in the dark, to descend into La Villa. Cyclists are coming from every where and volunteers have the roads well marked and are directing cyclists to their proper starting grids. One of the reasons to arrive earlier than later is to at least have a good starting position within your grid. Even though your race time is personalized from when you cross the start and finish lines it's best to try to start in front of as many people as you can. This year it seems everyone arrived early and I'm waaaaayyyyyyy in the back in the last grid amongst a sea of cyclists. As I wait for the start I'm amazed by the number of ultra high end bikes. These are serious dudes and women (nearly 900 participate). One guy next to me, that was so old that flesh was hanging off his arms, has a SCOTT Addict frame with LIGHTWEIGHT carbon wheels ($4,000 a pair). As they say here, it's in the "gamba" (legs).



I'm very relaxed but shivering. The sun is starting to peak over the mountain tops. I know it's chilly now but once the gun goes off it's all uphill to where the first pass, Campolongo, begins. The roads are lined with speakers so you can here all the announcements being made at the starting line. The helicopters are in the air, the race is broadcast live on RAI. You hear the sound of cleats coming at you in a wave as everyone clips into their pedals.



It's slow going towards the start line but once you reach it the road opens up as everyone is motoring. I grab wheels here and there, people are hopping onto mine. It's crazy. I know the first climb will weed a lot of riders and it will thin out more and more as the day goes on. I plan on riding a steady pace, not frying myself. Through Corvara and we are onto the Passo Campolongo climb. The legs take a few minutes to get accustomed to the effort. At the top I skip the rest stop, and make a fast descent into Arabba. I pass many people and only a few pass me; the Richard Sachs is great. Reaching the bottom it's a very quick right turn and bang, it's the Passo Pordoi climb. Many people have to get off their bikes as they get caught in their big chain ring. I roll down my arm warmers and unzip my jacket. It's a grind up to 2,239 m (7, 345 feet). I concentrate on turning the pedals and riders, it's still a bit crowded. The descent of Pordoi into Canazei can be very cold as it's in the shade early in the morning so at the top I roll my arm warmers back up and zip up my jacket. Down the Pordoi like a rocket; unfortunately I pass my first accident. I imagine this is what a WWII dog fight was like....you're passing people left and right, people are passing you...this on downhill straights and switchbacks. It's wild. Arriving in Canazei I skip the rest stop. It's now the climb of Passo Sella, 2,244 m. Now I'm starting to feel it. I make it over Sella, descend, and then it's up the Passo Gardena. Over the Gardena and then it's a rocketship descent, and yet another accident, into Corvara.



This is where your head plays game with you. You go down the finishing stretch. BUT, oh NO. Only those that opt for the 55 km course finish now. The 106 and 138 km riders stay to the right with the full knowledge that you have to climb Passo Campolongo AGAIN. In Corvara, Ms. E. is waiting for me and I quickly give here my cycling jacket which is completely soaked. I start climbing Campolongo again. At the top I stop at the rest stop this time to quickly fill my water bottles. I descend again but this time instead of turning right we turn left and head towards the village of Andraz. For all the spectacular sights of the Maratona this is my favorite stretch of road as we head towards the very nasty Falzarego climb. You ride along the edge of a road that looks down into an incredible valley. I'm getting tired now and I try to grab a wheel here and there. We turn left onto the Falzarego (here I can opt to go on the 138 km route having easily made the time limit but sanity prevails and I stay on the 106km course). This climb just kills me. It's long and goes to 2,200 m. I'm looking at my watch, trying to calculate if I can make the 6 hour goal. It's going to be close. Bad thoughts come into my head, "Shit, why am I killing myself." But, I hang in there. It's one of those climbs that when you look up you just say to yourself, "My god, I'm going up there?". I make to the top, welcomed by an abandoned WW I fortress where the soldiers must have spent miserable times. It was cold. I decided I really had to take advantage of the descent so it was really, really fast going back into (I've read that Sean Yates, known to be a great descender, reached 70 mph on this road) . I'm not sure I can make the time of 6 hours (so I can get into a better starting grid next year) as it's uphill towards from LaVilla to Corvara and the finish. I'm tired. But, I keep going. I make it to the finish and I think I've made it in just under 6 hours.




I go to the hotel, shower and change and come back for the Barilla Pasta Party. Ms. E is awed by the crowd. Everyone is feeling that special sense of accomplishment you get when you do these crazy things.



I received this email from the Maratona:category: 106km Uomini/Herren/Male 58-65

race time:5:54.53,9

place overall: 1246

place category: 84 (out of 270).


I made it!! Last year my time was 6:47 so I made quite an improvement. Who says you can't get better with age?






Photos: me at 5:15 a.m. leaving hotel; the start line; Passo Campolongo; Passo Sella.