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TOP 5: Overseas Sportives

by Nick Gregory


Maratona dles Dolomites (Italy)

The Maratona dles Dolomites is a beautiful gran fondo on a testing course in the Italian Dolomites. The full 138km Maratona course takes riders over five 2,000m+ passes and the saw tooth profile means you are either ascending or descending throughout the day. 

Due to its proximity to the Etape and the Marmotte, the Dolomite Marathon has not historically been a popular event with British riders, which is tragic because they have been missing an opportunity to ride in some of the best mountain scenery to be found anywhere in Europe. Definitely an event for riders who can climb (and descend) - there is virtually no flat anywhere in this route, which takes in the Pordoi, Sella, Campolongo, Giau and Falzarego passes in a figure of 8 route out and back from Corvara Alta Badia. 

There are three sportive distances to choose from - Maratona: 138km with 4,190m of climbing, Middle: 106km with 3,090m of climbing and Sellaronda: 55km with 1,780m of climbing. All of the routes start at La Villa and finish at Corvara, so you will not miss any of the pre or post-race atmosphere if you choose to take on one of the shorter distances. 

Cyclosport's Jennifer Trotman has taken on the Maratona: "The scenery IS absolutely stunning.  The road surfaces were, for the most part, incredibly good. The organisation is great, the goodies likewise. The timing and photos and videos were all massively efficient - all up and available either the same day or before I got home.  Hard to fault the event in any kind of serious way - it really is great!"


NEXT: L'Etape du Tour...

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