29 Sep - 08 Oct 2017 (12 PLACES REMAIN)
Compete in the Tre Valli Varesine Granfondo (3 distance options available) and test the race course for the 2018 UCI Granfondo World Championship! Watch the Pro's tackle this event then go onto the last racing "monument" of the year, the Giro di Lombardia, all in the wonderfully scenic Lakes district, what a blast! This tour has something for everybody, Granfondo participation, watching Pro's race, stunning rides with a little bit of climbing, loads of flat lake-side riding, thrilling descents and above all incomparable views across Italy’s northern lakes. We take in Lago Maggiore, Lago di Lugano, Lago Varese and Lago di Como. We’ll pay homage at the holy shrine to cyclists, the beautiful chapel of Madonna del Ghisallo. We will savour some of Italy’s finest wine and cuisine. Bring it on!
- All hotel accommodation in minimum 3 star, usually 4 star hotels (twin share)
- Introductory Lunch
- Dinners (except 1)
- GF Registration
- 2 Guides on tour (one fully qualified mechanic)
- Van support throughout tour
- All in-tour transfers
- Snacks and food supplements including electrolytes during tour
- Activities which depend on the region we are visiting. Examples include wine/cheese/olive oil tastings, boat trips
- Garmin 800 loan unit with maps for duration of tour
- 1 PuntoTours cycling kit (cycling jersey, knicks and socks) per guest
- 1 day pack per guest
- Detailed printed Tour information booklet.
Day One - Varese Warm-up Ride
Main Route: 40km / 25mi
Total Ascent: 680m / 2200ft
This is a warm-up ride to ease the legs and body into it. Some of you may have only recently stepped off a plane, so this ride offers a great way to “tease” out that tiredness. It will take in some small climbs in and around Varese.
Day Two - Varese Loop
Main Route: 70km / 43mi
Total Ascent: 1100m / 3600ft
This is a beautiful ride heading to Lago Maggiore and visiting the enchanting town of Angera. You’ll be enchanted by the view. This is an undulating course, ideal preparation for the following days Granfondo. In the afternoon we'll collect our "race packs" and have a great carbo-load dinner!
Day Three - Tre Valli Varesine Granfondo
Distance: Medio Granfondo: 103km / 64mi; Lungo Granfondo: 156km / 97mi
Ascent: Medio Granfondo 1500m / 4900ft; Lungo Granfondo 2500m / 8200ft
Aptly named the three valleys of Varese this is a truly and up and down course taking in the many climbs and descents between the lakes of Lugano, Varese and Maggiore. You have 2 courses to choose from. The wonderful part is doing part of the course that the Pros will tackle in 2 days time. This is an important race and next year will become a Pro-Tour event. Even last year it attracted all the big names and the race was in fact won by Vincenzo Nibali.
Day Four - Varese Loop or Rest Day
Main Route: 70km / 43mi
Total Ascent: 900m / 2900ft
Today, after the Granfondo, you can choose to either have a rest day and perhaps go to Milan or simply explore more of what Varese has on offer. Alternatively we can do an easy recovery ride through the Brinzio forest.
Day Five - Varese, watch the Pro's
Today the Pros race. They tackle the difficult Tre Valli Varisine race which as of next year will become a Pro Tour event. You will have done some/most of the course doing the Granfondo. We can go and see them on the parcour or simply walk out the front of our hotel and watch the riders pass by; and in the meantime watch them on TV with a "Spritz" in hand. Doesn't get much better than this!
Day Six - Varese to Verbania (with ferry ride from Laveno)
Main Route: 70km / 43mi; Long Route: 105km / 62mi
Total Ascent: 1000m / 3300ft; Long Route: 1700m / 5500ft
We leave Varese via the leafy Varesini forests and head to Laveno. We take in the Passo Cuvignone, Ivan Basso's favourite training ground and the intriguing Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Sasso before arriving at Laveno where we will catch the ferry to cross Lago Maggiore to arrive at our destination, Verbania.
Day Seven - Verbania Loop to Piancavallo
Main Route: 70km / 43mi; Long Route: 100km / 62mi
Total Ascent: Main 910m / 2900ft; Long 1525m / 5000ft
We have just a short warm up before we start climbing up to the Piancavallo. It's never really difficult, just long. The reward is a wonderful birds-eye view of Lago Maggiore. We have a spectacular descent back to the lakes edge - and you'll be glad we didn't climb up from this side! A 12km ride along the lake back to our hotel. In the afternoon we'll take a boat ride to the fabulous Borromean Islands.
Day Eight - Verbania to Bellagio
Main Route: 120km / 74mi
Total Ascent: 2000m / 6500ft
This is a more challenging day in the saddle, which takes us towards the famous Lago di Como. An absolutely spectacular ride with a spectacular views down upon Lake Como as we arrive on the shores of the lake. We'll ride along the shore before taking a ferry to Bellagio.
Day Nine - Bellagio Loop and Giro di Lombardia live!
Main Route: 80km / 50mi; Long Route: 100km / 62mi
Total Ascent: Main 1,000m / 3,300ft; Long 1,600m / 5,300ft
From Bellagio we tackle the climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, which features every year in the Giro di Lombardia. It will take us to the chapel and cycling museum at the summit where there is a stunning view over the lake. Then on to Monte San Primo and the infamous 'muro di Sormano' to watch the Pros racing through, and then we return via a great descent and undulating course through the Brianza region, famous for Italy's furniture design and manufacture. The final parlours is gently rolling with beautiful vistas beside Lake Como all the way back to Bellagio.
Day Ten - Arrivederci
Recommended Arrival Airport: Malpensa Milan
Recommended Departure Airport: Malpensa Milan
(Airport transfers not included)