Thursday, June 2, 2011

Riding in the "Dolomiti Stars"

The "Dolomiti Stars" includes the resort areas of Civetta, Falcade-Passo San Pellegrino, Arabba and Marmolada in the Dolomites. Here you can find spectacularly beautiful and challenging bike rides. Below are some suggested routes courtesy of the nice people at .


Alleghe - Cencenighe - Agordo - Passo Duran - Dont - Passo Staulanza - Selva di Cadore - Caprile - Alleghe
Every itinerary in the Dolomiti Stars is an unique spectacle. Don’t miss the ride around the majestic peaks of the Pelmo and Civetta across the sunny green fields of the Val Fiorentina and Val di Zoldo. It starts off from Alleghe, at the base of the Civetta. The first part is quite easy, with a downhill all the way to Cencenighe and down along the Cordevole valley to Agordo. After passing through the center of Agordo we turn left and face the first uphill challenge of the day, the Duran Pass (1605 m). Its very name offers a taste of the challenges it offers, yet the scenery is spectacular. Once on top we can see the Moiazza before diving into a fast, technical downhill that takes us to the village of e Dont. We turn left and start climbing again towards the Val di Zoldo aiming towards the Passo Staulanza (1773 m). While we’re riding we can admire the Civetta in its entire splendor to our left, while on the right we can see the Pelmo, also called “The Lord’s Throne” because of its distinctive chair shape. At the top of the Staulanza the hard part is over, and we ride down to Selva di Cadore, turn left and continue going down all the way to Caprile. From here we coast along the banks of the lake until we get back to Alleghe, where we can admire a front and centre view of the walls of the Civetta.
Distance: about 80 km
Difficulty: *** (1 to 5)


Arabba - Passo Campolongo - Passo Gardena - Passo Sella - Passo Pordoi - Arabba
Arabba’s geographical position makes it “the temple” in the Dolomites for cycling fans. Starting out from here, one of the musts is surely the Sellaronda tour, also known as the tour of the “Giro dei 4 Passi”. Arabba is the start and finish for this highly spectacular ride on the Dolomite passes (in order): Camplolongo (1875 m), Gardena (2121 m), Sella (2240 m) and Pordoi (2239 m) (you can ride it either clockwise or counter-clockwise). These four authentic Dolomite giants have a unique charm. Challenging climbs cover a total of 50 km with an altitude change of 1800 m. It’s even accessible to amateurs, if they’re physically fit and not in a hurry. The beauty of these mountains makes you forget the exertion of pedaling! Evidence of this is the Sellaronda Bike Day, a non-competitive event dedicated to sports and nature, open to everyone, scheduled here each year (for 2011 it’s a double date: on Sunday, July 3 and Sunday, September 18). Thousands of fans and entire families pedal along these spectacular passes, which are closed to traffic for the occasion.
Distance: about 50 km
Difficulty: *** (1 to 5)


Falcade - Passo Valles - (Passo Rolle) - Paneveggio - Predazzo - Moena - Passo San Pellegrino - Falcade
We start out from Falcade and go up through Falcade Alto. On your left you can admire the Focobon chain, while behind you there’s a splendid view of the Falcade plain. Here you may even run into some champions pedaling…in fact, these roads are a training grounds for Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and the other champions from Team Liquigas-Cannondale during their high mountain retreat at Passo San Pellegrino. At the Passo Valles / Passo San Pellegrino cross road, we turn left and prepare to face the Passo Valles (2031 m) to then descend through famous fir woods known as “the violin forests” of Paneveggio’s National Park. At the crossroads you turn right and continue in the direction of Paneveggio Lake and then down through Bellamonte until you reach Predazzo. At the crossroads for Paneveggio riders in better shape can take a small detour by turning left and also taking on the Passo Rolle (1984 m). Once on top, after getting a good look at the famous Pale di San Martino, you go back down the same road and back to the route that leads to Predazzo. From here it’s an easy uphill in the valley until you reach Moena. At Moena you turn right and start the climb to Passo San Pellegrino (1919 m). Once on top you start back down with lovely views of the Monzoni chain and the Marmolada on your left, while on the right lies Col Margherita in its entire splendor and you ride back down to Falcade.
Distance: about 70 km
Difficulty: *** (1 to 5)

Alleghe - Rocca Pietore - Sottoguda - Malga Ciaplea - Passo Fedaia - Canazei - Passo Pordoi - Arabba - Pieve di Livinallongo - Caprile - Alleghe
We set off from Alleghe to go conquer the “Queen of the Dolomites”, the Marmolada. We ride along the lake to Caprile and continue straight on; here the road begins to climb in the direction of Rocca Pietore. When we come to the village of Sottoguda we take the road that crosses the fascinating Serrai di Sottoguda, a canyon carved in the rock throughout millennia by the waters of the Pettorina torrent. We enjoy this natural scenery of rare beauty. We come out of the canyon in the Malga Ciapela quarter. Here there’s no more time for fun and games: we’re taking on a long, unending straight away with harrying gradients that will put even the best riders to the test. This will take us up to the final turns on the passo Fedaia (2057 m) where we can stop to catch our breath. Once on top we come to a false plain with lovely views of the pristine white Marmolada glacier to the left,as we ride along beside Fedaia Lake. Take care and be sure to recuperate your energy on the way down, because soon we’ll be pedaling up again, all the way to Canazei. Here we turn right and start climbing the passo Pordoi (2239 m), our “Cup-worthy peak” of the day, another legendary climb. Now we’ve overcome the last effort of the day and we can descend enjoying the Dolomite scenery all the way to Arabba. Here we continue downhill, first not very steeply, Pieve di Livinallongo and then down a steeper incline to Caprile to then make our way back to Alleghe.
Distance: about 60 km
Difficulty: **** (1 to 5)

Arabba - Pieve di Livinallongo - Caprile - Selva di Cadore - Passo Giau - Pocol - Passo Falzarego - Arabba
This is the same short route featured in the gran fondo Dolomiti Classic-TMC-Arabba race, scheduled for Sunday, 11 September in Arabba. We start off from Arabba for the first easy kilometers towards Pieve di Livinallongo. The initial part is a simple downhill to Caprile. From here we start climbing to passo Giau (2236 m); at first the inclines aren’t too steep, until you reach Selva di Cadore; then it’s serious walls all the way to the summit. We come down in the direction of Cortina d’Ampezzo recuperating our strength as we admire the rare beauty surrounding us: the Averau and Nuvolau chains. At the intersection in Pocol we turn left and start up again; we’re about to face Passo Falzarego. On the left in the charming scenery we can admire the Five Towers (Cinque Torri), while the right has views over the Lagazuoi. Once we’ve overcome the climb we head down to the left towards Arabba. During the descent at passo Falzarego (2109 m) we simply must stop to take in the fascinating and mysterious Andraz Castle on our right, perched over the fir forests dominating the valley. At the end of the descent we turn right and trace the easy route back to Arabba.
Distance: about 80 km
Difficulty: **** (1 to 5)

Some of the cycling events that will take place this summer, to name a few: the Re Giau XII Trofeo della Montagna Stella Alpina (25 and 26 June), the Oderzo-Falcade-Oderzo (25 and 26 June), the Arabba-Passo Pordoi time trial climb (26 June), the Craft Bike Trans Alp (20 and 21 July), the Saranno Campioni (3 September) and the Dolomiti Classic-TMC-Arabba (11 September).

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1 comment:

  1. Some of the best riding on earth we think! We'll be doing many of those passes with our clients early in July. See you there!