Gran Fondo in Italian means ‘big ride’, and Marcialonga Cycling Craft certainly represents one of the biggest events up and down the Italian Dolomites. Next 29 June the road cycling race in Trentino celebrates the 8th running and the OC decided to go back to…basics, to the two courses it was born onto.
Both routes will start and finish in Predazzo town center. The ‘short’ race (80 km total length, 1.894 meters total climb with max gradient 18,2%) will only cycle the Monte San Pietro and Lavazé Passes, while the ‘long’ course (135 km total length, 3.279 meters total climb – max height 2.032 meters on Valles Pass – with max gradient 19,2%) will go through the three alpine passes of Lavazè, San Pellegrino and Valles, plus the initial Monte San Pietro.
After the first 20k pedalling through Val di Fiemme from Predazzo towards the village of San Lugano, riders will face a 7k wide down-hill to the Monte San Pietro climb, on the top of which they will find the first refreshment stand. The next down-hill will take to Nova Ponente and to the steep 9k long up-hill to Lavazé Pass (1.805 meters a.s.l.).
A thrilling down-hill will take all categories back to Tesero and Predazzo, and the ‘short’ race athletes will cross here the finish line. Instead, those who picked the ‘long’ course will now face two further mountain passes, namely San Pellegrino and Valles. The first one is well known to Giro d’Italia fans, as it hosted the famous Italian race more than once in the past. Once Predazzo is passed, participants will go through Moena, in Val di Fassa, and straight afterwards will “attack” the 11k steep climb (14% max gradient) towards the very top of San Pellegrino pass. The following challenging down-hill will take the cyclists to the last climb towards the Valles pass, the highest point reached by the 2014 Marcialonga Cycling Craft: 2.032 meters a.s.l. Once the top is reached, the only thing left is the 24k long down-hill to Predazzo town centre.
Entries are open and the fees vary by the time of registration, namely €30 (by 26 May), €35 (by 27 June) and €40 (on Saturday 28 June only).
Live music, a special ‘Aperitif on the saddle’ and the Expo area are some of the side events that the OC plans to offer on the Marcialonga Cycling Craft day. On Friday 27 June the Minicycling event for kids and youngsters has also been scheduled.
Along with last January’s Marcialonga ski-marathon and the Marcialonga Running scheduled on 7 September, Marcialonga Cycling Craft forms the Combined Event ‘Punto3 Craft’.