The Giro d'Italia is an iconic tour bringing together cyclists, support teams, fans and the media from across the globe. Find out more about the tour, here.

A Guide to Road Cycling in Northern Italy’s Mountain Ranges

The iconic tour, the Giro d’Italia, brings people together from around the world through the cyclists, fans, journalists and support teams.

Italian mountain ranges
2020-04-21 11:05:00

A Guide to Road Cycling in Northern Italys Mountain Ranges

For anyone on a quest for the most picturesque, rewarding landscape thats perfect for a road cycling holiday, we can think of few places to recommend more highly than northern Italys mountainous regions. Of particularly spectacular scenery are the Italian Alps and Dolomites, where exhilarating climbs and descents make for thrilling rides and the close proximity of passes offering uniquely breath-taking panoramic views provides memories that will last a lifetime.

Road cycling in the mountains offers the ideal terrain for those of us that relish the opportunity to add challenging climbs to our list of cycling achievements. The rewards of each epic pass that northern Italy boasts are second-to-none; awe-inspiring scenery, welcoming hospitality, world-class food and drink plus a wealth of bike facilities make the Italian Alps and Dolomites the ultimate destination for any avid road cyclist.

How the Giro dItalia Paved the Way

These cycle-friendly mountain ranges are frequent backdrops of the Giro dItalia, one of the most important and popular bicycle races and lauded as the worlds most beautiful bike race. Since the inaugural Giro dItalia in 1909, this iconic tour has gone ahead without fail every year except during the two world wars. With the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 Giro dItalia, its more important than ever to remind ourselves of the impact this multi-stage race has had in bringing people together in Italy and the world over.

Big Business

The fist Giro dItalia was dreamt up in order to increase sales of La Gazzetta dello Sport. The maglia rosapink jersey, worn by the overall leader of the Giro, was chosen to represent the pink paper of La Gazetta. Today, the race is run by RCS Sport, a subsidiary of that newspapers owner. As well as the Giro, RCS Sport organises the Milan – San Remo and Tirreno Adriatico road cycling events, as well as the Milan Marathon.

road cycling

All Kicking Off

Despite its name, the Giro d’Italia race has seen its ‘Grande Partenza’ starting location outside of Italy 13 times, in San Marino in 1965; Monaco in 1966; Belgium in 1973 and 2006; the Vatican City in 1974; Greece in 1996; France in 1998; the Netherlands in 2002, 2010 and 2016; Denmark in 2012; Northern Ireland in 2014 and Israel in 2018. The race always finishes in Italy. Alfonsina Strada The Giro Rosa, the Giro for women, was initiated in 1988. Only one woman has ever participated in the main Giro d’Italia; an Italian named Alfonsina Strada, who took part in the 1924 edition after organisers mistook her for a man.


Taking the Stage

Each edition of the three-week race is split into 20-21 stages. Throughout its history, four riders have led the Giro from start to finish; Costante Girardengo in 1919; Alfredo Binda in 1927; Eddy Merckx in 1973 and Gianni Bugno in 1990. Conversely, there have been a total of 14 winners who have taken a steadier approach and not won any individual stages despite being the overall victor. Take Training Seriously… or Take the Train During the inaugural edition of the Giro d’Italia, four riders – Vincenzo Granata, Guglielmo Lodesani, Andrea Provinciali and Giuseppe Brambilla – were disqualified for taking a train in place of cycling part of the second stage. Global Support As well as bringing such high numbers of cyclists, support teams, fans and journalists to Italy each year that it’s nearly impossible to keep track, an estimated 800 million people watch the race across the world as it is televised live.

cycling round bend

Your Personal Road to the Giro

You dont have to be a world-class cyclist to enjoy the same scenic landscapes that have played host to countless historic moments throughout the Giro dItalia. Enjoying a cycling holiday in the Italian Dolomites or Italian Alps gives you the opportunity to ride the very same exhilarating passes, experiencing the same pride at overcoming an iconic climb and the rush of free-wheeling down the well-earned descent. Whether you want to challenge your pace against the thousands of great road cyclists that have taken part or simply enjoy the striking routes at your own leisure, northern Italys mountain ranges have so much to offer each and every cyclist that comes to visit.

While the Giro dItalia has done wonders for bringing northern Italys mountain ranges to the attention of road cyclists the world over, its important to remember that these landscapes are amazing in their own right. These stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites truly are some of the most surreal and breath-taking surroundings, and journeying along them on two wheels is one of the best possible ways you could ever hope to discover them.

As well as being situated in such glorious natural beauty, a cycling holiday to the Italian Dolomites or the Italian Alps offers cyclists the perfect active getaway. Here at Colconquerors, our cycling holidays are all about making sure you have the very best possible experience while enjoying these spaces to the highest level, with every last detail taken care of, including route planning, kit washing facilities and more.

The rides youll experience will be second-to-none; youll enjoy six days of guided, vehicle-supported cycling under the careful and expert guidance of an experienced team. Were well-prepared to cover all your needs, from fresh fruit and sports nutrition available on demand, you will also benefit from British Cycling Level 3 coaching, sending you home a better cyclist than when you arrived!

The perfectly situated hotels offer a comfortable place to get a great nights sleep after a challenging day of cycling. Each night, you will be treated to a freshly prepared meal often of locally sourced, traditional cuisine to refuel your body in style. The itinerary is fully flexible to suit your needs and were always happy to go the extra mile to make sure you enjoy these stunning locations to their fullest. When you join us for your unforgettable cycling holiday to the Dolomites or Italian Alps, youre sure to enjoy every minute of it; the only thing we wont do for you is push your pedals!