Stelvio 2 Garda Picture 1
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Best Time of Year: April - September
Stelvio 2 Garda Ride
Join us on this unique ride of a lifetime tackling arguably the greatest piece of mountain asphalt on Italian soil before riding onto Eden and the spectacular shores of Lake Garda – it’s no wonder this ride is also known as “The Beauty and the Beast!”.
Day one we fly into Innsbruck from the UK before re-assembling our trusted steeds and a much needed “leg loosener” up the InnValley to our overnight hotel at the key town of Landeck. The following morning after a hearty breakfast and an espresso or three we begin our tentative approach to towards the sleeping giant and pray the gods are with us on this journey up to the heavens. But before the Stelvio we have the smaller matter of the Norbertshöhe – and in good time too as the riding to is not too demanding yet. After a brief sojourn into Switzerland and once over the Norbertshöhe we’re back in Austria and it’spossibly one of the most spectacular rides in the Tyrolean Alps down towards Pratto Allo Stelvio using traffic free cycle route too! Then it begins – down at the valley floor you are in blissful ignorance of the mythical giant’s presence other than a few snow capped peaks around you, however, now is the time, now is the moment you’ve been dreaming of (or fearing) – your appointment with the giant…
The Stelvio pass begins gently but not for long, even in the lower slopes you’re pushing a mostly 7% gradient - before 10km you’re pushing 8-10% and that’s the easy bit! I haven’t mentioned the switchbacks – all 48 of them! each one rising you around and pushing you up by a further 5-8% on what at times looks like a sheer rock face. Sometimes you catch a profile of what’s to come and your first thought will be “that’s not possible” but as you will soon learn - it is and that’s your destiny! The altitude markers at first are a novelty but by the time you reach the 2000m marker it’s likely you can’t see beyond your front wheel as you focus on the square foot of tarmac in front of you. But make sure you’ve saved something for the final few km as the giant has a surprise waiting for you – the infamous Trafoi windings – the scene of great Giro battles – the final zig-zags to the summit will hurt but you can almost hear the distant cheers of spectators looking down on you willing you on to the finish and glory – well in your head anyway.
After our well deserved nights sleep on the summit we have the small matter of descending the Stelvio – check your brakes, as you’re going to need them – a lot! Soon we’re in Bormio and then we begin our climb of the day – The Gavia. Another ‘Hors catégorie’ and another monster. Again approached with respect and paced carefully you will be victorious – the summit offers nothing more than a small sanctuary building but you will be greeted like a legend – the hot chocolates pretty good too. Today is big – really big and you will need to muster all the strength you have for the three climbs today but once at Madonna di Campiglio you can begin to rest and relax in the knowledge tomorrow is all down hill (well nearly).
From Madonna di Campiglio we make the ride through more exquisite mountain scenery before arriving at shores of Lake Garda. We ride almost the full length of this stunning lake but before arriving at our hotel in Garda we just have time for a quick dip in the crystal waters and then onwards to a great evening and celebrations.
On booking this adventure you are signing up for the ride, the leadership, and the support of an experienced and helpful crew - who will endeavour to lead you safely, and reliably through Europe. You will have an experienced mechanic, and an experienced cycling leader, as well as an experienced support driver.
Day 2 Norbertshöhe
Average grade: 6.4%
Height start: 1030m
Height top: 1405m
Elevation gain: 375m
Distance to foot of climb from day start - 26mi / 42km
Passo Dello Stelvio
Average grade: 7.4%
Height start: 950m
Height top: 2758m
Elevation gain: 1808m
Distance to foot of climb from day start - 54mi / 87km
Day 3 Passo Gavia
Average grade: 5.5%
Height start: 1217m
Height top: 2621m
Elevation gain: 1404m
Distance to foot of climb from day start - 13mi / 21km
Passo del Tonale
Average grade: 5.9%
Height start: 1238m
Height top: 1884m
Elevation gain: 646m
Distance to foot of climb from day start - 40mi / 64km
Campo Carlo Magno
Average grade: 6%
Height start: 764m
Height top: 1681m
Elevation gain: 917m
Distance to foot of climb from day start - 50mi / 80km
Day 4 Passo del Ballino
Average grade: 3.6%
Height start: 400m
Height top: 764m
Elevation gain: 364m
Distance to foot of climb from day start - 26mi / 42km
Day 1 - Fly from UK to Innsbruck. Unpack bike and ride from Innsbruck Airport to Landeck. [75km]
Day 2 - Ride Landeck to Stelvio (summit finish) - overnight in the clouds on this stunning mountain. [112km]
Day 3 - Ride Stelvio to Madonna di Campiglio. [117km]
Day 4 - Ride Madonna di Campiglio To Garda. [114km]
Day 5 - Easy morning before transfer to Verona airport and return to UK
We will be in simple hotels throughout the event (including buffet breakfasts). The standard of accommodation will fluctuate throughout the trip - but is designed to be functional - and to enable us to get a good night's sleep - and continue with the challenge. You will be sharing in twins or triples. If you require a single room then please request this at time of booking (a small supplement will be payable). Upgrades are also available for an extra charge if required.
What is a Level 4.0 Cycling Challenge Like?
You are now moving into the realms of serious cycling challenges. Cycling days will be up to 10 hours, or slightly less if the event stretches over several days. You should have very good cycling fitness, with good leg strength, and you should be used to putting in regular training rides most weekends - with some good long rides. Most folks will consider these rides very long, and very challenging. Expect a mixture of length and terrain (think hilly!).
How Fit Do I need to be to join a Level 4.0 ‘Bike Ride’?
To participate in these events you need to be in good cycling fitness. You probably are capable of riding at high speeds for 2 to 2.5 hours, around 23 - 25 km/hr. And you should be used to riding long distances and over hilly terrain. If you do not cycle regularly you must be of very high fitness level - and should think about converting as soon as possible and getting on to a bike - you will need to develop your specific strength and cycling technique. Do not come on these challenges without having spent plenty of time in the saddle. Training rides should be up to 60 or 70 miles, and you should have done a few like this. You should be getting out on your bike most weekends in the run up to your event.
Please note, it is extremely important for this physical challenge that you are in good health. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consider carefully whether you should be joining the challenge. Please ensure you fill in the booking form accurately and honestly, this is important. In the case of serious conditions (epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions, recent illness or operations), please discuss the challenge with your GP. Please also ensure you notify us of any allergies or similar.
It requires stamina and good aerobic fitness - but good willpower will also come in handy! Failure to disclose medical conditions is a serious omission - that could have serious repercussions on any of our challenges.
Visas / Redtape
When travelling abroad you may require a Visa. Please check the Travcour website (www.travcour.com) for up to date Visa information. Here they can advise you on the best action to take. If you require further information please don't hesitate to contact the Café.
Included In Trip
Experienced Cycle Leader,
Full Vehicle Support and Driver/Mechanic.
3 nights hotel accommodation en route.
Full buffet breakfasts every day.
Pre Event Cycle Event Hotline.
Excluded From Trip
International Flights to and from start and end of the ride.
Personal transfers to airport on final day (taxi ride required).
Lunches and dinners.
Personal travel insurance.
By nature all activities contain an element of risk.Your leader will be first aid qualified and will carry the appropriate safety kit for the activity, such as first aid kits, our on hand support vehicle, and from time to time mobile radios. Safety equipment carried will be appropriate to trip. The leader's primary role is to ensure your safety, but it is your responsibility to listen to their guidance and instructions. You will be issued with detailed safety guidance for riding safely. It is our primary focus to ensure you arrive safely at your journey's end without any crashes or accidents!
Generally we can expect mild, warm and sunny weather. Equally however, we can expect a dramatic temperature drop and cool conditions on the Stelvio - this will be more relevant for the morning descent! Please remember to bring layers - not thick coverings.
Notes on Cycling Events
This is our standard range of Cycling Challenges in the UK, Europe and further afield. However, we offer completely tailormade itineraries to your specification. Call us to discuss!
Adventure Cafe Booking Terms and Conditions
By booking an event with Adventure Cafe, you agree to these standard terms of booking. Please ensure that you read the appropriate document for your type of event carefully.
Adventure Cafe Terms & Conditions
- For all types of event