Invite-only #Giro100 Camp

Giro d'Italia on the Passo Sella

We love the Giro. We love anniversary parties. We love the Dolomites. We love our Monte Grappa. Since the 100th anniversary of the Giro includes all these things, we figured it’s going to be a perfect week. The final stages of the Giro are going to be an exciting climax to what promises to be one of the best routes in years. We know all the roads, climbs, and perfect places to watch as the winner is decided.

Our camp won’t appear on our 2017 schedule, instead this will be an invite-only camp. If you’d like to join us, please send an email to [email protected] and ask to join the list. We’ll send out invitations with complete information by 15 November. While we’re still finalizing all the details, expect a few days in the Dolomites followed by a few days at our HQ. Stage 20 covers our home ground, and there’s nothing like seeing a major sporting event on your own turf!

We’re excited about the 100th Giro, and hope you are too. Come join us!

Monte Zoncolan: Tailgating at 5,700 Feet

Steve Morabito Fans on Monte Zoncolan

Stage 20 of the 2014 Giro must go down as one of my favorite days of race watching. The race finished in the Friuli region, on Monte Zoncolan. I arranged to go to the finish of the stage with the extremely nice family of Brent’s swiss-french teammate, Steve Morabito. They picked me up from the train station in Padova, and when I climbed into their car for 2.5 hour drive to Zoncolan, I immediately began to sweat. It was a hot day and their air-conditioning was barely on; the French are famous for their distaste of air conditioning. I texted Brent, who was rooming with Steve, and he replied that he was a hotel room with Steve, sweating his ass off as well because the air conditioning was not on in their room either.

Steve’s wife had arranged to meet with a local Italian fan to get us press passes. I’m still not sure what happened, but after a lot of hand waving and rapid Italian, we were ushered into the press hotel, our pictures were taken, and the new credentials complete with our photos were hung around our necks. Then we proceeded to tailgate “Italian style” in the parking lot for the lift to Zoncolan, joining the hundreds of drunk joyous and boisterous Italians drinking homemade Prosecco and eating almond cake. No one seemed that concerned that the race would be finishing soon and we were still at the bottom of the lift and the race finished at the top, 3 miles and a 1000 feet of altitude away. When the time seemed right (i.e. the Prosecco ran out) we loaded onto the press-only ski lift and trundled to the top, loaded with Morabito flags. (Steve Morabito’s fan club runs like a well-oiled swiss machine- there are Morabito flags, hats, jackets, etc., and yearly dinners raise money for all the fans to travel to cheer him on at international events).

Monte Zoncolan in 2014 Giro d'ItaliaOnce at the top of the mountain, we marched toward the finish with thousands of other fans, most of whom in various stages of inebriation and disorder. It’s hard to describe the Friuli mountains—superlatives fail me when I think of this region. The rock formations and the epic cragginess of these mountains are stunning; you feel like you are on top of the world. Combine this with campers and tents and people grilling food and yelling and singing and blowing trumpets. It’s overwhelming. It was like an American football game, but at 5,700 ft. The last 3km of road to the finish line was absolute chaos. People of all different nationalities jostled for the best place to cheer, and there was a great sense of anticipation waiting for the cyclists to arrive. Even the police and Alpini (the Italian mountain army) that lined up and linked arms to stop the fans from running into the road with the cyclists had cameras and huge smiles, exactly the opposite of the police in the Tour de France.

When the police motos that herald the head of the race began appearing, the zeal and enthusiasm and eagerness of the crowd almost knocked me off my feet (literally), and the roar of the fans reached a fever pitch when the first hollow-eyed cyclists came zipping up the mountain. Brent ended up in a breakaway that day and got 5th! What an experience. The mountains (and people) in this part of Italy must not be missed.

Friuli with Craig LewisWant to experience this region, and in fact this very mountain, for yourself? Join our Friuli with Craig Lewis Camp, from August 30 to September 5. This year’s itinerary includes a ride with a summit finish on the Monte Zoncolan!

Gran Fondo Stelvio Camp Closed – Giro Camp Final Places!

Giro d'Italia Feature Image

Our silence on social media this weekend was, yes, partly due to the Olympics starting, but also due to it being a busy weekend! We didn’t just have our feet up.

To all those who were waiting to book for the Gran Fondo Stelvio Camp, we’re sorry but the camp is now closed. If you’re interested in joining us in the future, please head on over to the Gran Fondo Stelvio Camp page and add your name to our mailing list for 2015.

If you’re still making up your mind about our Giro d’Italia Camp – don’t delay! Final places in this camp are going to be booked quickly, so don’t get left on the outside. If you have any questions about this great camp, featuring our home climb of the Monte Grappa as a TT this year, please contact us or review the Giro d’Italia Camp page. Of course, if you’re ready to book, just head on over to reserve your place. Don’t let this great opportunity pass you by!

2014 Giro d’Italia Camp

Giro d'Italia 2km to TV in Caprile

We couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming Giro d’Italia. With what could be a defining stage on our home climb up the Monte Grappa, plus other key stages in our backyard, we will have an insider’s view on where we have to be to see all the best action. Add to that the daily announcements by some of the world’s best stage racers that they will focus on the 2014 Giro, and it really is shaping up to be the best stage race of 2014.

While a detailed itinerary is available on our Giro d’Italia Camp page, the key details are:

  • Only 12 places available!
  • 4 key Giro stages, including the Vittorio Veneto sprint finish, Rifugio Panarotta summit finish, Monte Grappa TT, and the Monte Zoncolan summit finish.
  • 7 rides over a mix of flat farmlands, rolling vineyard-covered hills, and Dolomite mountain climbs
  • 8 nights in the same hotel!
  • 21 meals full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats supplied by local farms from Italy’s breadbasket.
  • Gelato. Never forget about the gelato.

Our last four camps have sold out, so don’t delay. Registration is open now to the first 12 riders.

UCI World Cycling Tour, aka Master’s World Championships

Charly Gaul 1956 Giro d'Italia

For years, we traveled to St. Johann in Austria for the Masters’ World Championships at the end of August. Recent changes by the UCI have created the World Cycling Tour, which now culminates in the UWCT Final – also known as the UCI World Championships for Masters and Amateurs. New qualification rules mean you have to ride a UWCT event, and finish with the top 25% of your age group – or ride three UWCT events in one year.

After two great finals in Belgium and South Africa, the final heads to Italy in 2013. And not just Italy, but right here in our backyard in Trento this September! As it happens, the course for the final is the same as the course of this July’s la Leggendaria Charly Gaul. The tough course crosses the famed Monte Bondone twice, but in much better weather than when Charly Gaul made his famous ascent in the 1956 Giro d’Italia!

Finally, after catching everyone on the road again, he began the 14km assault of the Bondone. It was here, on the slopes of this 5413′ mountain, where torrential rains that decimated the peloton throughout the day changed to snow. Eventually, high winds categorized the wintery event as a blizzard.

With full support before and after the event, plus the usual on-course catering by the organizers, your ride will seem like an afternoon on the couch compared to what Charly Gaul and the other riders went through! This year’s event is on July 21, which leads immediately into our Bormio climbing camp (July 22-25). If you’ve ever wanted to ride famous Giro d’Italia climbs (Bondone, Stelvio, Gavia), this is a week not to be missed!

Only a few places remain, so register now!

Charly Gaul Gran Fondo Elevation