THE ITALIAN LAKES & GF IL LOMBARDIA
EXPLORE ANDREA'S HOME REGION AND RACE ON THE GHISALLO
ORTA - COMO
10 DAYS - 9 NIGHTS
Explore our Home Region and compete in the challenging Granfondo "Il Lombardia"! This tour has something for everybody: some rolling lake-side riding, good climbing and thrilling descents, a Pro Race and Granfondo, but above all incomparable views across Italy’s northern lakes. We take in Lago d’Orta, Lago Maggiore, Lago di Lugano and Lago di Como! We will savour some of Italy’s finest wine and cuisine and explore some charming villages such as Orta, Stresa and OF COURSE BELLAGIO! Boat trips, Wine and cheese tasting, Botanic gardens and cycling museum are only some of the activities offered after the rides…. Plus, a cooking class at Andrea’s house!
As this is our native region, we can guarantee the most special experience …. Bring it on!
Daily Distance: Approx 90km
Daily Ascent: Approx 1500m
Main Route 700km
Total Ascent: Approx 10'000m
Duration: 10 days/9 nights
Recommended Arrival-Departure Airport: Milano Malpensa
WHO WOULD ENJOY THIS EXPERIENCE?
The experience is built for all riders able to ride for 3-5 hours. This is not a race or high intensity riding, but rather a true cycling adventure across one of the most picturesque region in the world.
We will ride as a group on the rolling terrain and as individuals or small groups on the short climbs, so that everyone will enjoy the ride. On top of each major climb we will regroup to celebrate and refill our bottles, and then enjoy the descent together. As a team, we’ll support each other during the ride and make sure everyone finishes safe and happy!
All cyclists interested in exploring a new region, learning about local culture while admiring magnificent scenery will enjoy this incredible experience!
THE TOUR INCLUDES
A fantastic tour itinerary designed by Andrea
All hotel accommodations in beautiful 4S hotels, in twin-double room
All breakfasts, 1 lunch and all dinners except one
2 professional guides on tour (one fully qualified mechanic)
Van support throughout the tour
All in-tour transfers
Snacks and food supplements including electrolytes, gels, and energy bars during rides by OTE Sport
Garmin 810-820 loan unit with maps for duration of tour
1 top quality cycling kit made by Rapha (jersey, knicks, socks)
1 SCICON Race bag with your name and nationality
Free use of a RAPHA Helmet
Detailed printed tour information booklet
Extra activities besides cycling
Small group of max 12 riders.
MORE ABOUT THE TERRAIN
We have selected some of the best routes offering a mix of all terrains, but the terrain will be mainly hilly with some 8-10 km climbs, but also a lot of flat-undulating sections.
The start from Orta is perfect as it mostly flat, then route become hilly with some climbing towards the end of the tour approaching Varese and then Como.
The climbs are never hard as the gradient is always around 6-8% and when steeper, generally for short distances.
The roads are well-paved and safe, with drivers showing incredible respect for cyclists!
ON REQUEST, NOT INCLUDED
High-end rental bike
Granfondo Entry Fee
Massage at hotel
Personal airport transfer
Day One, October 5th – Orta Warm-up Ride
Main Route: 50km; 30mi Total Ascent: 450m; 900ft
Activity: Airport pick up, Transfer to hotel, bike set up and ride
This is a warm-up ride to ease the legs and body into a week+ of riding. Some of you may have only recently stepped off a plane, so this ride offers a great way to “tease” out that tiredness. It will include some small climbs and offer beautiful views across the region.
Day Two, October 6th – Orta Loop to Madonna del Sasso
Main Route: 85km; 52mi Total Ascent: 1150m; 3600ft
Ride: this is a beautiful ride around Lago d’Orta. After an initial flat start, the remaining day’s ride is undulating with only one slightly difficult climb towards the Sanctuary of Madonna del Sasso. You’ll be enchanted by the view.
Activity: boat trip to Isola del Silenzio and relax at the pool!
Day Three, October 7th – Orta to Stresa
Main Route: 90km; 50mi Total Ascent: 1500m; 4600ft
After an initial flat 10kms, we climb towards and over the Alto Vergante ridge that separates the Lago d’Orta from the Lago Maggiore. For those choosing the longer route, you’ll take in the difficult Mottarone climb, which is frequently used in the Giro d’Italia. It has a maximum gradient of 14%! This climb however offers the most rewarding views across all lakes. Magnificent descent towards Stresa, the city of flowers
Activity: relax at the pool!
Day Four, October 8th – Stresa loop to Arona
Main Route: 100km; 62mi Total Ascent: 1450m; 4600ft
We spend the first 20kms circumnavigating Lago Maggiore and enjoy some pleasant flat sections. The road then rapidly rises to a maximum gradient of 8% for the first few kilometers before easing and providing some magnificent views over the lake. A long descent leads us directly to Arona taking in some small, short climbs. Those choosing the long route will tackle one last climb before Stresa.
Activity: walk in town and boat trip to Isole Borromee
Day Five, October 9th – Stresa to Varano Borghi
Main Route: 100km; 60mi Total Ascent: 1250m; 3900ft
We ride to Verbania and cross beautiful Lago Maggiore on a 20minute ferry ride. Our course goes along the undulating Sponda Lombarda until we reach the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Sasso. In the final part we’ll find ourselves immersed in the quiet country side of the lakes district. Those seeking some extra km’s will take in the climb to Campo dei Fiori, known as the “balcony of Varese”.
Activity: Dinner at Andrea's House
Day Six, October 10th – Varano Loop to "Il Lombardia" pro race
Main Route: 60km; 35mi Total Ascent: 750m; 2900ft
Activity: ITT Race day
An easy day before the Granfondo: ride as much as you like or don't ride at all! We will ride towards Lake Como and watch the final part of the Giro di Lombardia Pro Race on the road. on our way we will also stop at the Granfondo village to complete our race registrations.
Day Seven, October 11th – Granfondo "Il Lombardia"
Main Route: 110km; 70mi Total Ascent: 1750m; 5900ft
The race is on! early morning transfer to Cantù and we will be ready to compete on the Ghisallo and Muro di Sormano like the Pros did the day before! After the Race we'll drive back to Varano Borghi for a great dinner!
Day Eight, October 12th – Varano Borghi to Como
Main Route: 80km; 50mi Total Ascent: 1450m; 4900ft
This is a challenging day in the saddle, which takes us towards the famous Lago di Como. We’ll cross the Swiss mountains and valleys of Mendrisio, 2009 World Cycling Championship host city. The most difficult climb is that heading towads Lanzo, however it will be very rewarding, offering some spectacular views down upon Lake Como. We then descend to the lake and ride along the lake to Como!
Activity: Walk in Town
Day Nine, October 13th – Como Loop to Bellagio
Main Route: 90km; 50mi Total Ascent: 1550m; 5200ft
Our last ride is one of the most spectacular, as we tackle the famous Colle del Ghisallo and Muro di Sormano. These climbs are the symbol of the Giro di Lombardia pro race and every cyclist should do it once in his life! We will stop on top to visit the Cycling museum and the chapel dedicated to all cyclists. After the ride, there will be enough time to enjoy an Aperol Spritz in one of the many bars in town!
Activity: Visit Bellagio and the Cycling Museum on the Ghisallo
Day Ten, October 14th – Goodbye
Activity: Bike packing and transfer to airport