Giro d'Italia "Experience" Week 2 - Assisi to the Dolomites

  • Location

    Assisi to Sappada (Dolomites)

  • Duration

    8 days | 7 nights

  • Length

    60-100km daily

  • Climb

    500-2,000m daily

14 May 2018 - 21 May 2018

From one of the most beautiful towns in all of Italy - Assisi - to the magnificent mountains of the north and the Dolomites, this will be a truly stunning week of cycling. Join us for 6 stages of the 101st Giro d'Italia.

"This experience of riding on the same course as the pros, and just a few hours ahead of them, is unique in the sporting world. The atmosphere is simply incredible." Keith Tuffley, Founder - Grand Tours Project.

We have designed this tour to allow you to enjoy the best 60-100km of each stage during the second week of the Giro, and at the same time enjoy watching the race itself, from the best possible vantage points. This will include the mountain finish on Monte Zoncolan in stage 14.

This week has some great variety - two hilly stages in the central Apennines, two flat stages along the Adriatic coast and into Veneto, and then two challenging mountain stages, including an epic climb up Monte Zoncolan.

Each evening, we'll enjoy local cuisine and stay in a lovely hotel - for this tour, the quality of hotels, food and wine are as important as the cycling.

As an "Official Tour Operator", we will have our support vehicle with us the whole distance. Riding on the race course just a few hours before the pros makes this an unforgettable experience. Check out this story from one of our 2016 guests to be convinced!

If you haven't the time for a full week off, then you can join for just 3 stages, including Zoncolan, on our Getaway tour.

Total price: €3,500

  • Ride on the best 60-100km of 6 stages of the Giro, on the same day as the race, just hours ahead of the pros
  • Enjoy the beauty of the Apennines, the Veneto region and the Dolomites
  • Watch the Giro starts fight for the pink jersey, from the best vantage points, including a mountain finish on the iconic Monte Zoncolan
  • On every stage, enjoy the unique atmosphere of the Giro and the support of the public
  • On one of the stages, cycle across the finish line, stand on the winners podium, and watch the race from the luxury Giro VIP tent
  • Savour fantastic Italian food and wine, and relax in our hand-picked high quality hotels each evening
  • Expert planning and support from our team (guides, mechanics, drivers)
  • Maximum group size: 14 (with 2 guides)
  • Day 1 - 14 May

    Arrival

    We'll meet you at Rome airport, and transport you to our 4* spa hotel in Assisi, the Giotto Hotel, where we'll be staying for 2 nights. Our mechanic will help you unpack and build your bike, we'll hand out the team kit, and make final preparations before tomorrow's ride.

    After discussing the week's programme, we'll enjoy a hearty Italian dinner in our hotel, while looking out over the peaceful Umbria countryside at sunset. Assisi is a stunning hilltop town, so a wander in the streets after dinner, and a glass of wine in one of the popular bars, will be appealing.

  • Day 2 - 15 May

    Assisi to Gualdo Tadino

    70km

    Assisi is one of Italy's most beautiful hill towns, it is the birthplace of Italy's patron saint St Francis, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. So after our delicious breakfast, the cycle out of town from the start line in the early morning will be one to behold. We'll ride through the Umbria countryside to Annifo, where we will join the race route for the final 31km. As we approach Gualdo Tadino, the crowds will grow in size and passion, and we will be cheered on to the finish line. Following a lunch in town, we'll watch the race finish, which is guaranteed to be an exciting one after the longest (at 239km) and one of the toughest stages in this year's Giro. It's back to Assisi for another delicious dinner in the old town and maybe another evening drink at our favourite wine bar.

    View stage routes and profiles
  • Day 3 - 16 May

    Assisi to Valico di Pietra Rossa

    95km

    Assisi is so pretty that we will again ride out of town from out hotel and follow the race route for the first half of the course. It will be a hilly ride as we head towards the east coast of the Adriatic, and our aim is to complete the two category 3 ascents, finishing on top of Valico Di Pietra Rossa. Once again we'll be passing through some really beautiful country in Umbria and into Le Marche region, where the hills are dotted with medieval towns. Tonight's hotel - Castello Di Monterado - is an amazing medieval hilltop castle with a stunning pool, so we will drive straight there after our ride to enjoy a relaxing swim before our Italian dinner. Unless of course the team prefers to watch the peloton race past ... tough choices!

    View stage routes and profiles
  • Day 4 - 17 May

    Monterado to Gabicce Mare

    81km

    Today is a flat stage, but it is also a pretty ride. After breakfast, we will cycle out from our castle fortress and head towards the coast to join the race route. From here we follow the route to the beautiful Parco Naturale del Monte San Bartolo. This area often features in the Giro and for good reason - it is just a lovely road for cyclists, with the forest surrounding us and the aqua blue water of the Adriatic in our sights. At the seaside town of Gabicce Mare, we'll savour an early seafood lunch, and then drive to the famous town of Imola, home of the legendary Enzo & Dino Ferrari Formula One race circuit, where the race finishes.

    View stage routes and profiles
  • Day 5 - 18 May

    Castelfranco to Nervesa della Battaglia

    66km

    From our hotel in Castelfranco Veneto, we'll take a 33km flat route to the finish town of Nervesa della Battaglia, and from here we follow the race route for a 30km loop around the town. Given the two massive mountain days to follow, we'll be wise to rest our legs. The atmosphere in town will be electric as the crowds arrive after lunch to enjoy the Giro festivities and the early arrival of the peloton. Following the flat 150km ride to Nervesa, the peloton will be traveling at serious speed on this final loop around town, and it will be an exciting sprint to the finish line.

    View stage routes and profiles
  • Day 6 - 19 May

    Tolmezzo to Monte Zoncolan

    65km

    Epic day alert ... Monte Zoncolan is one of the legendary climbs of the Giro, indeed in all of Europe, and for good reason. It is notoriously steep, very long, and extremely challenging ... and regarded by many of the pros as the toughest in Europe. There is nothing quite like it except perhaps Alto de l'Angliru in Spain. With sustained gradients of over 15%, it will test us, and the pros, to our very limits. Today's stage will be one of the 3 toughest of the 2018 Giro ... but it's also truly stunning scenery along the whole course. Our aim is to cycle the final 65km of the stage, which includes two smaller climbs before our Zoncolan ascent. Once on top, we'll be sure to watch the pros as they fight for the pink jersey ... the crowds will be huge and the atmosphere will be electric.

    View stage routes and profiles
  • Day 7 - 20 May

    Cortina to Sappada

    73km

    Our final day of cycling, and another big day in the mountains. We have three mountains ahead of us, as we head into the Dolomites and start cycling from the famous, glamorous town of Cortina d'Ampezzo, and join the route for the final 73km. It is basically ascend and descend to the finish, and 2,000m of climbing, so hopefully yesterday's epic climb of Zoncolan has left some energy in our legs. Once we cross the finish line, we'll rejoice our achievements ... congratulations, you have cycled a full week of the Giro d'Italia! You simply can't get any closer to the real action than this. We'll watch the race finish once again, and cheer on the pros as they complete two exhausting days in the mountains.

    View stage routes and profiles
  • Day 8 - 21 May

    Arrivederci

    Having transported you back to our hotel at Venice airport last night, and enjoyed our celebratory dinner, we can relish the well earned sleep-in. After breakfast and good Italian coffee, we'll help you with packing your bike and transport you to the airport for your trip home. Or can we tempt you to stay longer for the third week? Or maybe join us in Rome for the final stage? In any event, you'll be taking home memories, achievements, new friendships and bragging rights that you will never forget.