There are many types of events that you can participate in with a road bike. There are granfondos, sportives, 24-hour team races, randonnées and many other formulas. The only limit is the organizers’ imagination.
Then there’s the Maratona dles Dolomites, which, to call it a granfondo is, at the very least, reductive. Like describing Chris Froome as an ordinary bike messenger. (By the way, Chris, recover quickly! We’re eager to see you out on the bike again.)
The Maratona dles Dolomites is a granfondo just because it somehow had to be placed somewhere. Due to the distance and the fact that there’s a ranking, it’s been put in that category. But there’s much more to it, and the competitive element is probably the least important of all the aspects to be experienced during this event.
The atmosphere, the incredible scenery, the roads closed to traffic from the first to the last participant, and the hospitality of Alta Badia are the actors, with the mountains and the climbs playing the leading roles in an Oscar-deserving script that every cyclist should take part at least once in their life.
A film like the Maratona has a perfect plot, with a mixture of action, adventure and romance — at least when the actor taking part is perfectly familiar with the stars (the climbs) that he or she will be acting with. Otherwise, it can be easy to find oneself in a mystery, or worse, in a horror film, which it’s difficult to see the end of.
At Castelli we know that if you’re riding the Maratona for the first time you might wonder if you’re up to the challenge, or what tactics will allow you to play your role as well as possible. But we’ve been fortunate to be part of the script for five years, and we can share our point of view on the climbs to be faced and how best to live this film-worthy experience to the fullest.
We’ll do it from now until next Sunday, when the director will turn on the camera, the clapper will shut and the 9,000 actors will be ready for this edition. The first take will be good, with mistakes forbidden. So here’s some basic information and a special script.
Our friend Ben Lowe, founder of VeloViewer, shared with us the TCX track of the Maratona with all the information needed to help you best tackle the event. You can download it here, and if you upload it to your Garmin you’ll be able to see during the race how far to the next summit, to the next feed zone or to the technical assistance point in case of need.
As for the rest, the film will be 138 kilometers long with 4,230 meters of elevation gain. The leading actors, in order of appearance:
- Passo Campolongo
- Passo Pordoi
- Passo Sella
- Passo Gardena
- Passo Campolongo (Ep 02)
- Passo di Giau
- Passo Falzarego + Valparola
In the coming days, we’ll tell you about the stars: Pordoi, Sella and Giau, as you’ve never seen them before. To learn together about their character and their history, because every climb has a soul. And it’s only by getting to really know these souls that you’ll find the necessary alchemy to best play your part in the magnificent film of the Maratona dles Dolomites.