David Olle and Emma Colson

An Australian company, Topbike has a fully equipped European base and its own fleet of high quality hire bikes and E-bikes.

We specialise in quality cycling tours with small groups and are famous for looking after our clients.

+61 (0) 3 9419 2040
+61 415 866 061 (mobile)
PO Box 1717 Collingwood VIC 3066 AUSTRALIA
holiday@topbike.com.au
- SINCE 1997 -

L'Eroica Retro Bike Tour - Dolomites & Gran Fondo in Chianti, Tuscany

L'Eroica Tour - Dolomites & Tuscany |
September 28–October 8 2018

L’Eroica is a ‘vintage’ Gran Fondo, run on the dirt roads of the Chianti region in Tuscany, which we will save for last. 

2018 L'Eroica Gran Fondo - Topbike L'Eroica Tour - Dolomites, Chianti & Tuscany Sept 28-Oct8 2018, Cycling Italy

Our plan is to start with a tour of the Dolomites in Italy’s north, before heading south towards Chianti.  After a couple of days in Chianti, we’ll ride grand ol’ L’Eroica with countless others, past pencil pines, vines and many an olive tree. The complete tour will be hard, rewarding and eccentric, so don’t miss it. Grab your ol’ pre ‘87 steely and come along.
Excellent accomms, cuisine, and unique rides, guaranteed.

NB: You may be able to hire an old steely for L’Eroica, we have a few.  Please contact us to help facilitate.  Or a full carbon bike for the other rides, or both!

Tour Price: $5950 (AUD) (Per person)

[Places are limited to 13 clients in total (with 3 staff).]

Rides will average 60-100k along with >1000m vertical, per day.

11 Days/10 Nights
Sept 28–Oct 8 2018 *
  • Destination

  • Tour Start / Finish

    Venice - Florence (via the Italian Dolomites)
  • Pick Up

    September 28 - Pickup 10.00am: The Marriott Courtyard Venice Airport Hotel (or other location if arranged prior)
  • Drop Off

    October 8 - Drop off 12.00 Noon: TBC Florence Rail Station SMN (or other location if arranged prior)
  • Cycling Fitness/Experience

    Any + E-Bikes Available
1

Friday, Sept 28: Day 1 | Venice - Cortaccia

We'll meet at The Marriott Courtyard Venice Airport Hotel before heading close to Bolzano, the capital of the Sud Tirol region of Italy (260k, 3h), where we will settle in for two nights.  After assembling bikes, we’ll take a small ride in our local environs, along roads used by many local pro and amateur cyclists. For the next two nights we’ll be located in Cortaccia, 25k south of Bolzano, and dine on local Sud-Tirol cuisine.  Tonight we’ll have a welcome dinner at our hotel’s inhouse ristorante.

Accommodation

4 star Hotel 25k south of Bolzano.

Dining

Excellent in house Ristorante

Ride: 27k loop, < 500m vertical.

Terrain: No big climbs of significance!

2

Saturday, Sept 29: Day 2 |

Today’s loop will take us around the mountain that our hotel is located on the ‘Côtes’ of. With a gentle downhill to start, we’ll soon start to climb up a valley, towards Cles, where many Giro d’Italia races stages have passed. Before Cles, we’ll take a right turn up and over the Passo Mendola, before starting the descent that will return us to our valley, and home town of Cortaccia.
Later in the afternoon we’ll take a run into Bolzano, for a viewing of Uzi, the 5000yo man found up in the dolomites, late last century. We’ll also make time for an aperitivo in central Bolzano, before returning for dinner.

Accommodation

4 star Hotel 25k south of Bolzano.

Dining

Excellent in house Ristorante

Ride: < 85k loop, one big climb taking us up to 1400m < 2000m vertical

Terrain: One big climb...

3

Sunday, Sept 30: Day 3 | Dolomites

The only way is UP, into the Dolomites for real. 90k will take us along a meandering route that peaks at over 2200m, atop Passo Pordoi. The first 10k is along the valley floor, giving us a perfect warm up. From 10-25k is our first climb of significance, from 200m to 1100m, to the town of San Lugano. From 25-70k we’ll ascend just 400m, as we pass through Canazei. Leaving Canazei we’ll begin the ascent of the Pordoi, which will take us up to 2240m in just 13km. the maximum grade of which is 10%. Over Pordoi we can roll 10k down to our hotel in central Arabba.

Accommodation

One of our long time favourite hotels, in central Arabba

Dining

Excellent in house Ristorante

Ride: 90k point to point, < 3000m vertical

Terrain: Two significant climbs with a gentle climb between.

4

Monday Oct 1: Day 4 |

After yesterday’s epic we’ll be looking for an easier day today, so we’ve lined up the Sella Ronda. In winter you can ski this loop, but today we’ll scoot around it, on wheels and sweat. At just 55k, with four passes, travelling clockwise, we’ll track up Pordoi (where we descended yesterday), onto Sella, Gardena and Campolongo.
It is the most spectacular 55k loop you will ever complete on a bicycle, guaranteed. While this is not quite a rest day, it’s the next best thing.
The Sella Ronda is the setting where a young Cadel Evans placed himself into the Giro’s leader’s jersey during his first grand tour back in 2002, on a stage finish into Corvara in Badia, at the base of Passo Gardena. 

Accommodation

One of our long time favourite hotels, in central Arabba

Dining

Excellent in house Ristorante

Ride: < 55km, < 1700m vertical

Terrain: Four big climbs.

5

Tuesday Oct 2: Day 5 |

A couple of choices today, the first one being:
The Marmolada, where Emmanuele Sella won his 2nd consecutive hilltop finish in 2008’s Giro, before going positive and out of the race scene for a couple of years. We’re just positive we’ll make it over, around, and back over the Pordoi (for the 2nd time in as many days) to return to Arabba for our final night of rest on the Sella Ronda.

Ride: < 75km, < 2000m vertical

Terrain: Two huge climbs. The first of which starts in a gorge, and finishes with >15%, the 2nd is the other side of Pordoi (that we climbed on Sunday)

Or, secondly…
Another magnificent 50k loop, around ‘Passo Falzarego’ (to the east of Arabba).  We’ll head out of town, back over Campolongo, descend through Corvara, turning right at La Villa.  Here commences the climb to Passo Valparola, which peaks at 2192m (just a few metres under that of Australia’s highest peak, Mt Kosciusko).  From Valporola we continue onto Falzarego, where we’ll once again turn right and head down towards Caprile, turning right to head home to Arabba.  Lunch will be en route.

Ride: > 50km hard, > 1700m ascent

Terrain: Starting from La Villa, the Passo Valparola ascent is 13.9 km long. Over this distance, you ascend 802 metres. The average percentage thus is 5.8 %.

Accommodation

One of our long time favourite hotels, in central Arabba

Dining

Excellent in house Ristorante

6

Wednesday Oct 3: Day 6 |

Today we’re just going to ride, 130k. We’ll ride out of our hotel in Arabba, and ride into our next Agriturismo in Crocetta del Montello, quite a few hours later, after a mid-ride picnic (Agordo). And while not completely ‘downhill all the way’ it’s the next best thing. There’ll be about 600m of vertical ascent and double that in net loss. We’ll dine in our agriturismo tonight, famous for serving us potatoes cooked five different ways, in the one meal. Not to mention their own Prosecco etc.

Accommodation

Agriturismo we have used since 2003

Dining

In-house Dining: Lowest food kilometres ever here!

Ride: < 130km, < 800m vertical

Terrain: More down than up, with some climbing.

7

Thursday Oct 4: Day 7 |

Last up in the climbing department is one of the 2014 Giro highlights, the GPM of Monte Grappa, the base of which is 25k from home and is a climb many Topbike Tour clients are familiar with, as it is must-do, if ever we are in the region. Scorching sun, thick fog, varying grades, a ‘grapperia’ halfway up the climb, and a peak of 1775m, are all attributes that add to the experience.

Accommodation

Agriturismo we have used since 2003

Dining

In-house Dining: Lowest food kilometres ever here!

Ride: < 100km, < 2200m vertical

Terrain: Flattish across to the start of the climb Today we’ll ride the climb of the 26k TT course, used in the 2014 Giro, stage 19

8

Friday Oct 5: Day 8 | Head for Chianti, Tuscany

Drop off day, for those not coming down to Chianti for L’Eroica. A travel day for the rest of us, as we head for the hills. The rolling hills of Tuscany, that is.
Today’s the day we swap our Prosecco for Chianti, our lycra for wool and our carbon for steel. We’ll drive out of the lower Dolomiti region, and aim for Chianti (355k, 4h).
We’re here for L’Eroica and all it has to offer, and there’s plenty on offer. We’ll check into our accommodation with views over the vines, and let the Chianti experience begin. Once we’re settled we’ll take a little spin down to Gaiole, just to stretch the legs. Dinner close by tonight, in a ristorante under a castle.

Accommodation

Bed & Breakfast.

Dining

Excellent local ristorante, 8 mins by foot.

Ride: < 20km, < 500m ascent

Terrain: a few little climbs

9

Saturday Oct 6: Day 9 |

Registration and course reccy for tomorrow’s L'Eroica is all we have to do today. Along with a little carbo loading, probably an aperitif as the Tuscan sun sets, etc. All in all, a fairly easy day. Not forgetting of course the retro bike market that spreads all over, and fills Gaiole. If you need to pick a part up at late notice, there’s no better place. You can even pick up a classic here, be it Bianchi, Colnago, Tommassini, Wilier, Fondriest or something else? In fact you’ll have a huge choice.

Accommodation

Bed & Breakfast.

Dining

Excellent local ristorante, 8 mins by foot.

Ride: 30km, < 500m ascent

Terrain: nothing massive

10

Sunday Oct 7: Day 10 | L'Eroica Gran Fondo!

Today it all changes. It’ll be an early start for those riding the bigger routes, the rest of us can take a more leisurely approach, kicking off between 8-10.00am, genuine ‘pro’ hours. You may choose from 46k, 75k, 135k and 209km courses. Lots of dirt sections, or ‘bianche strade’ and lots of dust, broken up by the best food stops available in any granfondo. It is expected you will be sympathetic to the overall ambience of the event, choosing to ride a pre-1987 bike, with down-tube shifters, toe straps and exposed cables. Woollen jerseys will complete the picture.

Accommodation

Bed & Breakfast.

Dining

Excellent local ristorante, 8 mins by foot.

Ride: 46 / 75 / 135 / 209km

Terrain: Varying amounts of ascent. All spectacular.

11

Monday Oct 8: Day 11 | Pack up day

Pack up day.
Time to pack our gear and bikes, and get on our way to our next destinations. Drop off point will be central Florence Rail Station Santa Maria Novella.
NB: The itinerary above is to be used as a guide only, as Topbike Tours are well known for making use of all (and creating some extra) opportunities, expect that variations from the above can happen at any time. Please note all distances are approx and subject to change.

Tour Location

L'Eroica Tour - Chianti & Tuscany

2018 L'Eroica Tour | Sept 28–Oct 8

'Gran Fondo'

..