Swap energy drinks and bananas for shrimp and Prosecco at this unique gran fondo event.
Devised in 2003 to celebrate the end-of-season wine harvest and the wonderful Italian gastronomy the Prosecco Cycling (also known as the Prosecco Gran Fondo) in the Veneto region is a unique cycling festival that’s the very definition of ‘La Dolce Vita’.
At just under 100 kilometres long and climbing a modest yet still challenging 1550 metres along its route the event really is perfect for all abilities. With no fearsome high-altitude passes or savage gradients (well, not many) to contend with you can roll through the stunning scenery without a worry in the world.
For those who like a bit of competition, however, although the complete route isn’t clocked there are timed climbs where you can put some extra effort in if you feel the need to burn a few more calories before sampling the fine food and drink available not only at the finish but all the way around the route.
The start line for the event is in the center of Valdobbiadene from where you head into the rolling hills and Prosecco vineyards at the base of the Alps to the north of Venice. Never venturing into the high mountains the route links from village to village and vineyard to vineyard in idyllic settings punctuated by frequent little climbs. Of the many on the route four of them are timed, the first of which a 1400 metre ramp, arrives into the village of Zuel.
Following this you can if you desire give it ‘full gas’ on the Muro de Ca’ Del Poggio, Via dei Colli and the Salita de Collalto, all within around 30 kilometres of each other. After this, if you haven’t already it’s now time to relax and complete the ride back into Valdobbiadene where seafood and wine will be served half way up the last climb to end a ride that is every bit as wonderful as it sounds.
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