The Italian Dolomites joins Closed-Roads cycling days and boosts tourism
Alta Badia Ski Resort enters the new cycling craze allowing amateurs cyclists to experience closed-roads
An Italian ski resort has joined other popular cycle tourism regions in Europe, experimenting with closing the roads, in an effort to become a mecca for road cyclists, as we reported last month.
Alta Badia in the Italian Dolomites, hosted three “bike-only” days this summer to boost its Cycle Tourist credentials and capitalise on the demand for closed-roads.
The strategy has attracted thousands of riders and could be expanded even further across the region.
The UNECSO world heritage site is best known for its winter ski resorts, however in the summer it hosts a huge number of road cycling events, including the Giro d’Italia. It also hosts a huge number of off-road mountain biking events too.
Alta Badia hosted the 31st edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites, one of the largest Gran Fondo's in the world. It was wrapped up with the "closed-road" cycling days - which proved to be a massive hit.
Gran Fondo's also known as Sportives in the UK and Cyclosportives in France, allow amateur riders to experience closed roads and experience being a "Pro for Day". They have exploded in popularity worldwide, with particular growth across North America. Indeed the phenominal growth for Gran Fondo's in North America is only in it's infancy, with "at least a decade" of strong growth to take place.
The latest "bike-only" days in July closed the Campolongo, Falzarego and Valparola mountain passes, all roads that have featured in previous editions of the Giro d’Italia.
From 10am to 3pm, a 50 km long stretch of mountain roads was closed to cars, and included over 1,300 metres of climbing.
It seems that this new phenomenon is likely to grow, as tourist boards, resorts and local government regions look increase their summer visitors.
Cycling is a growing multi-billion dollar business worldwide, and this new trend looks to be a sure fire way to dramatically boosting tourism $$$ dollars -- and satisfying the demand for cyclists to ride on closed-roads, a demand that currently outstrips supply, in many countries.