2018 UCI GranFondo World Championships Course Preview
Around 3,000 cyclists from around the world will descend on Varese, Italy between August 29 - September 2 to battle it out for the Rainbow Jerseys
The weekend includes the Individual Time Trial, Team Relay and GranFondo World Championships
Wednesday August 29 will see the opening ceremony of the championships, whilst Thursday August 30th will see riders take part in the Individual Time Trial. Friday August 31st is the day for the special Team Relay race and Saturday September 1st is a day of rest, relaxation and entertainment before the GranFondo on Sunday September 2nd, all centered around the race village in Varese
The 2018 GranFondo World Championships courses are very hilly, with three major climbs across the valleys around Varese, which all feature in the first half of the race.
The second part of the race is undulating along several lakes surrounding Varese, including Lake Ceresio, Lago Maggiore and Lake Varese.
With fully closed roads, the course is immersed in shaded forests, through quiet villages which culminates on a finishing climb up into the town of Varese, making it an ideal course for the GranFondo World Championships.
There are two courses, depending on your category, you'll race either the 130 km long course with 1,950m of climbing or the 105 km short course with 1,450m of climbing.
The following videos were made by Andrea NIcosia & 2000 Giro d'Italia winner Stefano Garzelli.
Long Course (130 km / 80 miles)
The course is going to favour those who can climb.
The first part of the race features the three major climbs, and could be where the initial selection of favorites takes place. Stronger riders could attack early on and force a break or selection, so riders will need to attentive to the tactics that could play out.
The course heads north out of Varese and climbs slowly upwards, after 12 kms it reaches the climb of the Alpe Tedesco da Bivio Boarezzo, a jaw dropping climb that starts out of the village of Ganna. It features over half a dozen switchbacks and climbs up 300m over 3.15 km at an average of 8%, with a maximum gradient of 10%, to reach an atitude of around 760m.
Italian Pro cyclist Vincenzo Nibali has one of the fastest recorded times up this climb, 9m 35s, an incredible average speed of 19.7 kph.
VIDEO: First Climb - Alpe Tedesco da Bivio Boarezzo
It's downhill for 16 kms until the next climb kicks in as the peloton head along the shores of Lake Lugano. Riders who haven't stayed at the front of the race on the climb should be able to move up on the descent.
The next climb, Ardena-Marchirolo - da Brusimpiano, out of the village of Brusimpiano features many tight switchbacks over 5.24 km at an average of 4% it climbs 232m to an altitude of 532m.
VIDEO: Second Climb - Ardena-Marchirolo - da Brusimpiano
The course heads inland on it's way to Lake Maggiore.
After 50 kms the course descends down to the lake which features some tight technical hairpins.
The course runs along the lake which is flat until Porto Valtravaglia, where it turns inland and tackles the Porto Valtravaglia - Villaggio Olandese climb, a 9.42 km climb at an average of 3%, most of the climbing is in the latter part, which features gradients of up 16%.
VIDEO: Third Climb and Descent
The next significant climb comes after 84km, the Rancio V - Brinzio (fontana), it's 5.43 km at an average of 4% and climbs 229m up to an altitue of 528m.
It's around 12 kms down hill as the course turns towards Varese. The shores of Lake Varese signifies the final 10 kms of racing.
For those in the final selection, the final climb, the Schiranna - Arrivo UCI 3 Valli Varesine to the finish line in Varese is 3.44 km long at an average of 4%, however the lower slopes reaches gradients of 13.5%.
This will be the crucial part of the race for the favorites.
Who has the strongest legs to reach the finish line first?
Short Course (105 km / 65 miles)
The short course is very similar to the long course except for the loop along Lake Maggiore.
It contains the same climbs, the Alpe Tedesco da Bivio Boarezzo, Ardena-Marchirolo - da Brusimpiano, Rancio V - Brinzio (fontana) and the finishing climb, the Schiranna - Arrivo UCI 3 Valli Varesine into Varese and packs in 1,450m of climbing.
Again the final climb of the Schiranna - Arrivo UCI 3 Valli Varesine into Varese could see riders with the strongest legs reach the finish line first.
There's no doubt the course will be tough, stunningly beautiful, showcasing of the great lakes on the edges of the Italian Alps.
It's less than a month until year's championships! If you qualified and haven't registeed, please do, as there are only 3,000 places available.
For full information, please visit: https://www.varesegranfondouci2018.com