Starting the New Year off with a bang: 3,100 riders registered for the Sportful Dolomiti Race and “Mark’s course” added for the less fit
2014 began well for the Sportful Dolomiti Race, the Gran Fondo that starts and finishes in Feltre and will celebrate its 20th edition on June 15. As of January 1 (five and a half months before the event), more than 3,100 riders have registered. It is a figure without precedent in the history of the event that draws thousands of cyclists from all over the world to Feltre and the Belluno Dolomites each year.
The riders ready to tackle the Dolomite climbs around Belluno and Trento – the return to Cima Campo, the legendary Passo Manghen of the Giro d’Italia, Passo Brocon, Passo della Gobera and Passo Croce d’Aune – include (thus far) riders from 89 Italian provinces, with 122 from Belluno. The foreigners registered to date come from 23 countries, including the United States, Germany, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark, to name just a few. Thus far, 160 women have signed up for the mountainous challenge.
New in 2014 will be “Mark’s course,” a third, 47km route designed for those who may not be as fit but who nevertheless want to take part in the cycling festival and climb at least the historic Passo Croce d’Aune, the site of the monument to Tullio Campagnolo whose inauguration in 1995 also marked the start of the granfondo.
“We called it ‘Mark’s course’ after our Belgian friend Mark, the Sportful distributor for the Benelux,” explained Ivan Piol, president of the organizing committee. “Every year he says he would really like to ride the Gran Fondo, but it would be an almost impossible effort for him because it’s too challenging for someone of his size and because he doesn’t have time to train. Talking with other fans, we realized that there are many Marks out there, so why not design a course for them? But we didn’t want to just call it a third route, because in the end it’s only 47km, starting behind the GranFondo riders and heading toward Fonzaso, Lamon, Ponte Oltra and Passo Croce d’Aune. It’s a special route – Mark’s course!”
Click here for the event details of the Sportful Dolomiti Gran Fondo on Gran Fondo Guide.
The Start in Feltre, Italy
The Beautiful Dolomites - the Sportful Dolomiti is reputed to be one the the hardest Gran Fondo's in the world!