- Saturday, August 25th to Monday, September 3rd, 2018
- Serious, Four pigger riding! This trip is for experienced riders who are comfortable riding up and down Europe’s best mountains.
- $4,100 per person; $600 extra for a single room—Limited Single Rooms Available (see Travel Details below)
- Eight days of mountain riding focusing on Andy’s 1988 adventures
- Schedule flights in and our of Venice (VCE)
- The tour starts with a shuttle from the Antony Palace Hotel in Venice, August 25th, at 12 p.m. (book your own nights leading up to the 25th) and ends on Monday, Sept. 3rd with shuttles to Venice airport.
- Limited bike rentals available
- Climbing gears essential. We suggest a compact with 29/32 in the rear. Do. Not. Skimp!
- Cold weather clothing, rain gear, bike lights required.
Alps to Dolomites!
We are returning to the Italian Alps and Dolomites to revisit the trials and triumphs of team 7-Eleven in 1988. Andy had some good races here, and 30 years later, his stories from the snowy pass earning him the pink jersey and the subsequent fight to retain it seem more vivid than ever. Our riding will follow some stage sections and routes and will be accompanied by Andy’s stories. More importantly these master passes will give each of our guests their own stories of conquering their limits and common sense. The Alps are long, steeped in history, littered with switchbacks to keep the grades reasonable, and an absolute blast to ride over. The Dolomites offer long, demanding climbs and blissful descents, while towering limestone crags loom over the dozens of switchbacks we pedal. Culturally we will enjoy the transition from old- school Italian style in Lombardy, into old Austria on our first transfer days, and end up in the mountain culture of Alleghe for loop rides in the Dolomites. Our last transfer day will take us up over Passo Duran and into Vittorio Veneto, where the ’88 Giro finished. At the end of each day we will relax and enjoy the cuisine (and beer) of northern Italy’s mountainous frontier. For the bike-obsessed and mountain lovers, this is the Grand Tour. The emphasis here is on going high every day on the bike.
All the particulars
Daytime temps range between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but there is always the possibility of harsh weather, especially at the summits, and cool temperatures in the evening. Come prepared and you’ll have a blast!
This is a full on 4-pigger tour for those who pedal every mile (see our Fitness Check for a guide.)
400+ miles (650km) with 40,000+feet (12,200+m) of climbing during the week.
Who is this trip best suited to?
We don’t sugarcoat the fact that this is some stiff riding. This trip is for hard-riding folks and we tackle some of the longest climbs in the world. Experienced riders only, please. The climbs are tough and the descents very technical. That means fun for those experienced enough for the challenge. Worried? Well, don’t be—come fit and prepared and you’ll do just fine in good company.
The trip is not well suited for non-riders because we are on our bikes for most of the day. However we have had non-riding guests come who had a great time. Write us if you are interested and we will discuss your interests and see if this would be a good trip for you.
Training is required to make this trip enjoyable…and come with your best, most comfy bike– our bike of choice is with compact cranks or triple rings with a 29-tooth cog in the rear. Contact Steve or Andy at Hampsten Cycles for your dream climbing-machine. For bike rentals, see below.
Where do we go?
We will ride for 3 days in Bormio to tackle the Stelvio and the Gavia passes. From Bormio we will set out over the Stelivo to Bolzano 140 kilometers away. That will involve 38 switchbacks on the way up, and 48 hairpins on the descent. The rest of the route will be along a cycling route through apple orchards and villages. From Bolzano our second transfer stage will tackle passo Costalunga and Pordoi to arrive in the Dolomites. Here we will stay in Allege where rides range from 35 to 90+ miles (56 to 150km), most looping over one to four mountain passes. Passes on the itinerary include the Sella Ronda collection (Fedaia, Gardegna, Sella and Campolongo passes), the grand Pordoi, Falzarego, Giau, and more if we can stand it.
What Bike/Gears/Tires should I bring?
We will be riding paved roads; bring your 23 to 25mm tires. Go for great grip. We like Rivendell’s rollypoly. They are 28mm but roll oh so nicely when we are in a hurry to get to lunch. Challenge’s Paris Roubaix seem to be nice too.
Lower gears than normal are recommended on this ride, for obvious reasons. Love yourself. Install the compact and spin your legs. Your knees just thanked you.
Questions about bikes or gearing? Contact Andy or Steve at www.hampsten.com.
There will be a limited number of rentals for this tour. Nothing will replace your own trusty stead, however, Gerardo (our mechanic and driver of the follow van) has an impressive rental fleet for those of you needing it. He rents new BMC Gran-Fondo series bikes with 25mm tires–a great rental option for this terrain. Rentals cost 250 € for the week. If you are interested in renting please visit our Rentals section of the Travel Help page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
The tour starts Saturday, August 25th at 12 p.m.. and ends on Monday, September 3rd, 2018 with a shuttle from the Antony Palace Hotel near the Venice airport. Consider staying here or nearby to meet us by noon.
Schedule your flights in and out of Venice (VCE). Plan on arriving before or on August 25th to get over the travel lag.
A shuttle service to Venice airport will be provide on the 3rd, or to the local train station.
Single rooms—we have limited single rooms available on this tour. Please consider rooming with a friend or meeting a new one. Single rooms will be given on a first come basis and we will reassess our rooming needs in the Spring to see if we can allot more single room accommodations.
Cinghiale Shuttle Schedule
Pick up: Saturday, August 25th 12 p.m. from the Antony Palace Hotel
Drop off: Monday, September 3rd Venice Airport or local train station
Special notes about this trip
Due to the challenging terrain we will ride, and the resulting time gaps between riders on the climbs, we will not be cycling as one happy herd.
There will be van support, and our crew will do their best to care for you. Every rider will be required to come not only fit but also self-sufficient in supplying warm clothing. Our follow van will carry your rain bag with your favorite warm clothing in it, but keep in mind having a very good rain jacket in your pocket on most rides is necessary.
We also need to have front and rear lights on our bikes for the occasional tunnel. Not so much to light the way, but to be seen by traffic. Small and bright is best. We like these LED lights by Blackburn. Lights must be on your bike for every ride.
Think twice about riding carbon wheels on alpine trips, they could have braking issues on long descents. Aero bars should be left at home, too.
Included in the cost of the tour:
8 days of fully supported riding; hotel rooms for 9 nights; 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners (with wine!);
Snacks and drinks during rides; admission to scheduled sightseeing stops and special events; transportation on the first and ninth day to Venice, all included.
Not included with the tour: Airfare. Tips for guides.
Tour cost is $4,100 per person
Single rooms are $600 extra, per person. Please request a single room on your booking form. Single rooms are limited on this tour.
Deposit: $1,000 per person. Please wait for us to respond to your booking form to send in your deposit.
Final payment: A balance of $3,100 per person ($3,700 for a single room) is due by May 25, 2018. If you are signing on after this date, just drop us a line and we’ll arrange a different payment schedule.
Confirmation and communication
Once you’ve sent us your booking form, you can expect the following communication and requests from us:
A reservation email–Andy or Elaine will respond, letting you know about availability for the tour. If we have space available, you will be instructed to send your deposit of $1,000 per person.
A deposit email–we’ll acknowledge receipt of your deposit, confirming your spot(s) on the tour, and give you a balance and its due date.
Balance email–once we’ve received your balance payment, we’ll acknowledge its receipt, and remind you to send us your travel details so we can confirm ground transportation/ shuttle times with you.
For cancellations, see below.
Trip files–One month before your trip, we’ll send you an email with five attachments, including an agreement to sign, a medical questionnaire that must be filled out, travel info, contact info for each day of the trip, and a suggested packing list.
Itinerary–Upon arriving in Italy, we’ll provide you with a detailed itinerary and route map.
Travel confirmation—Send your travel plans to Elaine at least one month before the trip (airline, flight number, arrival and departure days and times) to email@example.com. We’d like to know how you’re arriving in Italy, so we can make sure everyone’s covered in getting to the tour on time.
If this info hasn’t answered all your questions, then drop us a line via email or by phone:
Andy in the US– (303) 506-1788 or Elaine (303) 888-4543 (US mountain time)
In the spring through fall we are in Italy, so please call: (Central Euro time; please call during daylight hours in Italy.) Andy in Italy (011 39) 333 97 60 997 or Elaine (011 39) 346 68 55 070
Specific information for your tour is contained in the Travel Details section above, so please read it carefully. Please visit our Travel Help and FAQ’s page to answer questions about booking, travel, and your tour.
If you decide not to come or cannot come for any reason, the amount you have paid is fully refundable up to 91 days before your trip. We do not refund money after 90 days. This means if you cancel within 90 days of your trip, you will forfeit the full amount you’ve paid.
We reserve the right to cancel your reservation with us if we have not received your balance payment by June 30, 2018.
We do not overbook our tours and we strongly recommend travel insurance. Please purchase travel insurance that covers trip cancellations (for any reason), lost luggage, and unforeseen medical emergencies.
Visit http://www.insuremytrip.com for an insurance quote and http://www.hthtravelinsurance.com/purchase/quote/quote.cfm for a travel health insurance quote.
Thanks for your interest and we hope to see you soon!