The UNESCO Dolomites are the ideal setting for a variety of sporting events – a meeting point for sports professionals and fans. This amazing and unique scenery is the backdrop for many international races. Here are just some to look out for
Tour of the Alps
The Dolomites have always been an important feature in one of the most famous stage races in cycling, the Giro d’Italia. Not as long or as famous, is the Tour of the Alps which takes place two weeks before the Giro and normally decrees the favorites for the great race. The route through these magnificent mountains is both spectacular and arduous, climbing through the peaks and valleys of both Italian and Austrian Dolomites. This years 42nd edition starts on 16 April and races on until the 20th, with five demanding stages and the participation of important international teams.
Cortina Dobbiaco Run
This 30km run follows the ex-railway that used to connect Cortina to Dobbiaco and which is now used as a cycling track in summer and a cross-country skiing track in winter.The program is intense, extending over 3 days with 5 events specifically planned to highlight the majestic territory and it’s traditions. The main race starts on Sunday morning in July from the center of Cortina, rising slightly along the old railway, crossing the original bridges and tunnels. Through woods and meadows, passing mountain lakes and imposing rock formations to finish in the mountain town of Dobbiaco.
This mountain bike race is notorious for being one of the most taxing mountain bike races in the world.The number of participants is limited to 3500 and they can choose between two courses; a shorter course of 60km or a longer one of 119km. This selection allows riders of all levels to participate in this legendary race and enjoy the unbeatable landscape of the Dolomites. The route starts off with a 10km climb, proceeding on to conquer steep climbs and steeper descents, across loose gravel and exposed mountain passes. This event is also renowned for it’s perfect organization and for the importance it places on the environment it crosses.
The concept of this race is to step back in time into the original and exhausting world of cycling. Eroica started off in Tuscany in 1997 as a tribute to the heritage of cycling. From then it has spread to vintage cycling lovers all over the world with events taking part as far off as Japan and California. The first Eroica race took place in the Dolomites last year and is sure to become a very popular experience. Only historical or vintage bikes are allowed as well as vintage clothing and accessories.
Drei Zinnen Alpine Run
This mountain run classic is one of the most breathtaking and strenuous mountain races in the world. With athletes from more than 20 countries, it covers 17,5km along steep and treacherous terrain, between peaks, green valleys and spectacular landscapes. The challenging course starts in the town of Sesto and winds itself up elevated mountain trails to reach a mountain hut in the shadow of the imposing Three Peaks rock formations. Although this race is a true endurance test, the extraordinary surroundings make up for every grueling step!
Anyone who is passionate about sport, be it amateur or professional, leisurely or challenging, the Pale Mountains offer a wide range of activities for one and all.
Anna Moggia is Owner of Boutique Hotel Zenana. Boutique Hotel Zenana is a charming, family-run B&B in the mountain town of San Candido/Innichen in the UNESCO Dolomites.
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