2017 Grand Giro d’Italia

2017 Grand Giro d’Italia

See it all…… The full three weeks of the Giro d’Italia 2017, start to finish. See all the big stages and ride the famous climbs of Giro d’Italia including Passo dello Stelvio, Mortirolo and more

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TRIP DETAILS: 

Duration: 26 days (25 nights) (2 Spots Left)
Dates: Thursday, 4 May to Monday, 29 May, 2017
Start: Alghero, Sardinia Finish: Milan
Accommodation: 3 star and 4 hotels
Group Size: Maximum 20 people (4 Staff)
Suitable For: Cyclists and Non Cyclists
Trip Type: Classique Trip Find out more…
Cost: A$14,000.00 (US$10,080.00)
Deposit: A$1500.00 (US$720.00)
Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If travelling alone we will match you with a person to share. Alternatively you may choose to have a room of your own by paying the single supplement.
Single Supplement: A$2,190.00 (US$1,580.00) (Sold Out – Twin Share only)

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Optional Extras:

Highlights:
* The excitement of the entire 2017 Giro d’Italia
* Experience the amazing coastlines of Sardinia and Corsica and the rolling hills of Tuscany
* See it Live! 11 Giro d’Italia stages, including the first challenging stage for the pink jersey
* Visit Lake Como and ride Passo del Ghisallo
* Ride the famous climbs of Giro d’Italia including Passo dello Stelvio, Mortirolo and more
* Ride options suitable for all abilities escorted by former professional rider Eric de Clercq and Lorian Graham
* Travel in luxury coaches

This Trip will be Escorted by Ex Pro, Eric de Clercq and Lorian Graham

Eric is a native Belgian whose career spanned 11 years from 1991 to 2002, in which he had 19 victories including a stage win in the Tour of Britain. He is one of the hard men of Belgium having raced the big Classics such as Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix. Eric rode for La William-Duvel from 1991-1993, and Collstrop from 1994-2002.

2016 Grand Départ - 2016 Tour de France Bike Tours

After he retired from racing, Eric became a Director Sportif from 2004-2007 for the Vlaanderen Women’s Pro Team. It was here that Eric learnt the organisational skills that make him such an asset to Bikestyle Tours.

Eric has been with Bikestyle Tours for several years and has run trips to the Spring Classics, Giro d’Italia, La Vuelta a Espana and of course, le Tour de France. Speaking three languages, you will find Eric to be a very capable guide and good guy to socialise with after a ride.

Former Pro-Cyclist, Lorian Graham

Lorian is a survivor and a caring member of the Bikestyle Tours staff. Her insights into women’s racing, highs and lows of the sport are just some of the stories she is able to share. Guests love having Lorian as their guide because her care and encouragement toward them creates something very special about being on the bike. The Adelaide Hills are a special place for Lorian as it was here that she was crowned National Road Cycling Champion.

She enjoyed the tough European racing in the Professional Women’s peloton. While racing in the Australian team and for Spanish and Dutch professional teams her favourite races included tours of Italy, France, Spain and Belgium Classics as well as World Cup one day races. Her career highlights include Australian Road Champion, winning KOM classification overall in Tour of New Zealand and competing in the World Championships.

Provence, Alps & Paris Bike Holiday - Tour de France 2016 Dates and Tours

It is now 10 years since a terrifying road accident knocked down her team in Germany while riding, killing her team-mate. Her life-long injuries and being told she would never ride again became just another source of motivation. But her determination and many, many sessions of rehabilitation helped her to get back on the bike. Not just ride a bike, but qualify for World Championships and Olympic selection. Riding, now, is a great source of leisure and maintenance to keep her body moving.

Who is this trip for?

This 25 day trip covers the entire spectacle of the Giro d’Italia from the opening stages on the beautiful island of Sardinia, amazing riding on the Mediterranean island of Corsica (Grand Depart 2013 Tour de France), the ionic rolling hills of Tuscany, the big mountain stages and finally onto Milan for the deciding time trial . This trip offers the best of both worlds – great race viewing and riding combined with time to explore and relax the beautiful regions of Italy and France.

This is a trip that will suit cyclists and non–cycling partners and friends.Our trips are geared to suit anyone with an interest in Cycling who wants to see the Giro d’Italia celebrate the 100th edition. This (and riding our bikes) is our main focus for the trip although this trip will incorporate some tourist days as well. We cater for cyclists of all abilities by providing riding options each day. Please note that on the island of Corsica the cycling is challenging, with climbing involved on most days, so it’s not a trip suited to novice riders who are not comfortable riding hills.

Each day we’ll have options for rides to suit people who feel like a challenge, or an easy day enjoying the scenery. We ride on quiet scenic roads and where possible we ride on the race route ahead of the race. As with all of our tours you’ll be guided by our expert team of ride leaders, drivers and guides.

ITINERARY

Thursday 4 May, 2017: Bienvenuti, a big start in Sardinia

Staff will meet you at Alghero-Fertilia Airport at 11.00am and transfer you to our 4-star spa hotel in north-west of Sardinia. Our location gives easy access to all the action of the grand start in the seaside city of Alghero. But each night we can relax in our private resort among the unspoiled countryside of Sardinia. A relaxing start to your European cycling holiday.

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On arrival to our hotel, staff will be on hand to help you assemble your bike, or become acquainted with your hire bike. Mid afternoon we will head out for a short ride to make sure you and your bike are in working order. We will then head into watch the team presentations. The festival in pink features every rider and through their interviews you’ll have an insight on the form riders of the first Grand Tour for the 2017 season and the 100th celebration edition of the Giro d’Italia.

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After the team presentations we’ll head back to our hotel for a special welcome dinner, where staff will be on hand to answer your questions about your cycling adventure with Bikestyle Tours.

Overnight: Alghero (Sardinia)
Meals: Dinner

Friday 5 May, 2017: Stage 1, Alghero to Olbia

Today’s long 200km stage is somewhat different from the tradition of opening stages at Grand Tours. The long stage combined with the winding and undulating roads will take the punch out of the pure sprinters for the final finishing kick. We will take to the bike ourselves this morning and follow the race route along the scenic northern coast, and catch the riders at one of the earlier climbs.

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You have the choice of two rides today, a 40km mostly flat ride along the northern coastline finishing in medieval village Castelsardo and our longer 95km option will add a little climbing to finish in Sassari, the second largest city on Sardinia. We will meet up in Sassari, where we can have a cool drink and catch the finish of today’s first stage on television before heading back to our hotel this afternoon to relax before dinner.

Overnight: Alghero (Sardinia)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday 6 May, 2017: Stage 2, An early battle for mountain points

Just as long as yesterday’s stage, and with a lot more climbing, today’s stage may just favour a small group to stay away and hold a valuable time gap over other riders. It is a long way to the finish in Milan, but as we have seen in past year’s at the Giro d’Italia, an early leader often holds the “maglia rosa” deep into the tour. After a wholesome breakfast of local produce we will drive to the centre of Sardinia to take to our bikes through some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. After an exhilarating descent to the base of today’s first climb, we will find a great vantage point to watch the riders pass. After the race, you can either take the bus or if you feel up for it you can ride the extra 40km through the Gennargentu National Park to our hotel. If you make good time, you should be back at our hotel for the final moments of today’s stage.

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Our hotel for the next two nights is situated overlooking the crystal clear sea of the east coast of Sardinia and protected by the mountains of Gennargentu and Supramonte. Our welcome drink on arrival will help us get settled in before we sit down for another gourmet dinner of typical Mediterranean cuisine cooked in the Sardinian tradition.

Overnight: Cala Ganone (Sardinia)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday 7 May, 2017: Stage 3, The final day on Sardinia

The final stage on Sardinian soil is a flat stage taking riders south finishing in the largest city and capital of Sardinia, Cagliari on the Bay of Angels. We will drive to the start in Tortoli this morning and watch riders sign-on, walk around the team buses and enjoy the energy of a stage start. After grabbing some lunch we will make our way back to our hotel on the bike and head over yesterday’s final climb. We will regroup at the summit and enjoy a cool drink and the view across the mountains, which accommodates Europe’s deepest canyon.

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You can choose how much you’d like to ride today. You may like to do the climbing portion of the ride or just the descent, that’s up to you. For those covering the full distance back from the start area to our hotel, it is 75km with over 1500m of climbing. Tonight we will enjoy our final dinner on Sardinia, and a local wine to match.

Overnight: Cala Ganone (Sardinia)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday 8 May, 2017: Rest day and also transfer day.

The Giro d’Italia will head south to Sicily today, but we will reduce our time on Ferries and head the short distance to Corsica. Since 2013, Corsica has grown to become an appealing cycling destinations in Europe. The influx of cycling tourism is thanks mainly to the Tour de France making its start from here in 2013, for it’s own 100th edition.

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It is often said that Corsica is a “French island basking in the Italian sun”. It is the birthplace of Napoleon and until 1769, like Sardinia, the island belonged to the Genoese. Italian pop plays on the radio and Sardinia is its nearest neighbour. However, Corsica is Corsican with its own language, culture and personality. It is a popular tourist destination with a longer Summer than the rest of Europe and our timing will beat the large crowds that arrive between June and August.

We will drive north this morning to meet our Ferry transfer between these two mediterranean islands. After crossing the waters and arriving at our hotel we’ll head out for a short ride along some quiet roads and along the coast. Our 3-star hotel is on the absolute beachfront, and tonight you can dine at one of the local restaurants admiring the setting sun over the water.

Overnight: Ajaccio (Corsica)
Meals: Breakfast

Tuesday 9 May, 2017: Racing resumes and Calanche de Piana

We have a very special ride experience planned for you today as we make our way north. Your efforts on the bike will be interrupted by spectacular scenery along coastal roads. But we won’t only travel the coastal road, as further inland is an one of the great European balcony roads, a road carved into the beautiful red granite walls that plunge into the sea. Locally, the walls are knows as the “Calanche de Piana”.

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We’ll drive to Ajaccio this morning and staff will prepare your bikes ready for our ride while you have a look around the capital of Corsica. The major port city on the rugged isle’s western coast, it was the birthplace of French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte in 1769. His ancestral home, Maison Bonaparte, is now a museum displaying family heirlooms.

Our long 90km ride will leave from Ajaccio and head into the hills, nothing too challenging but a few short climbs before a fun descent down to the coastal road with sweeping views. We’ll hug the coast for a further 30km before we climb again into the red granite landscape toward Piana. Then it is a 14km descent along the balcony road finishing at our 3-star hotel tucked in a port village. We will arrive at our hotel in time to see the racing resume in the Giro d’Italia on TV, with today’s stage including the climb up the active volcano Mt Etna.

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Porto can get very busy in the height of holiday season, but we’ll be ahead of the crowds and able enjoy the selection of restaurants and taking a walk around its historical features.

Overnight: Porto (Corsica)
Meals: Breakfast

Wednesday 10 May, 2017: Stage 5,  Crossing Corsica

We will wake up this morning with a view of the sea and a Genoese tower. It is one of the many towers that were once a series of coastal defences built by the Republic of Genoa between 1530 and 1620 to stem the attacks by Barbary pirates. The red granite cliffs we rode through yesterday will give way to increasing amounts of vegetation, but more spectacular scenery is on the agenda. Today we will head over one of the highest roads on Corsica, Col de Vergio. It is 1478m at the summit, equal to the vertical metres of our climb today. It is a gradual gradient averaging just 4.2% spread out over the 35km length and some sections are almost flat.

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If you’d like to shorten the ride a little, you can jump in the van and we’ll take the sting out of the climb. However, for those searching for a big day out on the bike, you can keep riding after our nominated 90km ride for another 40km to our hotel. But there is another 15km climb with a vertical ascent of 800m you’ll need to negotiate. It will be an epic day on the bike. For those finishing at 90km, we’ll have a short drive to our hotel.

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Our hotel for the final 2 nights on Corsica is a grand 18th century villa converted into a luxury hotel, situated on private wooded grounds, surrounded by hills. Also available during our stay is a spa offering a hot tub, a steam room and massage treatments, and a heated outdoor pool with a pool house. For the next two nights you are welcome to dine at the hotel’s restaurant beside the pool offering a wide range of typical Corsican dishes, or alternatively there are variety of restaurants less than 5 kilometres away.

Overnight: Oletta (Corsica)
Meals: Breakfast

Thursday 11 May, 2017: Stage 6, Cap Corse

Visitors to Corsica traditionally stick to the south coast and in peak season crowds flock to the island with their ritzy yachts, but the north remains unspoilt and is much less developed. Land is predominantly zoned for national parks and peaks give way to small fishing villages and crystal waters lapping bays of white sand. Cap Corse is a 30km peninsula at the northern tip of the island. Rounding every bend along the shoreline reveals another beautiful beach. As the road turns inwards and upwards into the hills you pass cypress and pine trees, orchards and olive groves.

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Our final day on Corsica will be filled again with a beautiful ride around Cap Corse. Our location means we can ride directly out of our hotel and you’ll be able to ride the 40km or the longer 110km ride option. You may also like to just hang out at our luxury hotel and make use of some of its facilities.

Overnight: Oletta (Corsica)
Meals: Breakfast

Friday 12 May, 2017: Stage 7, Tuscany

This morning we will take a short ride into Bastia in time for us to board our passenger ferry. Our ride will be leisurely paced and great recovery for the riding that is still ahead of us on your Bikestyle trip. Our journey across the Ligurian sea to Italy will have us arrive in Livorno later this afternoon. After disembarking we have a short transfer to our hotel in Tuscany among cypress trees, olive groves and vineyards. Our elevated position on the bus will offer great views across the famous landscape.

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Our beautiful hotel this evening is in a small medieval village in the Tuscan hills, not far from Florence. Soon after our arrival we will enjoy our Tuscan cuisine in the hotel fabulous vaulted brick ceiling restaurant. You might like to accompany your meal with a glass of Chianti wine from the surrounding hills

Overnight: Montelcino (Tuscany)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday 13 May, 2017: Stage 8, Strade Bianchi

Our itinerary today explores the famous sights and roads of Tuscany. In 2007, the local Gran Fondo event Eroica-Strade Bianche introduced a professional race and has grown to become a prestigious UCI race and is known simply as Strade Bianche, referring to the white gravel roads. The white roads contrast against the landscape and are usually country lanes and farm tracks twisting through the hills and vineyards of the Chianti region. Some of the dirt roads are flat, other sections include steep climbs and winding descents and test riders’ climbing abilities and bike handling skills, particularly when racing. We’ll take it easy on the roads, enjoying the experience and pondering the landscape.

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The characteristic roads of the Tuscan countryside, provide the unique character of the race. And in just 10 years it has drawn comparison quickly with classic races such as “the hell of the north” (Paris-Roubaix), Ronde van Vlaanderen and Milan San-Remo. We will drive to Siena before we get on our bikes. A visit to the Piazza del Campo is worthwhile, where twice each year it is converted into a horse track for the running of the Palio race.

We will ride to Pienza using some of the famous Eroica roads. For those that do not to wish to ride along the steratti, we will provide an alternative route so that you can still enjoy a fabulous ride through Tuscan hills. At the finish of our ride we’ll freshen up for our transfer to Abruzzo, ready for tomorrow’s arrival of the Giro d’Italia.

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We will base ourselves for the next two nights in the capital of Abruzzo, in a modern 3-star hotel located a short distance from the historic city centre. The city is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, with the Gran Sasso d’Italia to the north-east. Tonight you will be free to head beyond the medieval walls for dinner. Lamb and pecorino cheese are local favourites, as well as white truffle, perfectly accompanied with a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine.

Overnight: l’Aquila (Abruzzo)
Meals: Breakfast

Sunday 14 May, 2017: Stage 9, Mt Etna

Riders have been racing for 8 stages so far, covering regions in Sardinia, Sicily and the South of Italy. The race is now well on its way north through “the boot”. In the 100th edition, the race will visit 17 of the 21 regions of Italy. So far, climbers have only been tested on Mt Etna on stage 4 and today the next climb to challenge riders comes after a long, flat ride up the Adriatic coast. But the finish up the 13.2km climb averaging 8.5% to Blockhaus should be the first time we see the selection of riders that will challenge for victory in Milan.

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After breakfast this morning, we will drive to near the bottom of today’s climb giving you plenty of time to complete the climb yourself. Having the bus nearby will also help us to get back to our hotel after the race for our dinner celebration this evening.

Overnight: l’Aquila (Abruzzo)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Monday 15 May, 2017: A visit to Rome

Today we say farewell to your new friends who will be leaving us today as their tour comes to an end. We will continue onto Monterotondo where we will be joined by guests for the 1 in 100 Giro d’Italia trip later today. While we have a short ride planned later today, we have selected a hotel in close proximity to connecting trains to the centre of the city of Rome. This will give you most of the day to explore the Eternal City, including the Colosseum and Spanish Steps.

Later today we will have a short warm up ride for our new guests and you’re welcome to join the ride. Otherwise, spend a little longer in Rome. This evening we will have a pre-dinner drink and a special dinner welcoming and getting to know our new guests joining us through to Milan.

Overnight: Monterotondo Scalo (Lazio)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Tuesday 16 May, 2017: Individual Time Trial through vineyards

Stage 10 of the 100th Giro d’Italia will be the first of two individual time trials. Entirely within the region of Umbria today’s 39.2km course follows a wine route celebrating the Montefalco (DOC). Red wines feature predominantly in Umbria. According to regulations, Montefalco rosso must contain a Sangiovese and Sagrantino blend, and the winemaker’s choice of other red grapes for the remainder (up to 30%). This allowance of other red grapes allows many Umbrian winemakers the ability to make a bold red by adding interesting international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The more familiar Chianti, grown not far from Umbria, is made almost entirely from Sangiovese grapes. Montefalco bianco is made with Grechetto and Trebbiano Toscano grapes and the winemaker’s choice of other white grapes for the remainder (up to 30%).

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Montefalco is a medieval walled village and is considered the “balcony” of Umbria because wherever you look from this hill, you can enjoy a view of the whole valley. There are also stunning frescoes in the Church of Saint Francis built during the 14th century.

There are two short climbs on today’s course and the proximity of the start and finish area means we’ll be able to visit a number of vantage points to watch the riders. We will drive to near Montefalco after breakfast, arriving in time to ride parts of the course before heading to the starting area to watch riders warm up in Foligno. Once the final riders set their time, and most likely shake up positions on general classification, we will transfer to our hotel in Arezzo.

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Our 4-star family run hotel is less than 2km from the centre of Arezzo in Tuscany, which has been home and inspiration to many artists, including the likes of Michelangelo and Luca Signorelli. Modern artists, such as Sting, have made Arezzo their home in recent years. Each artist has left signs of their creativity in Arezzo and in other nearby towns. The natural landscapes of the Tuscan hills bordered by the Appennine mountain to the east make this location a wonderful place to stop. Our hotel’s fine restaurant, popular with locals will serve a traditional 3 course meal.

Overnight: Arezzo (Tuscany)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Wednesday 17 May, 2017: Ride along Corsa Rosa

Today’s stage starts just outside the centre of Florence in the northern part of Tuscany. Considered a stage of medium difficulty, there are 4 passes which is enough to entice a rider aiming for stage victory today, they will have most likely had a conservative effort at yesterday’s time trial.

We’ll travel north and intersect with the race route as it heads toward the Apennine mountains and ride along “corsa rosa” before the arrival of the riders this afternoon. The final 55km circuit makes a preliminary pass of the finish area before heading out over the final climb. Climbing will seem a little easier today as villagers break from their pink-decorating efforts to cheer you along. In between each village you are rewarded with the expansive views across mountains covered in fir and beech trees. The exhilarating descent back to Bagno di Romagna will have us back in time to refuel before finding a vantage point to watch riders pass twice.

After seeing the excitement of a finish at the Giro d’Italia we will travel back to our Tuscan hotel where you are free to explore this picturesque village and enjoy a meal at a local restaurant.

Overnight: Arezzo, (Tuscany)
Meals: Breakfast

Thursday 18 May, 2017: Riding through Chianti

The Giro d’Italia heads off on a couple of long transfer days through the Emilia-Romagna region. We’ll take advantage of our position in Tuscany to enjoy riding through the lovely Chianti region. Possibly the most famous wine region of Italy for its “Chianti Classico”, none more famous than the renowned Gallo Nero brand. The rolling hills, great climate and limestone outcrops make perfect growing conditions for the Sangiovese grapes. A perfect swill to accompany a lovely meal drizzled with Tuscan olive oil, it tastes better here!

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We will offer varying ride distances today through Chianti, visiting the medieval villages of Gaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti and finishing in Greve in Chianti where there are a number of wine cellars to stock your home cellar, or just take with you on the road. After lunch we will travel to another scenic and popular tourist Italy destination, Italy’s own Italian Riviera. Our historic 4 star hotel a short walk from the sparkling waters of the Med is on the Ligurian coast and is a popular destination for writers and artists.

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Tonight you will be able to walk along the foreshore and dine at one of the many restaurants.

Overnight: Italian Riviera
Meals: Breakfast

Friday 19 May, 2017: Italian Riviera and Portofino

This morning we will offer rides along the coast, with the first stop an easy ride of about 20 km down the coast to Rapallo. From there you have the option of extending your ride by carrying on to Portofino, a spectacular village hugging the cliffs of the Promontorio di Portofino. This small town was once a fishing village and is now one of the most exclusive towns on the Italian coast. While we will ride west, the area east of us is best known for the five towns of the Cinque Terre which are linked together by a popular walking trail along the rugged cliff tops.

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The villages of the Italian Riviera originally expanded from quiet fishing villages to summer retreats when wealthy merchants from nearby Genoa built their grand villas. Again tonight you can dine at one of the local restaurants in this highly sought after destination.

Overnight: Italy Riviera
Meals: Breakfast

Saturday 20 May, 2017: A mountain finish to Santaurio di Oropa

The Giro will pay tribute to the most famous of all competitors of the last 100 years at the stage start in Castellania. The stage starts at the museum of Fausto Coppi, erected at his place of birth in Piedmont. Affectionately Coppi was known as “the Campionissimo” (Champion of champions). In the post-war era, during the forties and fifties, Coppi became a legendary sports figure for all generations in Italy and Europe, when he won the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. He showed great sportsmanship on the bike which is reflected in that famous photograph when Coppi and Bartali shared a water bottle. Each year since 1965 the Cima Coppi is awarded to the first rider over the highest summit at the Giro d’Italia.

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Rider’s will face an uphill finish in today’s stage, it’s not the Cima Coppi but the very steep climb that will establish time gaps. The final climb measures 11.8 km in length at an average gradient over 7% with section over 13%. We will leave our coastal setting and travel north to the near the stage finish to take to our bikes. Part of our ride will give you the opportunity to ride the final challenge of today’s stage. After our ride we will watch the riders come through, probably a little faster than us.

After the stage presentations we will travel to our 4-star hotel in Stresa, on the shores of Lago Maggiore. Our hotel is a prestigious 4 star hotel built in 1908 in the art deco style. The hotel preserves all the charm of its turn of the century neoclassical style with its external facade and interior decoration whilst tasteful renovations have allowed access to all the modern technologies.

Overnight: Stresa (Piedmont)
Meals: Breakfast

Sunday 21 May, 2017: The Giro, Lago d’Orta and Stresa

The second largest lake in Italy, Lake Maggiore crosses the border into Switzerland and contains 11 islands. Formed by the confluence of two glaciers which forming a fluvial valley that has become a beautiful countryside with a mild climate. Stresa is one of the most popular attractions in Italy offering guests a blend of relaxation and culture.

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Today, we will provide the option for a relaxing day in Stresa with a local ride. If you’d like to catch more of the Giro d’Italia action live we will ride back to our hotel after watching the riders set off this morning. Our rides from Stresa include an easy ride along the Western shoreline and our extension to this will return over the hills. If you head out to catch the Giro d’Italia this morning, you can ride the 90km back to the hotel or the shorter 50km finishing at the beautiful village of Orta San Giulio on Lago d’Orta.

Overnight: Stresa (Piedmont)
Meals: Breakfast

Monday 22 May, 2017: Giro Rest Day and Lago Maggiore

Today is the rest day for the professionals. We have an unique ride experience planned for today. After riding along the shores of Lake Maggiore we will make use of the ferry service across this expansive lake and hitch a ride to the eastern shores of the lake where some incredible riding is available. The area hosted the World Championships of 2008 in Varese and 2009 in Mendrisio. Incredibly, there is only 20km and an international border that separate these host cities.

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The roads in this area were not only popular for World Championship events, but also the chosen base for the Australian European Training Centre (an extension of the Australian Institute of Sport) and the headquarters of the Orica-BikeExchange professional cycling team. As no surprise the riding opportunities around here are endless, and our ex-professional guide and Australian cyclist Lorian Graham will be able to show you some of her favourites.

There are climbs in the area known simply as the “Basso” climb, for it was the training climb of local Ivan Basso who won the Giro d’Italia in 2006 and 2010. A women’s world cup event is also held in this area, in Cittiglio every year. Known as Trofeo Binda, it is named after the first 5-times winner of the Giro d’Italia, local Alfredo Binda, also a 3-times world champion. He was such a dominant force that the Gazzetta dello Sport gave him a substantial sum of money to not compete in the 1930 Giro d’Italia. Maybe he would have won 6. The original leather “Alfredo Binda” toe-straps are synonymous with Italian brands such as Bianchi and Campagnolo.

We will offer a challenging ride over some of the climbs of the region and a more sedate flatter ride option exploring the lakes of this region. We will finish our ride with some lunch before a short transfer to our hotel on the shores of Lake Lecco, which is effectively part of Lake Como. Our 4 star hotel for the next two nights is right near the centre of Lecco.

Overnight: Lecco (Lombardy)
Meals: Breakfast

Tuesday 23 May, 2017: Madonna del Ghisallo

We’ll take the opportunity today to do another of Italy’s famous rides. First up we will enjoy a leisurely ride along the shores of Lake Como to Bellagio, a village perched on land that is literally surrounded by the lake. We can explore the stoned streets and have a light lunch, even a gelati. We will allow some time for lunch to settle before we set off again on another of Italy’s famous climbs to Madonna del Ghisallo. We will take the climb to the small chapel in the village of Magreglio which holds the shrine to cyclists. Only in Italy could anything like this be found! The Beata Vergine Maria Del Ghisallo was made the patron saint of Italian cyclists by Pope Pious XII in 1949 and her chapel is a shrine to cycling’s past and present greats.

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The site has been extended to include a large modern cycling museum dedicated to the bikes and the people that have made the sport famous. There is the bike ridden by Fausto Coppi to victory in the Giro d’Italia in 1949 and the machine used by Moser for the hour record in 1984. The ride is 60km and the Climb to Ghisallo is challenging in places and the lakeside roads are often narrow and winding, but with great views.

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After our visit it’s a descent back to the lake shore by bike or van to our hotel in Lecco. This afternoon, you can settle in at the hotel or a local bar to watch the racing of today’s queen stage on TV. The sights of the riders going over the snow-walled Stelvio will be spectacular, even more so knowing that is where we head tomorrow. This evening you are free to dine at a restaurant in Lecco. Tonight is free to experience one of the nearby local restaurants.

Overnight: Lecco (Lombardy)
Meals: Breakfast

Wednesday 24 May, 2017: Race start in Tirano and the Mortirolo!

Race starts at the Giro d’Italia are great with a very relaxed atmosphere as the riders ride through the town to the sign in area. Pick a café near the start area and watch the passing parade as you enjoy your late morning espresso. There are plenty of options today for everyone. We will take the bus to Tirano today, getting us there in plenty of time to see the team buses arrive and riders sign on.

mortirolo-2

After the riders have rolled out, we will tackle the famous Mortirolo. For those wanting to climb the Mortirolo we will ride along the valley to Mazzo de Valtellina, where the climb up to Mortirolo begins. The Passo della Foppa, or the Mortirolo as it is better known, is considered to be one of the toughest mountains one can climb in Italy and many professionals consider it as the most difficult mountain to be climbed in any of the three major tours.

mortirolo-1

Stages of the Giro d’Italia that go over the Mortirolo feature a special prize to the first man at the top of the pass called Cima Pantani. After climbing Mortirolo you can descend down to Grosotto where you can have a post-ride drink and meet the bus for the trip to our hotel. If you feel like a little more riding, you can carry on up the valley to our hotel in Bormio, but you’ll have to be keen as it can be a challenging ride up the valley.

Starting from Mazzo di Valtellina, the Mortirolo ascent is 12.4km long. Over this distance you climb 1,300m, making the average gradient a fear inducing 10.5 %. The maximum gradient on the climb is 18%. There is 1,600m of climbing in the short 36km of today’s ride. Our easier ride today will stick to the valley roads, although they aren’t very flat either.

Our next two nights are spent in Bormio, close to the Swiss border, in a charming family run hotel with a great restaurant near the town centre. Due to its thermal baths, Bormio has been a popular town since the time when the Roman aristocracy travelled to Bormio in order to enjoy warm baths in the mountainous scenery. Bormio is centred around the medieval town, but for cyclists it is a popular destination being close to the famous climb of Passo del Stelvio.

Overnight: Bormio (Sondrio)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Thursday 25 May, 2017: Passo del Stelvio, highest paved road in the Eastern Alps

Giro d’Italia will continue into the Dolomites today after a couple of days in the Valtellina valley. Some of the hype of the Giro crowds will have left Bormio giving us plenty of time to achieve some of our own cycling goals by riding Passo del Stelvio today. You will have heard about this mountain pass and even had a look at what the pass looks like this year. It is late May, and normally the pass doesn’t officially open until at least the first weekend of June. But snow ploughs will have worked hard to clear the road for the running of the 100th Giro d’Italia, and we’ll take advantage of that. There is something very special about riding the Stelvio along the road lined with walls of snow, making it a cycling experience like no other.

stelvio-landscape

We’ll leave the hotel early to give us plenty of time to complete our rides. Our most challenging option is the ride up the famous Passo del Stelvio. Starting from Bormio, the Passo del Stelvio is 21.5km long to the top of the pass, which at 2,757m, is the highest paved road in the Eastern Alps with fabulous views across to Switzerland. The original road was built in 1820-25 by the Austrian Empire to connect the former Austrian province of Lombardia with the rest of Austria.

Stelvio

After the Stelvio we’ll return to Bormio to celebrate an extraordinary ride. If Stelvio is not for you and you still want to ride, we will offer an easy ride sticking to the valley. Either ride option will have you return to Bormio in time to watch the race on television as riders contend with yet another long stage through the mountains.

For our non-cyclists there is the option today of spending the day visiting St Moritz, across the border in Switzerland. Getting there is the fun part, aboard one of the world’s great train journeys on the Bernina Express. Leaving from Tirano the train offers spectacular views from the panoramic cars all the way to St Moritz, where you can spend a couple of hours exploring before returning to Tirano late afternoon for the trip back to Bormio.

We will and enjoy another beautiful meal from our hotel’s restaurant.

Overnight: Bormio (Sondrio)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Friday 26 May, 2017: Passo Gavia and Levico Terme

We have now ridden some big climbs in the Valtellina valley, and today we get rewarded for our efforts on the exhilarating ride down the valley to Tirano. Weather permitting, there may be an opportunity for another ride over Passo Gavia and meeting up the bus further down the road. Either way we will provide you with a great ride before our transfer to Levico Terme.

Gavia_Pass

Today, the Giro d’Italia starts from San Candido with a long mountain stage for the fourth consecutive day. Today’s stage visits three regions. The extraordinary total distance and vertical ascent in the final week of the 100th edition is a unique aspect of this year’s “corsa rosa”.

gavia

We will travel to the Trentino region and the spa town of Levico Terme, a 19th century thermal town that has been preserved in its original design with gardens and foothpaths full of flowers, thermal buildings and traditional hotels. Beyond the thermal and climatic health and benefits, there is an abundance of outdoor sports and entertainment for visitors.

We will stay in this elegant town for two nights and each night we will dine at our hotel’s delightful restaurant who source their produce locally serving both tyrolean cuisine and international dishes.

Overnight: Levico Terme (Trention-Alto Adige)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Saturday 27 May, 2017: Monte Grappa

Today is the penultimate stage of the Giro d’Italia and you have the choice of the distance you wish to ride. Both rides offer viewing opportunities on today’s climbs. We will head off down the Valsugana Valley, along quiet roads and some of the bike paths that are part of the great cycling infrastructure that is available in Trentino. We will make a left turn and head to Monte Grappa and watch riders along the climb before returning back to the Valsugana Valley to travel back to Levico Terme. You can decide how far you want to climb up Monte Grappa and watch the race. If you complete the climb to the summit of Monte Grappa, today’s ride will be 110km.

giro-participants-36

We will return to the hotel this evening for a special farewell dinner where we can celebrate our achievements of our trip to the 100th Giro d’Italia and recall our favourite moments of the trip.

Overnight: Levico Terme (Trentino-Alto Adige)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Sunday 28 May, 2017: Milan Time Trial

AppleMark

Today we travel to Milan for the final 28km time trial where riders will begin with a lap of the famous Monza grand prix circuit. We will ride our bikes from the hotel to give us more time in Milan to see the finish this afternoon.

Our lovely ride from Levico Terme to Trento is 32km. The first part of the ride to Trento is perhaps the most difficult with a short climb of a few kms away from Lago di Caldonazzo before plunging down to Trento. Some lovely scenery all the way and a pleasant ride on a cycleway along the shore of Lago di Caldonazzo.

Once we arrive into Milan you are free to make your way to the course and watch each rider celebrate their accomplishment of finishing a Grand Tour. It is an emotional experience for riders, whether it is their first Grand Tour or they are seasoned campaigners. The crowds will hold a special cheer for every Italian that crosses the line, and one of them may well be wearing the Maglia Rosa.

The presentation for the 100th edition will be something special, and sure to have a few surprises as well. After the presentations you are free to explore and dine in Milan. While Milan is mainly known for industry, finance and fashion, the architecture around the Piazza Duomo such as the gothic style cathedral is something spectacular.

Overnight: Milan
Meals: Breakfast

Monday 29 May, 2017: Arrivederci and transfer to Milano

It is farewell to your new friends as our tour comes to an end this morning after breakfast. During your time with us you’ve experienced the excitement of the Giro d’Italia and ridden some of the most beautiful roads in Italy.

We will transfer you this morning to Milan Malpensa airport, arriving between 10:00 and 11.00 am. If flying out of Malpensa we recommend a flight no earlier than 2.00 pm. If staying on in Milan there are frequent shuttles and the express train service to Milan centre from Malpensa airport.
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • Transport throughout by custom mini vans or luxury coach
  • Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers
  • Ferry Transfers from Sardinia to Corsica, Corsica to Florence
  • 25 nights accommodation in quality 3 & 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 14 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Alghero airport
  • Scheduled departure transfer on final day to Milan Malpensa airport
  • Maps and Bikestyle guide to the 2017 Giro d’Italia
  • Full Bikestyle Tours kit including knicks, cycling jersey, cap and musette bag


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Reserve your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit Grand Giro 25 Days ($1500pp)
Grand Giro Bicycle Hire ($1400.00)
Tick the box to accept the Bikestyle Waiver and Reservation Conditions. If renting a bicycle you also agree to our Bicycle rental Conditions
  • We charge for our trips in Australian Dollars (AUD) and prices shown in other currencies are only approximate. We advise that you check the exchange rate before booking.
  • A surcharge of 1.5% is applicable for payments made with visa or mastercard and 3% for payments made with American Express credit cards.
  • Deposits can also be paid by direct deposit or cheque.
  • It is a requirement of Bikestyle Tours that you have Travel Insurance for your trip.
If you have any further enquiries please email us at tours@bikestyletours.com

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