2018 Varese World Gran Fondo Championships

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TRIP DETAILS :
Duration: 9 days (8 nights)
Dates: Sunday, August 26 – Monday, September 3, 2018
Start: Milan, Malpensa International Airport
Finish: Milan, Malpensa International Airport
Accommodation: 4 Star hotels
Group Size: 14 Guests (4 Staff)
Suitable for: Cyclists Only
TRIP COST: AUD$5400.00 (US$4320.00)

Note: All trip costs are per person, not including airfare and based on two persons per room. If traveling 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: AUD $870.00 (US$700.00)

Optional Extras:

Highlights:

  • 4 Nights staying on the picturesque Lago Maggiore
  • Visit the Alfredo Binda museum
  • Guided reconnaissance of the Gran Fondo course
  • Expert guidance and tips from Lorian Graham (Former Australian Road Race Champion)
  • An exclusive small group trip
  • 4 Star accommodation throughout trip

Escorted by Former Pro-Cyclist, Lorian Graham

Lorian is a survivor and a caring Bikestyle Tours guide. 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.

Since retiring from the sport, Lorian believes riding is a great source of leisure and a necessary escape from the day-to-day chores.

Who is this trip for?

Have you qualified for the Gran Fondo World Championships?

In 2018, Varese will host the World Championships. Ten years ago, the UCI World Championship road races were in Varese and the following year, 2009 they were just across the border in Mendrisio where Cadel Evans won. Orica-Scott and the Australian Institute of Sport also make Varese their European base. Our own cycling guide and former professional cyclist Lorian Graham also called Varese home for a couple of years. We’re rolling the red carpet out for the week of the Gran Fondo World Championships.

Conveniently located close to Milan’s Malpensa International Airport, Varese is a great place for riding. Situated between Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como in Italy’s north, the mountains are never far and for a flat ride, you can stick to the shores of a lake. This is a beautiful European destination that offers great riding.

We have done all the hard work in mapping a course reconnaissance before your big day. You can prepare your race plan on our rides that will cover every inch of the course in the week leading up to the event, while still keeping you sharp for your race. Our staff will be on hand to help you with transfers, mechanical preparation and ride support as well as show you some of our favourite places in the area.

Although our trip is tailored for competitors. It is also a great trip for those supporting competitors or guests passionate about cycling, We have planned scenic daily rides and there are many off-the-bike activities available close to our hotels as well as the proximity of the lakes.

Accommodation

We start our trip on the tranquil shores of Lago Maggiore, before transferring to a hotel near the centre of Varese. Both of our hotels are 4-star rated. Lago Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy and can be easily mistaken for an inland sea. During the summer months, it is popular with tourists, especially those from Northern Europe. There are great swimming spots and touristic boat journeys on the lake.

Our Maggiore hotel is a brand new residential complex. Many rooms and the outdoor area offer views over the lake. Outdoor facilities include an infinity pool, a whirlpool, and a sun terrace. Whilst inside you have a Finnish sauna and a steam sauna with relaxation areas. Rooms are stylish and comfortable. We are on the lake for 4 nights.

During the festivities of the World Championships event, we are within walking distance to the heart of the action in Varese. We have chosen this 4-star palatial hotel for its tranquil setting, ensuring you can have a good night’s sleep and ability to escape the bustle of the city centre. There is a panoramic restaurant and terrace available to you throughout your stay.

Itinerary

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Sunday 26 August: Benvenuti

Staff will meet you at Milan, Malpensa airport and transfer you to our 4-star hotel located on the picturesque Lago Maggiore. We are staying just a short distance from the airport, so we will have multiple collections throughout the day. Although, we suggest arriving in the morning or the night before for you to make the most of this afternoon’s warm-up ride.

On arrival to our hotel, staff will be on hand to help you assemble your bike, or become acquainted with your hire bike. Later this afternoon we will head out for a ride to make sure you and your bike are in working order.

After our ride and freshening up, we will head out for a pre-dinner drink and our welcome dinner where staff will be on hand to answer your questions about your cycling adventure with Bikestyle Tours and preparation for your event next weekend.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Welcome Dinner (with drinks)

Overnight
Laveno-Mombello

Harder Ride Option

Monday 27 August: Alpe Tedesco (Climb 1) and a bonus

Today we’ll tackle the first climb of the Gran Fondo percorso, which is also included in the Gran Fondo Medio percorso. Alpe Tedesco is a 5km climb with an average gradient around 7%. The first half of the climb is steepest as the switchbacks on the second part of the climb offer some reprieve. On our way to the main climb, we’ll also ride one of the shorter climbs of the percorso. We won’t set any records today, but sighting two climbs will give us great understanding for the climbing that is typical within the area.

Once we reach the summit of Alpe Tedesco, we will descend to Lago di Lugano. We’ll be able to memorise the technical aspects of the descent before reaching the lake. Looking across the lake, we are looking at Switzerland!

Michael Rogers and Cadel Evans called this area home when they took home their World Championships. With some luck, their good fortune will rub off on those competing on the weekend. We’ll stop at a beautiful lakeside village for lunch before we take a much flatter route back to our hotel.

This afternoon you might like to visit the lake before exploring the village for dinner. Maybe some local cuisine, such as some pasta with locally caught fish.

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Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Laveno-Mombello

Harder Ride Option

Tuesday 28 August: Technical aspects of the course and Montegrino

The sequence of the second and third climbs are right on our doorstep. We will do both of these climbs. Our ride today will start on the shortest climb of the percorso, importantly we’ll make our reconnaissance of the more technical descent.

After descending we will ride along the Italy/Swiss border to where we deviated from the course yesterday. This will enable us to climb Ardena up from the lake followed by the beautiful Montegrino climb. It will be the undulations connecting these climbs that will challenge competitors in the Gran Fondo. We will finish our ride in Luino, another lakeside village where we’ll stop for lunch. It’s a short ride along the lake back to our hotel.

If you require a bit more ‘tapering’ this week, you have the option to just do one of the climbs as we can visit either of them later this week instead. This afternoon you are free to take a boat along the lake and visit one of the many lakeside destinations. We recommend a visit to Stresa, Verbania or one of the islands for dinner and returning at dusk.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Laveno-Mombello

Harder Ride Option

Wednesday 29 August: FLAT lake ride

After some climbing over the last two days, we’ll stick to the flat roads. Possibly a good opportunity for some short speed intervals during our ride, keeping us sharp for the weekend. But the focus of today’s ride will be a scenic exploration of Italy’s second biggest lake, Lago Maggiore. Did you know that the lake goes to a depth of nearly 400m.

Our planned ride is just under 100km, but that includes a ferry crossing and a border crossing. The ever-present Alps on the Italian and Swiss border will accompany us on today’s ride. Within 50km of the lake is the summit of Monte Rosa, at an altitude of 4,634m. We’ll finish our ride on the western side of the lake, before catching the ferry across the lake, back to our hotel.

This evening we’ll dine together close to our hotel. We have selected a beautiful panoramic location and part of the fun will be the experience of taking the historic funivie (cable car) to the elevated restaurant, high above the lake.

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Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Laveno-Mombello

Harder Ride Option

Thursday 30 August: Brinzio and the Alfredo Binda museum

Each year the Women’s UCI team converge on Cittiglio for a World Cup race. Today’s ride follows a fair portion of their circuit, which includes the Brinzio climb, also part of the Gran Fondo percorso. Cittiglio is famous for one of Italy’s most successful cyclists, and someone who received as much money to not compete in the Giro d’Italia as the winner himself. It could only happen in Italy! Alfredo Binda was the first of 3 cyclists to have won 5 Giro d’Italia’s. Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx are the only others to have achieved this.

In the 1920s, Binda pioneered professional cycling in terms of the training and science of the sport. His legacy is synonymous with the Bianchi-Campagnolo brands, as his name is emblazoned on those vintage leather strap pedals. There is a museum dedicated to him in Cittiglio. We’ll make a short visit there during our ride.

After visiting the museum we will ride to Varese, stopping off for lunch near the European base for the Australian Institute of Sport. We’ll also see the final climb of the Gran Fondo percorso as it raises up from the smaller Lago Varese.

Over the coming nights, there will be various activities available as part of the Gran Fondo event. So you will be able to choose from a restaurant in town, the event village or at our private panoramic restaurant.

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Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Varese

Harder Ride Option

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Friday 31 August: The opening and closing kilometres

We’re nearing race day, so we’ll avoid the climbs and look at the flatter sections of the percorso. The opening stretch of the course is a false flat road, but with a good surface. Positioning yourself well for the first climb with your age group will be a major contributor to your best performance on Sunday. We’ll roll to the starting area and ride the opening section of the percorso. Before reaching the first climb we’ll turn off and head through the valley to join on to a later section of the percorso.

This will take us down a fast, and non-technical descent to the most open section of the percorso. Finally, we join onto the main road on the northern side of the lake – which is as popular as Melbourne’s Beach Road, Adelaide’s Henley Beach, Brisbane’s the Corso, Perth’s Cottesloe or Sydney’s Centennial Park.

Tonight is the gala dinner for the Gran Fondo championships, so we’ve left this evening free for you to attend if you wish.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast

Overnight
Varese

Harder Ride Option

Saturday 1 September : Final preparations

Today is a relaxing day with a short lap of the lake in the morning. We will return to Varese before lunchtime to spend the afternoon taking care of any last minute preparations to equipment (and bodies) and enjoy an early dinner before the big day.

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Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight
Varese

Harder Ride Option

Sunday, 2 September: Gran Fondo Day

Here we are, the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, today we pin on our numbers and represent our respective countries. We are in Italy so we don’t have an early start! The first wave of competitors starts at 9.00am just a short distance from our hotel so we will have time for a relaxing breakfast before rolling down to the start line. We will have support staff on hand to ensure you are on time at your wave star and will transport you day bags to the finish area ready for you when you arrive at the finish.

Once you have finished your event you can either take the short ride back to our hotel or you may want to linger at the finish area to support your fellow guests as they finish throughout the day. Once all riders have finished we will return to our hotel to prepare for our farewell dinner tonight. Hopefully, we will have a World Champion among us!

Today we will share some great food and stories as we enjoy our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Easier Ride Option

Meals
Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Overnight
Varese

Harder Ride Option

Monday, 3 September: Arrivederci

It is a farewell to your new friends as our Varese trip comes to an end this morning! Over the past week you’ve experienced the tranquility of Northern Italy and the excitement of the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships enjoyed riding along beautiful roads and hopefully had an unforgettable holiday with Bikestyle Tours.

This morning we will transfer you to where we began, Milan Malpensa airport, arriving at around 11 am. If flying out today we suggest booking a flight no earlier than 12.30 pm. We can also arrange a hotel close to the airport where you can be dropped off this morning.

If you’d like to experience some more wonderful riding in Europe, you may like to join us on our Vuelta a España trip that starts later this week. We can assist with transporting your large luggage and bike to Spain as well as your internal flight transfer.

Meals: Breakfast

Inclusions

Tour cost is per person twin share and includes:

  • Transport throughout by custom mini vans
  • Services of our experienced tour guides, mechanics and drivers
  • 8 nights accommodation in quality 4 star hotels
  • Buffet breakfast daily
  • 3 course evening meals on 4 nights
  • Wine at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Rides designed for your preparation for the Gran Fondo
  • Mechanical assistance with your bike
  • Scheduled arrival transfer on day one from Malpensa airport
  • Transfer to Malpensa airport on final day
  • Full Bikestyle Tours kit including knicks, cycling jersey, cap and musette bag

Reserve your Place Now

NOTE: Please place number of persons attending in box below
Deposit 2018 Varese World Gran Fondo Championships ($1000pp)
2018 Varese World Gran Fondo Championships Bicycle Hire ($528.00)
2018 Varese World Gran Fondo Championships Single Supplement ($870.00)
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

Register Your Interest

  Tick the box to ask your own question about the trip.
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