Starting in the luxurious mountain resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, the first stage of Haute Route Dolomites will begin with gentle gradients as you start your climb towards Passo Falzarego. The road to the summit then becomes steeper as you climb to 2105m and complete your first ascent of the day.
After a short break from the climbing, it is time to take on the triple header of Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella and Passo Gardena (3/4 of the famous Sella Ronda). First included in the Giro d’Italia in 1937, it is a long steady climb where you will be rewarded with great views down the valley.
Next up is the highest peak of the day with the Passo Sella which starts with a 12% gradient early on. Whilst the gradient changes a lot throughout this climb it doesn’t exceed 12% and, with the climb being slightly shorter than Pordoi, it should be just as enjoyable especially when you are rewarded with the best views of the day at the summit.
For the third part of the triple header, the Gardena Pass is often described as a climb of two halves, so pace yourself up this one before enjoying the long descent back down into the valley. But be warned however, the work isn’t over just yet as you have the last steep climb up to Passo Valparola at 2,192m to complete the stage. Now it is time for you to enjoy a steady 20km back to Cortina d’Ampezzo with the other riders as you debrief the first day and look forward to what lies ahead.
Test how fresh the legs feel as you make your way up the Passo Falzarego once again for the start of the second stage. Make sure you use this as your warm up before the upcoming climb over Passo Giau which is often described as one of the toughest climbs in the Dolomites. The GIau is just under 10km in length with an average gradient of 9.3%, but can feel much steeper at points. Trust us, it will be worth it though when you get to enjoy the incredible descent down the other side, knowing you only have one more major climb to complete before you’ve finished this stage.
For the first time ever, the Haute Route Dolomites route will then take riders to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The ascent begins from the Misurina Lake and climbs up to the “three peaks of Lavaredo”. The last 5km is known to be the toughest on the legs but the view from the top is truly breathtaking and you will feel on top of the world before riding the short distance back to Cortina to recover ahead of the upcoming time trial.
For the third and final stage, it is time to take on Passo Giau as part of an uphill time trial. As you roll down the time trial ramp, the adrenaline will help you push through as you take on the 17km challenge. Climbing to 2,336m, it is guaranteed to be a memorable finish as you cross the finish line and receive your hard-earned medal after a testing few days.