Based in the mountain-resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, future host to the 2026 Winter Olympics, the 2020 Haute Route Dolomites returns for a third edition of the popular 3-day format. Kicking off the European Haute Route calendar in June, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your season started in a stunning location. Surrounded by the jagged snow-capped peaks, you are guaranteed a weekend of cycling to remember.
Stage 1: Cortina d’Ampezzo – Passo Valparola
Original - 97KM / 3300M+
The first stage of the Haute Route Dolomites begins with an ascent up the Passo Falzarego straight from the gun, heading to 2105m above sea level. Following a steep descent and short plateau in the valley, riders will then take on a succession of three climbs over the Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella and Passo Gardena, each topping out above 2100m and offering a different challenge as well as unique views over the Dolomites. A longer descent back to the valley ensues before the climb up to Passo Valparola for a summit finish to end this first stage. Crossing the finish line at the summit, riders will have conquered five of the Dolomites most famous climbs in the space of just 97km, each topping out above 2100M metres!
Compact - 67KM / 2250M+
The Compact course on this first day features the same ascent up the Passo Falzarego, before heading over the Passo Campolongo and straight to the summit finish on Passo Valparola.
Timing stops at the summit, and after taking in the views, all riders can enjoy the 20km descent back to the Event Village, lunch and massage in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Stage 2: Cortina d’Ampezzo – Tre Cime Di Lavaredo (Original) / Passo Falzarego (Compact)
Original - 95KM / 3300M+
Starting again from Cortina d’Ampezzo, Stage 2 rolls out of town the same way as Stage 1. After about 7 kilometres, the route takes a left turn to head up the tough, but “easier” north side of the Passo Giau. This 15.7km climb reaches 2236m above sea level and features broad winding switchbacks above tree line as you approach the summit. Descending down the steeper south side brings you to a small climb in the valley and then over to start the 14.5km climb of the Passo Falzarego, from the town of Rucavà (a few kilometres up from the traditional Passo Falzarego start in Caprile). When you reach the summit, you will descend back to Cortina d’Ampezzo, but pass through to take the northern route to one of the most iconic climbs in all the Dolomites. Be prepared for breathtaking scenery as well as breath-stealing steepness on the ascent to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Standing tall above the valleys below, these three peaks are probably the most recognisable landform of the Dolomites. The route from the summit to the Event Village in Cortina d’Ampezzo is more direct than the way up, but it’s not all downhill. Once you cross the summit of Passo Tre Croci – Son Zuógo, you can essentially freewheel to the village. By the end of this day, you will have ridden over eight 2000+ metre summits in two days, with one more challenge coming with the Stage 3 time trial.
Compact - 47,5KM / 2000M+
The Compact course on this second day follows the same route as the Original course with the first ascent up the Passo Giau and the summit finish on Passo Falzarego.
Stage 3: ITT Cortina d’Ampezzo – Passo Valparola
17,5KM / 1000M+
The 17.5-kilometre Stage 3 time trial gives you the opportunity to go all out on the climb up to Passo Valparola. You tackled this climb on Stage 1, but from the other side. The first 2.8 kilometres are a moderate climb (6-7%), and then there’s a 1-kilometre steep straightaway at 9-10%. As you enter the switchbacks that lead to Pocol, the grade eases a bit and you have a moderate climb again from Kilometre 5-8. This section is followed by a 2-kilometre false flat. Once the grade steepens again, you’ll have a steady climb for the remaining 5 kilometres to the Passo Falzarego. The finish line, however, is a bit further, on the connected Passo Valparola. You’ll have a short chance to catch your breath at the Falzarego summit, and then the final 1.5 kilometre is a hard push with steep ramps exceeding 10%. Give it everything you have, and cross the line to become an Haute Route Finisher! If you have anything left in your legs, ride a little further to visit the museum that chronicles the fighting that took place in these mountains during World War I.