Maratona dles Dolomites
|Date||First week in July|
|Nickname(s)||Maratona dles Dolomites|
|Organiser||Maratona dles Dolomites Committee|
|Race director||Michil Costa|
|Editions||25(as of 2011)|
|Most wins||Emanuele Negrini (ITA) (5 wins)|
|Most recent||Giuseppe Sorrenti Mazzocchi (ITA)|
The Maratona dles Dolomites (Dolomites Marathon), is an annual single-day road bicycle race covering seven spectacular mountain passes in the Dolomites. Open to amateur cyclists, the Maratona—with 9,000 riders from over 40 nations—is one of the biggest Italian Granfondo bicycle races. National Geographic described it as "one of the biggest, most passionate, and most chaotic bike races on Earth."
The first Maratona was held on July 12, 1987 as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations of the Alta Badia-Raiffeisen Cycling Club . 166 riders raced in this first event covering 175 km and 7 passes in the Dolomites. In 1989 the race had to be abandoned because of heavy snowfalls on the ascent to Giau Pass. But since then the number of people who would like to ride the Maratona has increased exponentially. In 2004 the number of participants had to be limited to 9,000 riders and lotteries were introduced to draw participants. For the 2012 edition 29,100 people registered to take part in that year’s lottery, which will allocate 4,800 entries. A further 4,200 entries are reserved for official tour operators, fidelity Members of the Maratona, and charity racers bringing the final tally of participants to 9,000 persons.
The race is actually divided into three courses of varying difficulty: the Sellaronda course, the Middle course and the Maratona course. All riders start at 6:30am in the village of La Ila and complete the four pass Sellaronda course first. After completing the Sellaronda course riders can either choose to finish the race or proceed directly onwards with the Middle course. As the Maratona course is an extension of the preceding shorter Middle course, riders wishing to tackle the full Maratona dles Dolomites have to proceed with the Middle course. All three courses lead the riders through the Dolomite mountains around the Sella Group and over roads, where legendary rides by great champions of the Giro d'Italia have taken place. The roads are lined with tens of thousands of cheering spectators and the entire event is broadcast live on Italian national broadcaster RAI. Along the courses seven refreshment stations are manned by volunteers, where riders can strengthen themselves with foods and drinks, varying from sports drink to coffee to Strudel or Speck sandwiches.
The week prior to the Maratona is an event in itself called "Riders' Week". Group rides, training rides, cycling events, and parties are organized and held daily. Most racers therefore spend the entire week preceding the Maratona in the Val Badia.
(see also: external map of the courses)
The Sellaronda course starts in the village of La Ila and finishes in the village of Corvara. The course goes clockwise around the Sella mountain group. Four passes must be surmounted to finish the course. After the start the course follows the main road through the Val Badia to the village of Corvara. The ascent to Campolongo Pass begins immediately behind the village. After crossing Campolongo Pass the course descends to the village of Arabba in the Fodom valley; from there it climbs to the Pordoi Pass and then descends into the Fassa valley. There the climb to the Sella Pass begins, from which the riders descend into Gardena valley. The last pass the Sellaronda course traverses is the Gardena Pass. From it the course begins its final descent towards the finish at Corvara.
- Total distance: 55 km (34 mi)
- Total altitude difference: 1,780 m (5,840 ft)
The Middle course follows immediately after the Sellaronda course. Riders wishing to tackle it, do not stop after the Sellaronda's finish line, but directly proceed to ascend Campolongo Pass a second time. In Arabba the middle course deviates from the earlier course and follows the road out of the Fodom valley to the village of Cernadoi. Here the course splits: rider choosing to do the entire Maratona proceed to the village of Colle Santa Lucia, while the remaining riders begin the ascend to the Falzarego Pass. At the top of the pass riders climb further 80m to reach the Valparola Pass. From there the road descends to the village of San Ćiascian and passing through La Ila reaches the finishing line in Corvara.
- Total distance: 106 km (66 mi)
- Total altitude difference: 3,090 m (10,140 ft)
Riders who have chosen to do the Maratona course split off from the Middle course in the village of Cernadoi. The Maratona dles Dolomites proceeds from there to the village and uncategorised climb of the Colle Santa Lucia, after which the steepest of all climbs begins: the climb to Giau Pass. From Giau Pass the road goes down to Pocol, from where the course rises to the Falzarego Pass. There it reunites with the Middle course and having crossed Valparola Pass follows the same road through San Ćiascian and La Ila to the finish line in Corvara.
- Total distance: 138 km (86 mi)
- Total altitude difference: 4,190 m (13,750 ft)
- http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/rides/CycloSportive_Maratona_dles_Dolomites_2008_article_262725.html Cycling Weekly; July 3, 2008
- National Geographic, Italy's Cycle of Life.
- http://www.maratona.it/info/stat/history/ Maratona History
- http://www.maratona.it/info/enrolment/maratona/2011/en/ Conditions of entry
- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/travel/italy.html Italy's Cycle of Life
- http://services.datasport.com/2011/velo/maradolo/ 2011 Results
- http://services.datasport.com/2010/velo/maradolo/ 2010 Results
- http://services.datasport.com/2009/velo/maradolo/ 2009 Results
- http://services.datasport.com/2008/velo/maradolo/ 2008 Results
- http://services.datasport.com/2007/velo/maradolo/default.htm 2007 Results
- http://services.datasport.com/2006/velo/maradolo/ 2006 Results
- http://services.datasport.com/2005/velo/maradolo/ 2005 Results
- http://services.datasport.com/2004/velo/maradolo/ 2004 Results
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