The Sellaronda on a racing bike – The 5 basic tips
The Sellarona or Giro dei quattro passi road cycling route is perhaps the most famous cycling route in Italy. Whether for the history of cycling, as the area is the scene of countless stages of the Giro d’Italia, or for the beauty of the scenery, cycling along these roads is a real thrill.
Today I don’t want to talk about the description of the barriers and road signs, but about some logistical tips to help you get the best out of the experience.
1. Il Giro dei quattro passi: Technical advice
The famous four steps are:
- Campolongo Pass
- Pordoi Pass
- Sella Pass
- Gardena Pass
The complete route is 58 km and the difference in altitude is 1,637 m.
The climb is not impossible, on the contrary, it is within everyone’s reach. The average incline is always around 6-7%. 50 x 34 at the front and 11 x 28 at the rear is sufficient. If you are not too well-trained, opting for a 32 on the sprocket set is a good option.
2. Where to start The Giro Dei Quattro Passi?
The giro dei quattro passi starts anywhere you want. I, for example, like to start from Corvara and ride clockwise. But the beauty lies precisely in the fact that you can start wherever you want, perhaps with the city you come from, or with the best value for money hotel you can find.
The four options for departure anyway are:
- Corvara: start of the Marathon of the Dolomites, here you can really breathe cycling.
- Arabba: the best place if you want to cycle to the Giau pass the next day, but also the least beautiful of the four villages (no offence to the inhabitants).
- Canazei: perfect if you also want to ride the Fedaia pass and Val di Fassa.
- Selva di Val Gardena: very close to the beautiful Ortisei and the fastest to reach from all over Italy, except from the north-east (Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia-Giulia)
3. Clockwise or anti-clockwise?
Clockwise or anti-clockwise? Good question. We assume that both are wonderful, and both offer spectacular views. My advice is, if possible, to do it in both directions. I’ll just say that the clockwise lap is the one done during the Maratona des Dolomites, while the anti-clockwise lap is the one done during the Sellaronda Bike Day.
4. When to do The Giro Dei Quattro Passi?
If you can, of course, Sellaronda Bike Day is the perfect day to ride the four passes. Every year, in fact, at the end of June, for one day, the entire route is completely closed to cars and available to cyclists. A truly amazing opportunity.
However, this requires preventive organisation and also higher hotel prices.
The recommended period is from the end of May to the end of September.
Be aware that they are also heavily frequented by vehicular traffic, so the more we focus on high season and weekends, the more cars and motorbikes will keep us company. The classic sunny Wednesday in mid-June or mid-September is the best option.
5. How to get to the exits of The Giro Dei Quattro Passi
Reaching the different exits is not difficult, and the recommended means of transport is by car.
Alternatively, you can reach the different villages via the bus service.
By plane: the nearest airport is Verona, but also Venice and of course Milan are very good.
Everything clear? Enjoy!
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