Preview – The 2009 Maratona dles Dolomites Cyclosportive


Alpe d'Huez during Marmotte

After surviving the 2008 Marmotte and a few other events, Martin and I are still gluttons for punishment.

More than 20,000 people entered the lottery for around 9,000 places to compete in the 2009 edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites in Italy – July 5th. And we were fortunate enough to both have our names drawn!

This cyclosportive has become one of the most famous events on the European amateur cycling calendar. In part due to the beautiful surroundings, and in part due to the challenging course – including 5 passes above 2,000 metres.

I’ve never ridden in the Dolomites so I am pretty excited.

The official site – click here – lists various race statistics. For example, apparently 625 guys named Marco entered the drawing.


Distance: 138 kilometres (86 miles)

Vertical Ascent: 4,190 metres (13,750 feet )

Principle Climbs (7): Passo Campolongo (2x), Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena, Passo Giau, Passo Valporola – (I have labeled all the passes on the map below)

To see the route in 3D on Google Earth click the link at the top of the map.


The Climbs

#1 and #5 Passo Campolongo

Summitt 1875 metres:

Coming from the north side twice, the climb is 5.8 kilometres @ 6.1% average grade. See grade chart here.


Photo courtesy “The Eye of Rick” under CC License

#2 Passo Pordoi

Summitt 2239 metres:

Coming from the east side, the climb is 9.2 kilometres @ 6.9% average grade. See grade chart here.

The route will pass the Fausto Coppi Monument:


Photo courtesy Maurizio Molinari under CC License

#3 Passo Sella

Summitt 2244 metres:

Coming from the east side, the climb is 5.5 kilometres @ 7.9% average grade. See grade chart here – the race joins the climb at about 1800 metres.


Photo courtesy Maurizio Molinari under CC License

#4 Passo Gardena

Summitt 2121 metres:

Coming from the south side, the climb is 5.8 kilometres @ 4.3% average grade. See grade chart here.

#6 Passo Giau

Summitt 2236 metres:

Easily the hardest climb of the race, coming from the west side, the climb is 9.9 kilometres @ 9.3% average grade. See grade chart here.


Photo courtesy mpozzobon under CC License

#7 Passo Valparola

Summitt 2200 metres:

Coming from the east side, the climb is 11.5 kilometres @ 5.8% average grade – and goes by Passo Falzergo just before the summit. See grade chart here.

2007 race:


Photo courtesy Snazzo under CC License

PS – We posted our entries for the 2009 l’Etape du Tour lottery today – fingers crossed 😉


About Author

Happiest while cycling uphill.


  1. les photos sont fabuleuses !!
    ça donne vraiment envie.
    bon courage pour la préparation de la saison, assez difficile en ce moment, sauf à pratiquer le ski de fond….

  2. We biked these passes last summer (but separate from this event), and absolutely loved it. The scenery is simply stunning (as the photos you posted show, but everything looks even more beautiful when you’re cycling uphill in the fresh air, as you know!). Good luck, and Enjoy!

  3. Sweet! I am so envious — you have such a great back yard! and fine luck with lotteries! I have been casting about for challenging rides this summer but there is nothing comparable here. Unlucky in the California Death Ride this year and still waiting for lottery to open for RAMROD : Ride Around Mt Rainier in One Day but is only a casual 10,000ft in 168 miles — so much distance for so little climbing! Right now my firmest ambition is the Mt Shasta Summit Century – 16, 000 ft & 135 miles. (

    So much want to ride the Alps again — its a long shot for Lost Boys this year — still figuring on family trip to Japan in late June. Cheers mate and happy climbing!

  4. After seeing the pictures I can’t wait! This is going to be great Will.

    Now to find the courage to train in this weather…

  5. Pingback: Success - The 2009 Maratona dles Dolomites : Cycling Challenge

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