Despite the Maratona dles Dolomites being the biggest and most oversubscribed sportive in Italy, it was, until recently, virtually unheard of in the UK and Ireland.
It is an annual single-day road bicycle race covering seven mountain passes in the Dolomites. Open to amateur cyclists, the Maratona is one of the biggest Italian Granfondo bicycle races, with 9,000 riders from over 70 nations.
National Geographic described it as "one of the biggest, most passionate, and most chaotic bike races on Earth."
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 doing the full Maratona dles Dolomites have to proceed with the Middle course.
All three courses go through the Dolomite mountains around the Sella Group and over roads, the Giro d'Italia have taken place.
Cycling Maratona- Maratona dles Dolomites weather forecast
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
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