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  • LOCATION

    Italy

  • START | END

    Milan Malpensa Airport | Rome
    17th – 28th May 2018

  • DURATION

    12 Days / 11 Nights

Our Giro d’Italia Experience embraces the passion of Italy and its great race

Italy is like our second home, we’ve spent much of the last ten years running cycling trips to the Giro d’Italia and all the regions of beautiful Italy. We love everything about Italy, its cycling, it’s over-enthusiastic cycling fans, the “Tifosi”, its food, its passion and love of “la dolce vita” – the sweet life.

We look forward to showing you around our favourite places and intersecting the Giro d’Italia race stages. We’re sure you’ll love Italy and the Giro d’Italia as much as we do. Ciao.

Our Tour Highlights

2018 Giro d’Italia

Lake Como – Madonna Ghisallo Chapel – Wall of Surmano | Passo’s Stelvio, Gavia, Mortirolo| Colle delle Finestre | Rome Finish

Welcome to Italy and the Giro d Italia.

Our Giro d’Italia trip provides the perfect mix of “ride more – transfer less”, with challenging rides in the Alps, Dolomites, lake Como. You’ll have your fill of riding, plus we’ll see different aspects of the Giro d’Italia race stages, including stage starts, midpoints, feed stations, hilltops and stage finish’s, mixed with a cultural and culinary Italian experience.

The Giro d’Italia race will finish in Rome for the first time in some years, We will keep you updated as more detailed official Giro d’Italia race route details are released in the months ahead.

May is a beautiful time to visit and ride in Italy, we’ll show you the smaller roads, charming villages and stay in chic Italian hotels.

There’s something beautiful about riding a bike in Italy, it’s a country practically born and raised on two wheels, the terrain is almost purpose-built for cyclists who love panoramic climbs, sweeping views, lakeside roads, it’s any wonder Italy is regarded as cycling’s birthplace.

Each of our Grand Tour Itinerary’s provides a unique experience as the race route changes dramatically each year, at the Giro d’Italia you can count on riding many of the legendary Italian rides and routes each year including:

The Stelvio Pass, where you can opt for a Gran Fondo style loop of the Stelvio and climb two sides including climbing the Swiss side if your legs are feeling good,  we also ride the beautiful Mortirollo – Gavia loop while we are in the area.

From our Lake Como base, we’ll ride to Bellagio, the chapel of the patron saint of cycling – the Colle del Madonna Ghisallo and the Wall of Surmano.

Our Giro d’Italia trip is led by our experienced team who’ve been hosting trips to Italy for many years, we know how to get the best out of your: riding, Giro d’Italia race experience, all in a safe, supported – team like environment.

We look forward to welcoming you to Italy.
Ciao Pat and Grace

THE RACE:
The Grand Partenza Israel

For the first time the Giro d’Italia route will start outside of Europe. Here’s what the race organiser has told us the historic, first three race stages in Israel.

STAGE 1 – Jerusalem ITT

4TH MAY 2018 – 10,1 KM

The 2018 Giro d’Italia will start on Friday 4 May with an ITT in Jerusalem, following a very technical route finishing close to the walls of the Old City. With numerous bends on streets of the city and small ascents and descents, the route will pass by landmarks including the Parliament (Knesset) and the historic walls. The finale is uphill, with the gradient increasing from light to more demanding.

STAGE 2 – Haifa – Tel Aviv

5TH MAY – 167 KM

The first in-line stage from Haifa to Tel Aviv, 167km long, is on Saturday 5 May. After the start, the route undulates around Acri and includes the first GPM (KOM) of 2018 Giro in Zikron Yakov. The second part of the route is substantially flat on wide roads, with the last few kilometres partly within the city of Tel Aviv and the finish line on the straight seafront.

STAGE 3 – Be’er Sheva – Eilat

6TH MAY – 226 KM

The third and final stage in Israel, on Sunday 6 May, runs 226km from Be’er Sheva to Eilat, on the Red Sea, heading south. After the start, the only gentle climbs lead the peloton to the Negev Desert and then to the Red Sea coast. Once past the town of Mitzpe Ramon, a long descent leads towards the finish in Eilat.

GIRO 2018 ITINERARY

DAY 1 – THURSDAY 17 MAY | STAGE 12

Arrival day: Milan, Malpensa Airport Italy
Airport pick up time: 9:00am
Ride: Start 12pm. Ride Options: 45km, 60km – 800m climbing
Welcome Dinner: 7.30pm
Accommodation: Lake Como (1 night)

More About Our Day:

Welcome to the 2018 Giro d’Italia with Ride International Tours.

You trip will start at our “Pre Trip Hotel” near Milan/ Malpensa Airport, Italy at 9am.

If time permits in your schedule, we suggest arriving at least a day prior to your trip start, it’s the best way to acclimatise and build some wiggle room into your pre trip travel schedule.

If you choose to arrive on Day 1 of your trip at Milan Malpensa Airport, we’ll collect you at 9:00am. Look out for us in our Pink Ride International Tours Tshirts at the designated airport pickup location.

From Milan Malpensa Airport, it’s a short drive to our “pre trip hotel”, where we will assist you to assemble your bike or do a final set-up and check of your rental bike. Once ready we’ll depart from the hotel by bike.

We’ll make our way by bike via the shores of Lake Varese, onto magnificent Lake Como, our home for the night and home to the rich and famous.


 The Race: Stage 12

Today is a completely flat stage from Osima to Imola. The finish line is on the Tre Monti circuit, to be raced once, where Zakarin won in 2015 and Vittorio Adorni was awarded World champion in 1968.


Our Rides: Milan Malpensa, Lake Varese, Lake Como

Time: 12pm. Ride Options: 45km, 60km – 800m climbing.

Today we depart our pre trip hotel near the Milan/ Malpensa airport on a scenic ride north to Lake Varese, then onto the beautiful surrounds of Lake Como to get your bearings and see if we can spot George Clooney on the way in.

Today’s ride is mostly about making sure everything on your bike is working properly after your travel, to spin your legs and shake off any travel lethargy.

We’ll get acquainted, or re- acquainted with riding in Italy, first timers riding in Europe are always pleasantly surprised how polite and encouraging other road users are to cyclist, you’ll really enjoy the riding. Remember right is right – for those of you who are used to cycling on the left hand side of the road, we’ll keep you on track, you’ll find you adapt to riding on the right hand side of the road very quickly.

We’ll time our ride to be at Como in time to see the finish of today’s stage live on TV, we’ll watch it from a local, nearby bar on the main Piazza Cavour to get you into the local vibe quickly, it’s going to be an exciting finish on the car race track at Imola today.



 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

You’ll join the group on a scenic drive from Milan/Malpensa to Lake Varese, stopping for photo opportunities enroute, then onto our base at Lake Como.

Our hotel in Como is near the main Piazza Cavour, where you can wander around the Marina, visit the famous Cathedral (Como Duomo), you can walk into the centro storico/ old town or take a ride on the scenic funicular railway up the mountain.

It is a typical Italian network of pavement cafes, little squares and picturesque lanes, some bustling with shops, others calm and peaceful. Como is much livelier and more ‘real’ than the tourist-dominated villages around Lake Como. It has been a successful town since Roman times. Como still produces exquisite silks and has a sense of purpose independent of tourism.


 Après Bike:

Welcome Dinner. Meet: Hotel Lobby, 7.30pm for a short walk to our local restaurant. Meet the team, other guests, sample famous Italian in season local dishes and drinks.


 Accommodation:

Lake Como (1 night)

DAY 2 – FRIDAY 18 MAY | STAGE 13

Breakfast: From 7am
Ride Start: 7.45am
Our Rides:
30km, 45km, 70km – 1900m climbing
Accommodation: Bormio, Lombardy (1 of 3 nights)

More About Our Day:

First thing after breakfast we will ride to the famous lakeside village of Bellagio for morning tea, a Gelato and a for those who’d like some time off the bike a chance to explore Bellagio some more.

The riders will then start the climb up to the Madonna Ghisallo Cycling Chapel and onto the Wall of Surmano loop. We’ll then meet our vehicle to transfer to Bormio. It’s 2-3 hours drive to Bormio so we’ll catch today’s stage finish on TV in a bar. We’ll arrive in time for a look around this pretty little mountain village which has a very nice and historic village centre.

Bormio (1225m) is located in the province of Sondrio, Lombardy (Italy). It is a small town with population of less than 5,000 people. It’s a popular destination, which has been attracting tourists for centuries. Wealthy Roman citizens flocked to the town to enjoy its thermal baths, many of which are still functional today.

In recent years, people from across the globe come to Bormio to ski during the winter and also to experience some of the world’s most spectacular cycling climbs during the summer.


 The Race: Stage 13

Ferrara – Nervesa della Battaglia, 180km

It’s an uneventful transfer day in the Giro with an almost flat stage that crosses the Po Valley from south to north up to Montello with an approx. 30-km circuit with a few climbs that won’t prevent a field sprint. The final section features some iconic WWI landmarks, including the Piave river, and other modern and contemporary wine-related places. Upon approaching the finish, the route runs across the eastern Polesine areas that haven’t been included in a Giro stage for over 30 years.


 Our Rides: Como, Bellagio, Madonna Ghisallo and The Wall of Sormano

Ride Time: 7.45am Ride Options: 30km, 45km, 70km – 1900m climbing

A tough ride to start your trip with but the reward at the top will make it all worthwhile. Firstly though from Como we will get a nice warm up as we head along the scenic road that takes us to Bellagio, 30km.

From Bellagio we head uphill to Madonna Ghisallo through the mountain range that cuts into Lake Como and offers us stunning views in both directions on a clear day. Visiting the Madonna del Ghisallo Cycling Chapel and the Cycling Museum at the top of Ghisallo is an amazing, almost spiritual experience for a cyclist, 45km.

After visiting the chapel and museum it’s onto the Muro di Sormano. A legendary climb that is part of the Giro di Lombardia. Prepare yourself for the Muro … possibly the most difficult, yet short, climb you will ever experience, with an average gradient of 18% … the small ring will be your best friend for these two tough kilometers! 70km – 1900m climbing.



 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

Our non cycling guests will travel in the vehicle this morning and visit beautiful Bellagio pausing for morning tea, gelato and a spot of shopping.

Next up it’s a visit to the cycling chapel and museum at Madonna Ghisallo. This afternoon we all travel together along the shores of Lake Como/ Lecco and into the beautiful big mountain valleys via Tirano and onto the idyllic mountain town of Bormio, our new base for the next few nights.


 Après Bike:

Dinner: Tonight we take dinner at our hotels restaurant. Our hosts philosophy is about excellent primary produce that are a result of choosing the best hay, of how to take care of their cows and finally, of creating the perfect conditions for our produce. This process of production guarantees the chef´s delicious preparations of the highest quality. Traditional Valtellinese dishes skilfully prepared with a touch of nouvelle cuisine are their specialities.


 Accommodation:

Bormio, Lombardy (1 of 3 nights)

DAY 3 – SATURDAY 19 MAY | STAGE 14

Breakfast: From 7am
Ride Start: 7.45am
Our Rides:
50km, 75km, 100km – 3000m climbing
Dinner: Free program
Accommodation: Bormio, Lombardy (2 of 3 nights)

More About Our Day:

An amazing day awaits you today. It’s time to climb the Stelvio and head up into the beautiful mountains. We will head off after breakfast to tackle the beast returning to Bormio for a late lunch.

After lunch the choice is yours to rest up, enjoy exploring Bormio or head out again on the bike for the afternoon program to ride Torre de Fraele, Lago Cancano Loop.


 The Race: Stage 14

San Vito al Tagliamento – Monte Zoncolan, 181.0km

First queen stage across the Alps. 181km long with 5 categorised climbs and 4400 m of elevation gain. It starts with Monte di Ragogna and in the final 45 km, Passo Duron, Sella Valcalda and Monte Zoncolan. It’s the 6th finish on the Zoncolan, and the 5th one on the “intimidating” side of Ovaro. On Monte di Ragogna several Tours of Friuli have finished, amongst all when Bugno won the Italian championship in 1991. Monte Zoncolan has gradients topping out 22% in its first part. In Chialina (1.5 km before the foot of the climb) there will be the usual pit-stop where the following vehicles will be replaced by motorbikes.


 Our Rides: Stelvio Pass, Torre de Fraele, Lake Cancano

Time: 7.45am Ride Options: 50km, 75km, 100km – 3000m climbing

Morning:  “The Stelvio Pass” 50km – 1600m Climbing

Afternoon:

  • Torre de Fraele/ The Mini Stelvio 25km – 1300m climbing
  • From the top of Torre de Fraele Pass
  • Additional optional: Lake Cancano, Strada Nero dirt loop 25km – 100m climbing.

The Stelvio Pass: The stats: Length 21km, Average Gradient: 7%, Height at start: 1200m, Height at finish 2758m, Total Elevation Gained: 1558m

Today it’s an iconic climb, which is no doubt on your bucket list, the Stelvio Pass.

We head straight out of the hotel, through town and we are onto the climb. Overall, the climb is quite steady with a maximum gradient of 12%, so just pace yourself accordingly. If it feels easy in the first few kilometres then you are doing it right.

You’ve probably never ridden through snowfields and up to these altitudes, but you will today! As you approach the top the snow walls on the side of the road will be up to 2 metres in height. When you arrive at the top there will be time for some reflection on riding this amazing climb, the traditional photos in front of the Stelvio sign and then put some warm gear on and head on down and back to Bormio for great coffee and lunch.

After lunch you have the option to relax at the hotel and keep some reserves in the tank for tomorrow’s big loop, or ride (or travel in the vehicle) up to the Torre de Fraele fort and viewpoint. The views of the mountains, the valley toward Bormio and looking down over the switchbacks of the “Mini Stelvio” are fantastic.

Once at the top of Fraele, you can choose the option to ride the Strada Nero “dirt loop” of Lago Canacano or head back down the Torre Fraele and onto Bormio for a refreshing cool drink.


 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

This morning you have options to explore Bormio, it’s old center, the thermal spa’s or travel in the vehicle up to the Stelvio pass following the group. We’ll be stopping along the way to take photo’s, assist the cyclists and enjoy the stunning scenery, maybe even see an elusive marmot or two sunning themselves!

In the afternoon the choice is yours, you can travel in the vehicle up to the viewpoint at Torre de Fraele and its fort, or explore Bormio in the afternoon with a Gelato in hand.


 Après Bike:

Dinner: Tonight we’ve kept the program open for you to explore the many dining opportunities Bormio has to offer. It’s a short walk into the village and it’s eateries and restaurants. Ask us for ideas, we’ll give you some suggestions based on your preferred food types and dining style!


 Accommodation:

Bormio, Lombardy (2 of 3 nights)

DAY 4 – SUNDAY 20 MAY | STAGE 15

Breakfast: From 7am
Ride Start: 7.45am
Our Rides:
Bormio – Mortirolo Pass – Gavia Pass – Bormio Loop. 110km – 3200m climbing
Dinner: 7.30pm
Accommodation: Bormio, Lombardy (3 of 3 nights)


 The Race: Stage 15

Tolmezzo – Sappada, 176.0 km

A stage in the Dolomites with 4 categorised climbs, none of which very hard or too easy. In particular Auronzo di Cadore. The stage takes in two new climbs of Comelico (Passo Sant’Antonio and Costalissoio) with gradients almost always above 10%. The finish is located a few hundred metres from the finish in 1987, when Stephen Roche claimed the first maglia Rosa of his “Giro-Tour-World Championships” Grand Slam that year, a feat that only Eddy Merckx managed to make in 1974.


 Our Rides: Bormio, Mortirolo Pass, Gavia Pass – Bormio

Time: 7.45am Ride: Options: 50km, 70km, 110km – 3200m climbing

Anti-clockwise loop from Bormio to Mortirolo and back via the Gavia Pass. Both climbs are absolute beauties!

So here we go! We head down the valley towards Tirano on a nice valley ride through quaint Italian villages. Then it’s a left turn across the river and onto the feared Mortirolo at 1852 m.



The climb starts at Mazzo di Valtellina and is 12.4 kilometres long at an average of 10.5% (elevation gain 1300 m), with the maximum gradient being a whopping 18%! Since the death of Marco Pantani in 2004, stages of the Giro that go over the Mortirolo feature a special prize to the first man at the top of the pass, called Cima Pantani. A monument to Pantani can be found on the road side from Mazzo di Valtellina.

Once over the top we’ll descend to the valley below and then turn left where we begin a gentle climb to Ponte di Legno where we will pause for refreshments and lunch.
After lunch we cross the wooden bridge (Translated in Italian – Ponte di Legno) and turn left towards the Passo di Gavia, a mountain of 2621 metres. It’s a gradual climb for about 4 kms. The road is paved, but after a couple of km, it turns to a narrow one lane road, where it suddenly reaches 16% for a while. The average grade is 7.9 % and the length is 17.3 kms and the actual metres climbed is 1363 m.

The Passo di Gavia is often on the route of the Giro d’Italia and is sometimes designated the Cima Coppi or the highest point of the race. Probably the most historic day here was on 5 June 1988 when the race passed over the Gavia in a snowstorm, making for an epic stage won by Erik Breukink. American Andrew Hampsten, the second-place finisher, became the overall race leader and went on to win the Giro.

Now for the good news! From the top mountain chalets at the top, it’s pretty much all downhill into Bormio. What a ride, what an epic day on the bike…


 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

Take a trip on the world famous Bernina Express scenic train to St Moritz in Switzerland, we’ll transfer you down the valley to the starting point for your train journey. The views of the Swiss Engadin Alps from the panoramic coaches with enlarged windows is stunning.

The trip on the Bernina Express is a magnificent railway journey through the World Heritage site across 196 bridges and across the Bernina Pass at 2,253 metres. You can choose from a multi-lingual (English, Italian and German) audio guide on board.

Or, you can choose to travel in our vehicle on the Bormio – Mortirolo Pass – Gavia Pass loop and see this stunning remote area and its high mountain passes. At this time of year there is plenty of snow on the surrounding mountaintops, making the scenery and photo’s all the more spectacular!


 Après Bike:

Dinner: 7.30pm. Tip, try an Aperol Spritz for a pre dinner aperitif, they are back in vogue on our Italian, Giro trips. Bellisimo.
Tonight we take dinner at our hotel restaurant. We’ll experience more traditional Valtellinese dishes and dolce (desert) skilfully prepared by our resident chefs.


 Accommodation:

Bormio, Lombardy (3 of 3 nights)

DAY 5 – MONDAY 21 MAY | REST DAY

Breakfast: From 7am
Depart Hotel – Vehicle: 8am
Our Rides:
Trento – Lake Garda, 30km flat, 50km – 300m climbing
Dinner: Free program
Accommodation: Lake Garda (1 of 3 nights)

More About Our Day:

This morning it’s a transfer for us from Bormio to Trento in the vehicle. From Bormio we will drive through the mountains via Passo Tonale and onto the town of Cles, where Maurizio Fondriest, of Fondriest bikes hails from.

Fondriest controversially won the World Cycling Championships in 1988 when a group of three arrived at the finish, Canadian Steve Bauer knocked off local favourite Claude Criquielion in the sprint and Fondriest did a Stephen Bradbury and rode through to win the race!

However,  Fondriest was a great cyclist in his own right, winning stages in the Tour de Suisse, Milan–San Remo, La Flèche Wallonne, the Züri-Metzgete, the Giro dell’Emilia, the general classification and two stages of Tirreno–Adriatico, three stages and the general classification of the Grand Prix du Midi Libre, a stage in the Giro d’Italia and the overall World Cup.

After Cles we enter the valley of the Trentino area and we will stop in Trento for lunch. Trento is the stage start town for tomorrow’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, so there will be plenty of excitement around the town.

With our hydration and nutrition needs satisfied we’ll chanel our energy from the other great cyclists Trento has bred such as Francesco Moser and Gilberto Simoni, we’ll climb onto our bikes for an easy/active recovery ride onto our hotel on Lago di Garda.


 The Race: It’s a Rest Day!

 Our Rides:

After the challenges of the past few days we will have an easy active recovery day today.

We will stop in Trento for lunch, then head off on our ride through the beautiful vineyards and orchards that are found here.

The first part of our ride will follow a very similar course to tomorrows 34.5km Individual Time Trail Course from Trento to Rovereto. You can opt for a relatively flat 35km ride through the valley and onto Rovereto or ride onto the hotel for a total of 50km. It’s mostly bike path, small roads so no worries with traffic, giving you time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the final descent down to Lago di Garda.



 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

There is beautiful scenery along the way today. Sit back and enjoy it before we arrive at the magnificent Lago di Garda.

Welcome to Lake Garda, the largest Lake in Italy. Enjoy the genuine environment of the famous lake, walk through the antique streets of the villages, taste Italian food and ice cream and look forward to a couple of days in Lake Garda.


 Après Bike:

Dinner: Free program


 Accommodation:

Lake Garda (1 of 3 nights)

DAY 6 – TUESDAY 22 MAY | STAGE 16

Breakfast: From 7am
Ride Start: 7.45am
Our Rides:
Lake Garda, Monte Baldo, Rovereto. Lake Garda. 30km, 40km, 70km, 95km – 1850m climbing
Dinner: Free Program
Accommodation: Lake Garda (2 of 3 nights)

More About Our Day

We’ll wake up to the sights, sounds and surrounding mountains of beautiful Lake Garda, it’s a very special place.

Today we are back at the Giro d’Italia and the “race of truth” – it’s the day we have all been waiting for, the Individual Time Trial.
The TT’s have a habit of turning Grand Tour standings on their heads and today after two weeks of racing we expect big changes to the overall General Classification riders standings.

We’ll take a ride out along the lake, then up over the mountains and down to Rovereto to see the Pro’s come into the finish of the Time Trial.


 The Race: Stage 16

Trento – Rovereto, 34.5 km ITT (flat)

Individual time trial fit for against-the-clock racers. The course is almost completely flat with long straight stretches connected by wide bends where the speed doesn’t drop. The final section in the city is slightly more complex, but still a very fast-running course. Expected average speed will be around 50 km/h.


 Our Rides: Lake Garda, Monte Baldo, Rovereto. Lake Garda

Time: 7.45am Ride: Options: 30km, 40km, 70km, 95km – 1850m climbing

Another day today means another great ride and another super climb, although it’s not like the monsters we did a few days ago.

We’ve broken the ride into bite sized parts so you can choose to depart the hotel by bike for a 30km ride including the big climb for the day.
You can choose to skip the climb and take the vehicle to the top of the Monte Baldo Climb and ride an undulating – mostly downhill 40km to Rovereto to watch the Race.

Combine both rides for 70km – 1700m climbing. We will leave Lake Garda and head out along the flat for a while before heading up the climb. The first part was used by the Giro in 2013 where a Mountain TT was won by Vincenzo Nibali where he sealed his pink jersey and put Cadel Evans four minutes in arrears.



Starting from Mori, the Monte Baldo ascent is 19.15 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1026 metres with an average percentage of 5.3 %.

It’s a loop ride so we will drop back down into the valley and head to the race finish in Rovereto where we will arrive in time to see the race riders finish their Individual Time Trials here.

If you’re feeling fresh and are inspired by the feats of the Pro’s on todays Individual Time Trial, it’s 25km back to our hotel via our ride route from yesterday. Total 95km – 1850m Climbing.
For those that like their Strava numbers rounded off – a few circles around the block will clock your Strava 100km, the rest of us will supply plenty of encouragement from the Hotel bar with a cool drink in hand.


 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

This morning explore our beautiful lakeside town and the lake before we head off on the route up to Monte Baldo enjoying the beautiful scenery on offer. We will then make our way to the Time Trial finish in Rovereto to enjoy an exciting afternoon of racing. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with the riders as they finish, maybe sneak in an autograph or selfie with the riders back at the team buses.


 Après Bike:

Dinner: Tonight it’s a free program so you can explore the many dining opportunities our lakeside village has to offer. The village has great bars, eateries and restaurants. Ask us for ideas, we’ll give you some suggestions based on your preferred drinks, food types and dining style!


 Accommodation:

Lake Garda (2 of 3 nights)

DAY 7 – WEDNESDAY 23 MAY | STAGE 17

Breakfast: From 7am
Ride Start: 7.45am
Our Rides:
Morning: Lake ride – Malcesine. 36km – 400m climbing. Afternoon: Optional – Villages, Valleys and climbs loop 60km -1100m climbing
Dinner:
Accommodation: Lake Garda (3 of 3 nights)

More About Our Day

We have a full morning. First will be an early ride, followed by a visit to the race start. The afternoon is yours to either enjoy the lake or head out for a ride on our harder: Villages, Valleys and climbs loop.

Starts are amazing and a must see for any cyclist. We are staying in the race start village so our town will be a buzz to the sights, sounds and fashionista that only the Giro d’Iitalia can produce.
We’ll walk out the front doors of our hotel and be among the festivities, here you will see the riders before they get serious. You’ll be able to get a peek around the team buses and get quite up close and personal with a few riders, especially if any of our personal friends are racing or working with the Teams.

Any race start is a fanfare but this is Italy, so of course they will really turn it on, it’ll be fun and  something you’ll not forget for years to come. Wear your sunglasses, it will be a sea of pink!


 The Race: Stage 17

Riva del Garda – Iseo. 155.0 km

Stage with a (slightly) uphill start and a few long tunnels up to Lago Iseo. Short climbs, including the classified Lodrino climb, lead up to the first pass on the finish line. An approx. 20-km final circuit runs across the entire Franciacorta area. This is the last stage fit for sprinters before the final showcase stage in Rome.


 Our Rides: Lake Garda, Monte Baldo, Rovereto. Lake Garda

Time: 7.45am Ride Options: Morning: 36km – 400m. Afternoon: 60km – 1100m climbing

An easy ride this morning, we follow the lake road down along lake Garda, it’s beautiful at every turn with the mountains towering above the lake. We’ll pause for a coffee stop on the lake to enjoy the scenery at the small viIlage of Malcesine.

Once back to our hotel we’ll freshen up before we head off to see the race start.
Apres race start, we’ll suit up again and head out on our afternoon loop ride into the nearby Villages, Valleys and Climbs ride out to Sarche. It’s a scenic ride in the valleys, gorges, with the mountains towering above, there’s plenty of climbing too as we make our way back around to our base in Garda in time to watch today’s stage finish on TV at a local bar.




 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

We will be off to the race start this morning. Race starts in Italy – at the Giro d’Italia are a real hoot and a fashionista’s dream. Here you will see the riders before they get serious. You’ll be able to get a peek around the team buses and get quite up close and personal with a few riders.


 Après Bike:

Dinner: Tonight we’ve kept the program open again for you to checkout the many dining opportunities Lago di Garda has to offer. Wander around the village, you’ll discover great eateries and restaurants or Ask us for ideas, we’ll give you some suggestions for great bars, or places based on your preferred food types and dining style!


 Accommodation:

Lake Garda (3 of 3 nights)

DAY 8 – THURSDAY 24 MAY | STAGE 18

Breakfast: From 7am
Ride Start: 7.45am
Our Rides: 
Casale Monferrato – Verolengo – Turin/Torino. 45km, 80km – 300m Climbing
Dinner: 7.30pm
Accommodation: Turin/Torino (1 of 2 nights)

More About Our Day

We have a fair transfer toward the Alps this morning, approximately 4hours, so we can be in place to see the Queen Stage on the Col de Finestre on Friday.

Exact details for the race route and timetable are limited at this stage. However, we’ll time our transfer to see the race pass near Casale Monferrato on the Po River. Time permitting, we’ll explore the town, take some lunch, soak up the atmosphere, watch the race on TV and enjoy the excitement in the village as the race approaches. These days in the smaller villages can be great fun, we’ll join in with the locals and immerse ourselves in the festivities, it’ll be a great experience.

After the race has passed it’s onto Turin/Torino by bike or by vehicle the choice is yours, it could be a good day to rest off the bike if your legs are feeling in need of a recovery day.


 The Race: Stage 18

Abbiategrasso – Prato Nevoso, 196.0 km

Almost 200-km flat stage with a final steep climb. A very long approach across the Po Valley and the Langhe leads up to Mondovì, where the route starts to climb. Thus, the fight for victory will start here. A long climb with fairly uncomplicated and very constant gradient leads to the finish. It is the climb where Tonkov (1996) and Garzelli (2000) claimed their win at the Giro and Gerrans (2008) at the Tour.


 Our Rides: Casale Monferrato – Verolengo – Turin/Torino

Time: After the race pass. Ride Options: 45km, 80km – 300m Climbing

After watching the race pass in Casale Monferrato, we’ll ride a scenic/flattish route through the rural lands of the Po Valley, hopefully we have the wind at our tail as we follow sections of the Po river toward Turin.

Today’s flattish ride is designed to freshen up your legs – an active recovery day in preparation for tomorrows ride to the Col delle Finestre. Once in Turin we ride a scenic route through to our lovely Hotel in the bustling heart of this vibrant city.




 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

We have a transfer towards the Alps this morning. We’ll intersect the race enroute as we transfer to our new base in Turin. We’ll take some lunch and explore the village of Casale Monferrato on the Po River while we wait for the race to arrive.

After the race has passed we’ll make our way to Turin via a scenic route following the Po River. You’ll arrive in plenty of time to explore our fantastic hotel, it’s lovely surrounds, the old city and it’s historic walls. Turin is a beautiful city with lots to explore and plenty of charm.


 Après Bike:

Dinner:  7.30pm. Meet in the hotel lobby, It’s a short walk to dinner.
Tip, try Italian Prosecco while you are at the Giro – It’s the Italian equivalent of Champagne, the Italians say it’s better than Champagne – It’s Italian! It’s a great pre dinner aperitif.


 Accommodation:

Turin/Torino (1 of 2 nights)

DAY 9 – FRIDAY 25 MAY | STAGE 19

Breakfast: From 7am
Ride Start: 7.45am
Our Rides:
Turin–Susa-Finestre-Susa. 40km, 55km, 95km – 2300m climbing
Dinner: Free Program
Accommodation: Turin (2 of 2 nights)

More About Our Day

We will ride from central Torino this morning and it won’t be long before we are on quiet roads and heading up the valley to Susa and then onto the iconic climb of Colle delle Finestre. It’s surfaced at first and make sure you keep some energy in reserve as it won’t be long and you’ll be onto the 9km dirt sector. It’s an amazing day on this mountain. Normally a quiet little road high in the Italian Alps is invaded by thousands and thousands of crazy spectators. As you approach the top the crowds will be all over the road and if you’re lucky you’ll get a push or two.

After photos, we will see how conditions are at near the top, if it’s a nice day we’ll watch from near top or we might descend down a little to where it’s a bit less hectic and we can see the action in relative calm.


 The Race: Stage 19

Venaria Reale – Bardonnechia, 181.0 km

First queen stage across the Western Alps featuring 4 categorised climbs, all of them being long and testing ascents. Past the Colle del Lys, the stage features the Colle delle Finestre (Cima Coppi) with a 9-km dirt road. This time the finish is not located in Sestrière, which is crossed by the course, but in Bardonecchia (Jafferau), after a 7-km climb at a 9% gradient. It is the same place where Eddy Merckx joined and passed Josè Manuel Fuente, who had attacked, in 1972.

During the “back-up” stage in 2013 that climb was raced without any previous ascent and the finish line was crossed by Santambrogio (later disqualified) and Nibali, who won the Giro.


 Our Rides: Turin – Susa – Finestre – Susa 

Time: 7.45am Ride Options: Turin – Finestre – Susa. 40km, 55km, 95km – 2300m climbing

This morning we ride out from our Hotel in Turin, It’s a nice 55km ride through small villages in the valley enroute to Susa.
Another good option is to take the vehicle from our Hotel to save your legs for the climb, from Susa it’s a short warm up then onto the climb to the top and back down it’s 40km.

More about the legendary Colle delle Finestre climb: its situated in the Piemonte region and belongs to the Italian Alps. Starting from Susa, the Finestre ascent is 18.62 km long, over this distance, you’ll climb 1694 meters. The average percentage is 9.1 %.

The Finestre although 18.62 km in total, approx. the last 9kms is dirt before arriving at the top. In previous editions the dirt section has been in immaculate condition and everyone who has attempted to ride to the top has thoroughly enjoyed this part of the ride, we think the dirt sector is slightly easier going up and down than tarmac bottom half of the climb.

After the race has passed on the Finestre we head back to Susa to regroup and watch the finish of the stage on TV, it’s gauranteed to be an absolute beauty of a Giro stage.




 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

Our vehicle will head to Susa this morning it’s a great place to explore, it’s a small – very old Italian village, but it will come to life for the Giro today.

A short walk out of Susa will have you on the race route where you will be able to see the race and the race caravan. You may also like to walk a little way up the early part of the climb to see the riders attack as the gradient kicks up.


 Après Bike:

Dinner:  Tonight’s a free program for you to explore the many dining opportunities Turin has to offer. Wander around this great city, you’ll discover superb eateries and restaurants or Ask us for ideas, we’ll give you some suggestions for great bars, or places based on your preferred food types and dining style!


 Accommodation:

Turin/Torino (2 of 2 nights)

DAY 10 – SATURDAY 26 MAY | STAGE 20

Breakfast: From 7am
Train Time: TBA
Our Rides: 
No rides – Transfer Day to Rome
Dinner: Free program
Accommodation: Rome City Center (1 of 2 nights)

More About Our Day

It’s a Non Cycling day as we transfer to Rome

This morning provides another chance to explore Turin in the morning before we head off to Rome, there’s plenty to see in Turin, or maybe you fancy a sleep in, the choice is yours.

We transfer from Turin Station to Rome by train, put your feet up, watch the country side roll by and relax til we arrive in Rome, these days, you can make the whole journey by high-speed Frecciarossa trains.

Driving from Turin to Rome would take more than seven hours, which makes it easy to see why taking the train to cover such a long distance is clearly the best idea. Italia’s high-speed Alta Velocità trains cover the roughly 450-mile -724-km distance from Turin’s Porta Nuova station to Romes Termini station in 4 to 4.5 hours.

Our hotel is strategically located near the Rome train station and within walking distance to Sundays race route. Once we arrive and check into our Hotel, we’ll catch the finish of todays huge final mountain stage live on TV.


 The Race: Stage 20

Susa – Cervinia. 214km – 4500m Climbing

The Second stage of the Western Alps with 4500 m of climbing in only 3 climbs. After a first flatter part, even though it’s always climbing, the stage enters into Valle d’Aosta the new Col Tsecore is tackled with 3 of the km’s over 12% in the last part and after a fast descent you face the St. Pantaléon climb and then finally up to the top of Cervinia without the chance to catch a breath.


 Our Rides:  

No rides today, we transfer to Rome so we are in place for our Sunday morning Rome sightseeing ride and to see the big finish of the Giro d’Italia tomorrow.


 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

 Après Transfer:

Dinner: We’ve left the evening as a free program so you can explore this beautiful city by night, it’s famous sights, it’s bars and restaurants at your leisure. We absolutely adore Rome, we are sure you’ll fall in love with it too.


 Accommodation:

Rome City Center (1 of 2 nights)

DAY 11 – SUNDAY 27 MAY | STAGE 21

Ride Start: 6am
Breakfast:
From 7am (if not riding the scenic tour). 8.30am: Breakfast when we return from scenic city ride
Our Rides: 
Rome Sightseeing Ride 15-20km
Dinner: 7.30pm. Meet in the hotel lobby for farewell dinner.
Accommodation: Rome City Center (2 of 2 nights)

More About Our Day

Today is going to be a very special day, one that you will remember for years to come, we’ll rise early and be on our bikes prior to sunrise. Rome at sunrise is absolutely fantastic – by bike in the early morning it’s even more special.

After our early morning Rome city sights tour, we’ll assist you to pack up your bike – If you’re departing for the airport tomorrow morning.

Then it’s off to see the race, the racecourse is only a short walk from our hotel, we’ll visit multiple locations to watch the race pass, then we’ll make our way to the finish area to watch the Sprinters do battle one final time.

We’ll head over to watch the podium presentations for the winners of each category, then watch the winner of the Giro d’Italia hold the beautiful Giro trophy aloft, who’s it going to be this year?


 The Race: Stage 21

10 circuits of the 11.8km course, 118km

Final catwalk in 11.8 km circuit to be repeated 10 times in the center of Rome. Most of the roads of the 2009 time trial are to be found, such as the Fori Imperiali, via Nazionale, via Sistina, Piazza del Popolo, via del Corso, via del Circo Massimo with the passage from the Baths of Caracalla and the Colosseum before arrival, probably to the Imperial Forums.


 Our Rides: Rome Sightseeing Ride 15-20km 

Time: 6am 

Hopefully your head and legs aren’t too sore this morning. We’ll head out for one last, easy ride. An early start to the last day, we’ll endeavour to take in a lap of the final day’s race route around Rome prior to the course being closed off.

Bring your camera, we’ll also take in a Rome city sights tour, it’s worth the early start to visit Romes iconic spots without the crowds – including the Colosseum, Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, visit the Spanish Steps, roll past the Pantheon, Vatican City, we’ll be back at the hotel in time for breakfast.


 Non Cycling – Things to see off the bike:

 Après Bike & Race:

Arrivederci – Farewell Dinner: Meet in the hotel lobby.
Time:
TBA

We are waiting for the detailed timeline information from the organisers for the final stage in Rome. We’ve heard rumours of a twilight finish as it’s a very long transfer to Rome for the Teams after yesterdays mountain stage.

It’s a short walk to our restaurant where we will indulge in some fantastic Roman food, hospitality and drinks, it’s the last supper of our 2018 Giro d’Italia trip.


 Accommodation:

Rome City Center (2 of 2 nights)

DAY 12 – MONDAY 28 MAY

Breakfast: From 7am
Depart Hotel – Airport Transfer: 8.30am

More About Our Day

Time to go to the airport, we offer a transfer to the airport at 8.30am for those that would like. If time permits in your schedule we’d suggest making the most of being in Rome, stay on a few days, explore this wonderful city at your leisure and or take advantage of visiting some of Italy’s beautiful towns, villages, cities, coastal areas or islands.

If you are flying out later in the day airport transfers can be arranged at the hotel, It’s likely to be a busy day at Rome Airport, so allow plenty of time to get to the airport, checked in and on time for your flights.

Many thanks for coming to see the 2018 Giro d’Italia. We hope you’ve had a great time watching one of the best UCI Grand Tours of the season. We trust you are headed home with tired legs, a smile on your face and plenty of great stories to share with your friends.

We look forward to welcoming you and your friends and family on another one of our trips in the near future.
Where will it be next, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium or Australia?

Until then, safe onward travelling.
All the best.

Ciao Pat, Grace and the Ride International Tours Team.

10

Years of Experience

63

Tours Completed

1,384

Trip Guests

32,926km

Cycled on Tour

238

Hotels Visited

What Makes Us

Première Classe

Experience, Since 2007

We’ve been on the ground running tours for over a decade and have long graduated from the School of Rookie Mistakes. We’ve accumulated thousands of kilometres in knowledge that goes into planning our itineraries and running our trips. When you’re with us, we’ve got your back. We want to see you achieve what you came here for. That’s why we build in contingencies for our contingencies so no matter what challenges the race, road or rain throws at us, we have a solution that will bring a satisfied smile to your face at the end of each day.

Trips Guaranteed To Run

We believe that our trip numbers should never be your problem. Whether our group size is 3 or 33, we run all of our trips to the same premium standard. We value your trust in us and understand how excited you must be. Once you’ve booked your spot on any of our trips, that’s it – you’re coming. So confirm your annual leave, book your flights and start packing!

More Ride Options

We understand that this is your cycling holiday and that you have your own goals and desires. We get to know you and give you a minimum of 3 ride options every day, so you can tailor your trip and manifest your dreams. Our goal is to have you achieve and experience everything you’ve set out to – and more. As corny as it sounds, there is nothing more rewarding for us than your smile at the end of each day. Oh, and hugs. We love hugs, especially after you’ve achieved something so meaningful to you.

Ride More, Transfer Less

We know you’d much rather be sitting on your bike than in a vehicle, so we design our itineraries to ride more and transfer less. There’s a great sense of satisfaction that comes with riding point to point so, whenever possible, we build this into our itineraries. Riding more and transferring less is also achieved by multiple nights stay in strategically located hotels, so there’ll be times throughout the trip where you can unpack your bags and call your room home for a few days.

Spectators Welcome

Whether you’re a fan of Pro Cycling, or your partner is a cyclist – you are welcome and encouraged to join our trips. Taking care of spectators is a specialty of ours. We give you plenty of options throughout the tour. Whether you want to experience the beauty of the ride routes by vehicle and join up with your cycling partner en route, cheer the pro-riders at race viewing points or spend time wondering the beautiful villages and cities we visit – the choice is yours. We ensure you have as much fun and adventure as the cyclists each day.

We Are "Details" Nerds

There really is no other way to put it. We. Love. Details. We consider every inch of your holiday from the pre-tour organising and planning to the on-tour running of it all. Every decision we make is about giving you the best possible experience. We want you to switch off and enjoy the ride. We know what it’s like to work hard for something, and we love to make you feel rewarded for your efforts. Let us handle the details, so all you have to focus on is having the best time and creating lasting memories.

Pro Bike Mechanic & Rider Support

Each trip has a professional bike mechanic and rider support vehicle. We carry a pro-team work stand, extensive toolbox, essential parts, hydration and nutrition aboard our dedicated support vehicle. Should anything occur en route, we’ll have you sorted and back on your bike in no time.

Bike Security

We take the security of your bike and belongings very seriously when you entrust them into our care. We go the extra mile by implementing a number of security measures and only choose hotels that supply us with secure storage options. We are proud to say that since our first tour in 2007, we have never experienced any problems with personal belongings or bike security on any of our trips.

Fabulous Accommodation

We believe accommodation is more than just a bed for the night. It’s a place to call home when you’re living out of a suitcase. We choose a variety of comfortable, characterful and quality accommodation styles to give you a complete experience. From city chic to family run chalets and everything in between.

Global & Local Experience

When you travel across the globe to be with us, we get excited. We love sharing everything we know and love about the people and places we visit. We ride the secret backroads, reveal the best hidden cafés, introduce you to incredible regional produce and have you feeling like one of the locals sooner than you can say bonjour, buongiorno and hola.

Local Lingo

Travelling to a country where the locals don’t speak your language, can be daunting. So that’s where our local lingo can help alleviate your apprehension. We’ll give you some basic tips on how to interact with the locals so you get the most out of your experience. You don’t have to be an expert, just have a go and remember to pack your sense of humour as there’ll be lots of laughing along the way.

Safety & Skills Coaching

We want you to go home to your family in better condition than when you left, so we place importance on your safety and skills. We’ll infuse you with tips, tricks and customs of riding in the countries we visit to give you the best cycling experience in the safest, most enjoyable way. As part of our service, we offer complimentary skills coaching en route for those wanting to hone any area of their biking. Expert skills coaching has been a unique area of our business for over 20-years, having fine-tuned the skills of pro-cyclists, Olympians, national and world champions.

Travel Tips

We’ve learnt a lot about travelling over the years. Once you’ve booked your trip with us, we can advise you on tips and tricks that will help make your travel experience more enjoyable, less stressful and have you well rested and ready to start your trip in optimum form.

Friendships

One thing you may not have considered when booking your future holiday is the opportunity for friendships. We pride ourselves on creating a group culture with great camaraderie that support and cheer for each other. It’s quite common for our trip participants to become lifelong friends (with us and with each other). Friendships that span the globe is one thing that really gives us a warm fuzzy feeling.

Your Goals Matter

Booking a cycling trip is a great motivator to set health, fitness, riding and travel goals. We are here to cheer you on and guide you through your preparation and link you up to other tour participants upon request. On tour, we do everything we can to see you achieve your goals and celebrate those milestones with you. Our flexible yet organised approach means that we’ve never cancelled a landmark ride in our 10+ year history. Your goals matter and we love seeing you reach them.

We Bring Out The Best

This is our philosophy – our heart and soul. At any given time, we bring out the best of that moment. We’ll show you where to stop and smell the roses, take in the most spectacular views, capture the best selfies and drink the best coffees. We are about savouring the moments and reminding you that you are in the best place at the best time.

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