How do deep blue lakes, historic sites and the impressive panorama of huge mountains such as the Ortler-Cevedale sound? These things are almost as important as the actual mountain biking itself when the Alta Valtellina Bike Marathon is on the agenda.
On Saturday, July 29, the route will take athletes to an altitude of 2,350 metres, on one of two options: the marathon distance will challenge the participants with 92 kilometresand about 3500m of climbing with three mountain passes. On their way through the Stelvio National Park, riders will ride past the towers of Val Fraele and the Cancano lakes and up the Trela Pass (2,300 metres). Before arriving at one of the highest points of the bike marathon, the Passo Alpisella (2,350 metres), riders will experience flowy singletrack and gravel roads on their way to the Livigno lake. On the way down, the bikers will hit the the downhill trails towards the reservoir dam of San Giacomo. After crossing the reservoir, riders can relax their muscles a bit before the climb up to Bocchette di Trela (2,350 meters).
After the descent from Bocchette di Trela, the athletes can look forward to some technically demanding ups and downs through the diverse landscape of the valleys Val Vezzola, Val Viola and Val Verva. From there on, the route leads continuously uphill to the Alpe Boron (2,057 metres) and along the new created trail towards the Alpe Prei (2,210 metres). The last big climb of the race is very demanding, but from here there is only 16 kilometres to go.
The remainder of the route, which is mainly descending, features gorgeous panoramic views of the surrounding valleys that are sure to please the riders’ eyes. Shortly before the finish line in Isolaccia, bikers will follow a flat section through dense woods before heading down a breath-taking descent towards Forte di Oga, a historic site from World War I and II. After a few kilometres, the participants will reach the finish line in Isolaccia. The 65 kilometre long classic distance is the more moderate alternative during the “Ultimate Challenge”. It also leads the mountain bikers through the stunning landscape of the Valtellina, but does not go via the Trela and Alpisella passes.
The Alta Valtellina Bike Marathon kicks-off with two shorter tours on Thursday and Friday before the race. The “Bike Adventure” has two spectacular routes in store for those who wish to experience new sections. These additional trails focus on historical and natural aspects of the region. Special highlight: For the first time, e-bikes are allowed to participate. The MTB event in and around Bormio ends on Sunday with the “Kids Marathon”, a race for children between 4 and 12 years of age.
Bormio and the Alta Valtellina are a paradise for mountain bikers. Immersed in the beautiful nature of the Stelvio National Park, you can choose among more than 600 km (372 miles) of trails of varying difficulty and beauty, cycling through the dense woods of pine and fir trees, crossing bridges over rivers, and riding alongside lakes and through alpine pastures in the high mountains. The only noise you will hear breaking the silence of nature, will be that of your mountain bike.