Our partnership with the Sportful Dolomiti Race made me smile. Why? Because this is an event that makes me happy. Very happy. In 2016 I was one the contenders; an experience that I will remember forever. In my opinion, this is a sportive that every granfondo rider should have done. Therefore: 5 reasons why you should ride ‘the Sportful’!
1. The atmosphere
Creating a true cycling atmosphere is something you don’t have to teach Italians. What a difference with for example the somewhat sterile Alpenbrevet. A beautiful village depart, pre-race events (including a fat tire race for kids), musical gigs, a vibrant speaker, theatric Italians and some nice anticipation on social media. The start of the race is really something special. Standing in the small packed streets of Feltre, the race is sets in motion, whilst the howling of a wolf (the mascot of the race) is coming out of the many speakers. You won’t forget this one! Alongside the entire route plenty of locals will be supporting you. That was even the case in the soaking wet edition of 2016 – mind you.
Your editor on the beautiful Monte Grappa (top tip!) the day before the race. Picture: Frank Jansen
2. Beautiful outfit
The event name contains the Italian clothing manufacturer Sportful. What can you expect? Obviously, you get a stunning and annually updated contender’s jersey in the goodie bag. It’s not a finisher’s shirt, so you will be able to wear it even if you don't make it to the finish. More gear, including T-shirts and hoodies, is for sale in the village depart. In 2016, contenders also received a nice Sportful bermuda. The organizers let us know that for next year, there will be a special surprise in the goodie bag again. And if that’s not enough for you: quite close to Feltre you’ll find a large Sportful / Castelli outlet store. Please find more info on their Facebook page.
3. The Passo Manghen
You won’t impress newbies and non-cyclists with the Passo Manghen. But connoisseurs know this beast is comparable to the notorious Mont Ventoux. There is however one difference: the hard part is right at the end of the climb. Don’t underestimate this beast! The views on the top are to die for, although you might be so wasted you will not have time to bother.
4. Outstanding food/drink stops
There aren't many granfondo’s with better food/drink stops than the Sportful Dolomiti Race, especially given the price. Energy drinks, soda’s, water, cookies, bars, bread, fruit: everything’s there. There are more than enough stops, which makes sense since most Italians sacrifice one of their bottle cages for tools. Queueing is of out of the question and the people behind the counter are very friendly.
5. The finish
A true granfondo has an uphill finish, and luckily the Sportful Dolomit Race will not let you down! Just before the finish line you will have to climb a short, but steep cobblestoned climb. The Italian speaker will shout out for name and scream you over the line. Believe me, with more than 200 km and almost 5000m of elevation, you will be wasted! That cold Birra Dolomiti will taste better than ever… and of course you will enjoy the pasta party!So, how much does it cost to sign up? Inscriptions via the website.
10/01/2020 - 13/01/2020 : €55
14/01/2020 - 08/06/2020 : €65
19/06/2020 : €75 (on the spot, if not fully booked)
Psssstt..... Cyclokalender will give away 3 free tickets. Stay tuned for that!