#5MaratonasChallenge - The Warm-up Ride

Before the true challenge commences, a teaser was required. Something to warm the legs, and remind my body and mind of what it is like to ride on Dolomite mountains roads. 

Time to take photos, and spin the legs; before the long and difficult days begin.


A misty mountain dawn

I wake from a good night's sleep, and open the shutters to reveal a mist-shrouded mountain landscape. 
"The mountains are calling, and I must go."

Breakfast at the Ustaria Posta Hotel is a beautiful combination of Italian and Austrian inspiration; the mix that makes South Tyrolean cuisine so special, in my opinion.

Kit preparation follows: today's line-up comes from Mavic, with their special edition Izoard kit. It seems appropriate, given a spectacular day on the mountain the day before, watching La Course and the Tour de France.

Today's route card shows my planned ride over Furcia, Cortina and Valparolo.

A misty dawn on the Dolomites


Breakfast reading at Ustaria Posta


Kit layout ahead of Day 0 at the #5MaratonasChallenge - Kit: Mavic Izoard ltd edition


The route for my warm-up ride in the mountains



Furcia First

The first climb of the day is the Furcia pass. A twisty road up through chalets and pastures; it is a great way to ignite the legs.

From the top of the climb it is a technical descent, followed by a fun spin up the gravel cycle path through the valley below.

Furcia Pass is the first pass of the tour


Road bikes off-road. A fun spin up the gravel cycle path


Love this kit from Mavic



Into the peaks

Taking a right hander, I then turn back towards the mountain peaks, and follow the signs to Cortina.

Heading back towards the Dolomite peaks


Hydration in the heat



Coffee in Cortina

Refuel required, I stop for a café espresso in the sun in Cortina.

Coffee stop in Cortina


This Neil Pryde Bura SL excels in the mountains


Serious café sock game



The final climb... almost

The final climb on my route card is the Valparola. A beautiful long road from Cortina, it takes you right into the heart of the Dolomite mountains.

From here, I had intended to descend back to my base in Badia...

I had forgotten how incredible these climbs are. The Valparola is a beauty


Some backdrop



One last hill

...but instead, I head down to Arabba, and then up and over the Passo Campolongo.

I couldn't resist. The riding here in the Dolomites is just so good.

The next week of iconic rides is going to be a beautiful challenge.

I am glad I kept the 34T chainring on this bike for this week


The Passo Campolongo was my actual final climb of the day


Back to base in Badia



Ride stats




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