Tour of the Dolomites and Prosecco Road: Part 2 – How to best approach the challenge

A dirt road with theDolomites in the background

The Dolomites and Prosecco Road regions of Italy are challenging to ride, yet so incredibly spectacular that we recommend them to be on every cyclist’s bike bucket list.

We believe that by preparing well, approaching the tour with a ‘sensible’ mindset of listening to your body, and riding these regions with a company or guide that provides all the support you need, as well as the right fit riding culture for you, then conquering these mountains becomes an achievable goal for most.

We’ve put together our main tips on how best to approach riding the Dolomites tour.

The road going to the top of Monte Grappa

1. Descending

You need to feel comfortable descending. If there are 33 hairpins to tackle going up, there is going to be a similar amount on the other side and it can get quite technical. It’s a good idea if you’re not completely comfortable with descending to get some tips from a expert; not just a mate in your group who has no fear and descends like a demon, but a qualified cycling coach.

A rider cycling to the top of passo Giau

2. Training

Training to ride mountains in Italy requires more than going for a weekly long ride, with lots of elevation. It’s about having stints of consecutive days of riding in your legs to enable your legs to become accustomed to the feeling of fatigue and recovery. On tour, none of the days on their own are gruesome, but after 5 consecutive days of climbing, there will be a build up of fatigue and if you’re body is used to this, it makes it a lot easier to ride through the remaining days on tour.

A glass of red and white wine and a salumi board

3. Eating

When on tour, don’t hold back on eating. In our view, you need to eat as much as you can to recover from each day’s ride and to fuel up for the next day’s ride. Often we find guests are not used to eating much for breakfast, and before a ride, so they don’t eat much on tour, and end up cooked by day 2. Eating is essential when you’re burning the energy we do, so definitely don’t skimp on meals or plan to lose weight (yes, it happens!). It’s about eating a balanced diet and lots of it, and that’s why offering a diverse and nutritious menu is a big part of what we provide on tour.

A mountain stream in the Dolomites

4. Choosing to have a rest day

While there is a ride scheduled every day, this is your cycling holiday and you have the option to have rest days if you choose to. We find that some people feel they need a complete rest day to ride their best, while others choose to ride through every day. There’s lighter and longer ride options on most days and always the option to jump in the van to skip the first climb – that’s what the van is there for, support. Most importantly, there is no right or wrong, it’s about choosing the ride options and support we offer to work with how you are feeling.

a hairpin bend on the cycling climb of Passo Giau

5. Riding at your own pace

One thing we always say to guests is to ride at your own pace, listen to your body and find that spot where you’re riding comfortably, without going into the red zone. When you find this, you can ride all day. You’ll find on our cycling tours that there are days when everyone climbs at their own pace, regroups at the top after a few photos and descends, and then everyone climbs the next pass again at their own speed. Then there are days when there can be a few who are feeling great and are off the front, and they are ok to find their way because they have been equipped with GPS’s that we have preloaded with the day’s ride route.

In summary, there is no rule set in stone as to how an A’QTO tour or ride will unfold, as every group is different and every day is different.

Depending on what the day’s ride entails can dictate what happens on the road. Whichever way it unfolds, if you approach it with the above tips in mind, you’ll experience an amazing Italian cycling holiday in the Dolomites and be able to tick that one off the bucket list.

To read our Part 1 about ‘breaking down the numbers’, click here, or if you’re interested in which are ‘our favourite climbs in the Dolomites’, you can read more here.  To find out more about our Tour of the Dolomites and Prosecco Road, visit our Tour Page here.

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