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Starting and finishing around Milan, this three-day cycling challenge has it all. Riding the south bank of the glacial Lake Lugano, we'll dip briefly into Switzerland to enjoy a unique mix of Swiss sophistication and Italian passion.
On day three, you have the option of tackling the famous Madonna climb - a highlight of the famous Giro di Lombardia Italian cycling event.
This challenge is designed for a mixed-ability group where both amateurs and elites will feel huge achievement.
Day 1: Travel, check in and free time
Day 2 – Novara to Stresa approximate cycling distance 125km (80 miles)
From hotel to countryside, we warm up our legs on a long stretch of flat country roads which wind north towards the famous Italian Lakes. A long, sweeping downhill takes us to Lago Orta - the first of our Italian Lakes! With plenty of opportunity throughout the ride to savour the views, we then climb through mountain gorges to Lago di Mergozza - our second lake. You have the option to keep your afternoon's route shorter if you wish - along the shore of Lago Maggiore. For greater challenge, some riders will tackle a short, sharp uphill and technical downhills. A leisurely warm down along the lakeshore to finish the day.
Day 3 – Stresa to Como approximate cycling distance 114km (71 miles)
Following the shore of Lago Maggiore, we'll enjoy coffee in Arona's cobbled square before heading north to Angera. Dip your toes in the water and take a break with the backdrop of Angera's impressive hilltop monastery. From now on it gets a little hillier as we approach Switzerland, passing Lago di Monate and Lago Varese on our way to Lago di Lugano. After lunch we continue along the lake-shore back into Italy, enjoying some incredible switchbacks. On to the renowned Lago Como and Como city itself where you will have a well-deserved hotel break.
Day 4 – Como to Milan approximate cycling distance 112km (70 miles)
From Como we'll climb above the eastern edge of the Lake - giving you the most fantastic views over the water. Gliding the smooth tarmac, we wind and dip along the lakeside through quaint hillside villages. On arrival at Bellagio you'll enjoy drinks on the water's edge and have opportunity to see the town. Again, you have the option to decide your route depending on how your legs feel.
You have the option to tackle the MADONNA CLIMB! The Madonna del Ghisallo is a cyclists' pilgrimage and named after the patron saint of cycling. It climbs 500m at an average gradient of 9% up to a chapel and museum with a café at the top. If you take on this optional challenge you are rewarded with an incredible ten-mile descent!
Next up is a long flat spin out between Lake Como and Lake Endine before reaching Lake Iseo for our final night.
Day 5 – Travel
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The Italian Job on
4 September 2019 for
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