This is the Granfondo that celebrates Eddy or as some contemporary racers called “The Cannibal”.
The start of the Alé la Merckx is at the piazza Bra with the very impressive Roman amphitheatre Verona Arena as a backdrop. The route takes you out of the city along the river Adige leaving behind the Palazzos of the city giving way to magnificent villas as you ride into to the winery region of Valpolicella. As you make fast progress on the flats you soon cycle pass through the Veneto region home to a selection of the most prestigious wines of Italy: Valpolicella, Valpolicella Superiore, Amarone and Recioto before reaching the first climb of the day just before the village of Gargagnego.
The first climb of San Giorgio Ingannapoltron is a Category 2 climb of 6.3km with an average gradient of 5% and will test some of the riders before the two big climbs of the day.
At Km 35 the KoM Eddy Merckx starts with a timed climb of 9.5 km with an average gradient of 6% and with ramps of 12 and 15%. Don’t be fooled by the false flat section before the climb and save your energy to pay your respects to the Cannibal by pushing it up to the top. A narrow and long descend through a beautiful forested valley will take you to the diversion for the mediofondo course. Those riding the mediofondo will have to follow the road straight ahead at the bottom of the descend and soon will be passing through the villages of Bellori, Lugo, Stallavena, Marzana and Quinto, on your way down to Verona.
Those riding the long course, will turn left at the bottom of the valley and start riding the non categorised climb Bellori-Erbezzo-Podocchio of 20.6km with an average gradient of 5%. If the climb itself doesn’t take your breath away, the breathtaking beauty of the region will as it marks the start of the Italian Alps.
The last climb of Bivio–Fosse of 1.2 km comes at just under the 100km mark and has an average gradient of 7%. The descend is a bit narrow and technical but your efforts will be rewarded with stunning views. After reaching Fosse for a second time you will re join the route going down the forested valley and from here on the rest of the course is pretty much downhill to Verona.
The Granfondo course is 139km with an elevation of 2,500m of climbing and the mediofondo is 85km with 1,250m of climbing.
A day before the Granfondo you get the opportunity to ride with Italian sprint legend Mario Cippollini. The ride takes you on a short loop out of Verona and includes the short climb with panoramic views of the city. The ride is usually lead by the Great Eddy Merckx but on this occasion he was not able to join but Super Mario was there to keep the peloton moving at a steady pace.
Our hotel is located in Peschiera del Garda at about 30 minutes drive from Verona. We can provide you with Pinarello bikes for hire, just let us know in advance to make sure your bike is ready to roll.
June 2nd to 6th, 2022
Check Cyclist Magazine take on the Granfondo Ale la Merckx.
June 2nd to 6th, 2022