sicily

On the roads of Giro d'Italia in Sicily

If the Sicilian roads are perfect for Giro, they're for sure perfect for us cycling lovers who wish to enjoy great cycling in a typically Mediterranean setting. Our training camp offers more: the chance to immerse ourselves in the race atmosphere, the opportunity to watch the race from the sidelines, both a KOM and a stage finish.

GIRO D'ITALIA AND SICILY: AN OLD LOVE STORY. LET'S BIKE ON THE BEST OF GIRO ROADS.

 

Giro d'Italia is back in Sicily! The island has hosted - in 100+ years history - many great stages of Giro d'Italia, the most beautiful race on the World Tour and will show its best roads once more in 2020.  

Sicily's offered Giro a perfect location, featuring all the specifications that cycling enthusiasts hope for when it comes to stage racing in Italy – varied racing conditions, incredible settings among the ever-changing Italian landscape, but also riding through stunning historical towns and sites.

Varied landscapes and cycling conditions are what makes Giro special and so incredibly unpredictable from the very beginning and till its end.

But if the Sicilian roads are perfect for Giro, they're for sure perfect for us cycling lovers who wish to enjoy great cycling in a typically Mediterranean setting. Our training camp offers more: the chance to immerse ourselves in the race atmosphere, the opportunity to watch the race from the sidelines, both a KOM and a stage finish.

But we won't just watch: we'll definitely be part of one of the most popular events of the cycling season by visiting a Canyon sponsored World Tour team and breathing the race atmosphere from the inside! 

We’ve designed a training week based on a fixed location, and selected as base one of the most beautiful towns on the eastern Sicilian coast: Taormina. Because we’re riders but don’t dislike beautiful historical towns, great food traditions and neither the easy logistics provided by our bike center close at hand.

Our rides reproduce the same varied cycling conditions of the professional race, with unpredictably different riding days, featuring coastline, rolling hills inland, medium distance to super long climbs.

And, yes, we'll go up to the 1910m of Etna volcano (a 3000m tall mountain), where the paved road surrenders to black lava rock! During this week we will face the volcano many times: we will ride till the 1800m of Piano Provenzana to watch the end of the 5th Giro stage; we will ride the northern Etna’s side like Alberto Contador did in the 9th stage of Giro d'Italia won in 2011; ride up the southern side up to the 2000m of Rifugio Sapienza, as Esteban Chaves did (we’ll be maybe slower, who knows?) in his stage victory in 2018. But that's not all: we'll ride up to the 1125m of Portella Mandrazzi's pass to watch the race on the KOM of 6th stage and ride back to Taormina among the Etna's vineyards and along the famous Taormina coastline.

The focus of this trip is enjoy riding challenging stages that include the best roads selection from the Giro d'Italia race course along the years, making us bring back home only the best experiences Giro 2020 and Sicily can offer.

We're sure you'll love it!

540 km
7 days
10,350 m
Challenge
The Pro Tour Series
The Journey Begins Here

TOUR BASE AND TOPS

  • Along the Etna's vineyards

  • Towards Savoca, house of "The Godfather"

  • The volcano's climb

Things You Don't Want to Miss

Ride Highlights: At the volcano's court

Tour and Stopovers

TRIP DETAILS

  • MAY 08 2021

  • PRICE FROM €1399,00 // GUIDED TOUR

  • TAORMINA, SICILY, ITALY

  • 6 nights at 4-star. All breakfasts.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL DAY

Arrival at Catania airport, transfer (not included)to accommodation in Taormina at a four-star hotel.

DAY 2: THE GODFATHER LOOP
100km | 2,100m | 2,100m | 4,30h

It’s a mix of coastline and hills inland on this first cycling day in Sicily: our week begins with a demanding and beautiful stage with medium distance climbs, the longest being 12 km long. Deep into the Alcantara canyon, we climb up the Sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Aiuto at 1000m ASL, nearly the top of Mount Kalfa. From there, the stage explores - across narrow and quiet countryside roads - a very spectacular and lush area. Is there a place where we can stop to grab a cappuccino? Of course there is, and it’s the famous and lovely Bar Vitelli in Savoca, straight from Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’ movie. From there, a thrilling and winding descent will take us again to the coastline, on the way back to hotel.

DAY 3: NORTHERN ETNA
107km | 2,300m | 2,300m | 5,00h

After an early start, we ride up the 1800m ASL of Piano Provenzana, stage finish of Giro d'Italia 2020.

The main climb up there is 18 km long and alternates consistent sections around 5% and steeper stretches, with the last 3 km climb to Piano Provenzana being the hardest part of the ride: slopes are above 10%. We'll wait to see who'll cross victorious the line, and also wait for the bunch to finish the stage, then we will ride down to Fornazzo and then back to our hotel.

DAY 4:PORTELLA MANDRAZZI'S PASS
108km | 1,900m | 1,900m | 4,00h

Today we'll ride up to the 1125m ASL of Portella Mandrazzi’s pass, KOM of of 6th Giro stage 2020, through the Etna’s vineyards easy slopes. After Passopisciaro we'll start the 14 km of climb up to Portella Mandrazzi pass. Amazing landscapes all around, with the majestic volcano in the background. Giro d’Italia faced Portella Mandrazzi pass twice: in 1999 in the stage Catania-Messina, won by the Dutch sprint specialist Jeroen Blijlevens and in 2003 in the Messina - Catania, won by Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi. Reached the top, we will descend to Francavilla di Sicilia and then back in Taormina. And who knows, maybe will do a sprint finish too!

DAY 5: SOUTHERN ETNA
118km | 2,550m | 2,550m | 5,00h

We'll face the southern side of Etna through the villages spread across the Etna belt such as Pedara, Nicolosi and Ragalna. Between Nicolosi and Ragalna we'll take a stop in one of the awesome local pastry shops to refuel before the challenging second part of the stage, up to the Sapienza refuge, at 1910m above sea level. To get there, we’ll climb for 14km, with some very steep walls up to 20% at about 8 km from top.

THAT'S WHERE THE MITCHELTON-SCOTT RIDERS, ESTEBAN CHAVES AND SIMON YATES, BUILT UP THE VICTORY IN 2018 ETNA STAGE. AND WE WERE THERE WATCHING ON OUR FIRST GIRO CAMP IN SICILY!

The climb is demanding, but the unbelievable views are worth the effort. After a stop for a quick lunch at the Sapienza refuge, we’ll start our way back to the hotel descending from Zafferana Etnea. Up and down till Vena and then all the way down to Fiumefreddo di Sicilia.

DAY 6: ETNA’S VINEYARDS
107km | 1,500m | 1,500m | 3,30h

From Linguaglossa we’ll ride along the Quota Mille road, on the northern Etna slopes. From there we’ll head to Maletto, the tallest town in Etna circle at 1000 ASL, and then down to Randazzo, a small village built with black lava stone and consequently known as “black city”. All around many vineyards tell us about the noted wine production from this fertile area. And right through the vineyards we’ll reach the Alcantara valley, famous for the noted gorges, a basalt canyon created by watercourses and lava flow. A continuous up and down will bring us back to the hotel.

You'll find very interesting discover how our friend Corrado produces the local ricotta in his small farm!

Overnight at a four-star hotel.

DAY 7: FAREWELL AND DEPARTURE DAY.

Transfer to Catania airport (not included) and end of services.

Useful Information

Tips & Resources

Travel arrangements

Best airport to land is Catania (CTA): from there we arrange the group transfer. Other options are possible and we can help selecting the best one.

Food & Drinks during stages

During the rides we plan at least one longer food stops in the middle of the stage plus one or more coffee stops. In the assistence van we use to bring along bars, gels and water.

Necessary Gear

Our guests are getting a pre tour info kit that gives useful suggestions on all the the arrangements to enjoy our trips in full. Here a quick selection that might be useful at this stage.
  • We suggest renting a Canyon bike with us. But feel free to take your own bike. Just consider bringing along a selection of model specific spare parts. 

  • The hotels have in some occasion a bike room, bikes are anyway always stored in a safe way. We have a mobile workshop with tools and spare parts.

  • Bring along a wide selection of clothes, including some full arm jackets, rain coat, leg and arm warmers: there are a lot of mountains where the weather is never completely predictable.

Useful Information
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