09th June 2019, Granfondo Alè la Merckx : the most important Granfondo of our beautiful Verona, has been for years an unmissable appointment for us of Garda Bike Hotel.
This year we want to make it even more special: not only will you participate as a rider in the Granfondo, you ‘ll be a part of our Boutique Cycling Experience! It will be an unforgettable weekend, where you will have the opportunity of spending time with the fearless and unstoppable Belgian ‘cannibal’ Eddy Merckx, capable of defying and beating the impossible.
You will also ride together with Mario Cipollini: Super Mario is regarded as the best sprinter of his generation.
It won’t be just about cycling: it will be a true “Dolce Vita Experience”: we’ll take you to enjoy the local cuisine, taking you to wineries and also to a special Gala dinner where you will dine with Eddy Merckx and Super Mario!
The departure of this Granfondo once again takes place in one of the “pearls” of Verona, the magnificent Piazza Bra where, with the Arena and the palaces of the historical Verona families as a backdrop, the participants will begin their fantastic adventure of the Alé La Merckx Granfondo race.
From the regal stage of Piazza Bra, the Mediofondo (85km, 1,250m vertical) and Granfondo (139km, 2,500m vertical) routes will depart to awaken the cycling lovers of Verona, the homeland of Shakespeare’s inspiration.
The race will be an excellent stage of the Alé Challenge circuit, grouping all the most prestigious cycling sportives in northern Italy, unquestionably led by Alé La Merckx, an event dedicated to both the Ale brand, the leading company of technical cycling apparel and to the Belgian ‘cannibal’ Eddy Merckx.
At the finish line, the “Maestri del riso” (the Rice masters) will welcome (after a well-deserved shower!) the tired but satisfied riders to rejuvenate them with a risotto party which will be held in the prestigious of Palazzo della Gran Guardia situated in Piazza Bra
This is an opportunity open to just a handful of people…. and it is available to you through Garda Bike Hotel.
Make this experience the focal point of your next cycling holiday with us and enjoy the great services we have put together to support you at this event!
The minimum stay for this special offer is 4 nights.
The nearest airport to Enjoy Garda Hotel is "Verona - Valerio Catullo";
We can also arrange transfer service from and to the main airports of Northern Italy, such as Milano (Linate - Malpensa), Milano Bergamo, Venice, and Bologna. Let us know, and we’ll organize it. All you need to think about is having fun riding your bike!
• Accommodation in our hotel rooms or apartments
• our "Bici Love - ALL INCLUSIVE cycling package" including:
• Full board (breakfast, post ride buffet, dinner a la carte)
• Daily guided group rides (7 days per week), with van support on long rides
• Daily laundry service (bike clothing)
• Transfers from/to Verona with prior arrangement
• GARDA BIKE HOTEL full cycling kit by Alè
• VIP Entry to the Granfondo Alé la Merckx (limited places available)
• Gourmet dinner in a local winery (on Thursday, 06th June)
• Alè VIP event and dinner on Saturday 08th June with Eddy Merckx & Mario Cipollini
• Technical recovery service during the Granfondo
The following is a sample program that will give you all the highlights of the Lake Garda region and prepare you for the Granfondo. The ride program is subject to change depending on the weather, the mix of abilities and local conditions
Monday, 03rd June
Arrive and transfer to Garda Bike Hotel in Peschiera del Garda. Welcome drinks while our staff sets up your bike for your first ride.
Tuesday, 04th June
Our first ride will be along the Riviera degli Olivi. You will discover a corner of the Mediterranean in the south of the lake that is flat and embraced by the gentle slopes of the Riviera degli Olivi. This ride will cater to all abilities.
Wednesday, 05th June
This day will be dedicated to riding the Morenic Hills. We think of this area as the Little Tuscany, an area that tends to be flatter, but also marked with rolling hills and winding roads.
Thursday, 06th June
Epic ride – James Bond ride: this is Nicola’s favourite ride! Your will ride to the other side of the lake, to Tremosine. Defined by Winston Churchill as the eighth wonder of the world, we’ll ride the road of the Forra: it is a real jewel set in the mountains and background of a pursuit of the most famous agent in the world, James Bond.
In the evening we’ll take you to a special dinner in the winery
Friday, 07th June
We will ride the main climb of the Granfondo, from Fumane Valpolicella to Lessinia. We will take you to the plateau of Lessini, over 10,000 hectares (25,000 acres) containing a surprising variety of natural species as well as historical and archaeological sites of inestimable value.
Saturday, 08th June
This will be the highlight of our week! We will leave from the hotel either by van or by bike to the starting point of the race (VERONA) to participate in the VIP Ride with the Champions. After cycling with Eddy Merckx, his domestiques, friends and current champions, we will go for a lunch to enjoy the famous risotto tastasal. We will return by bike or van. In the evening, we’ll return to Verona for the Ale VIP event, and then dinner in Verona, with Eddy Merckx and Mario Cipollini in attendance. Those wanting to return to the hotel before dinner, for an early evening, can get a ride back with one of our vans.
Sunday, 09th June- This is the day of GRANFONDO.
After breakfast we will depart for VERONA where you will participate in one of the most beautiful Italian Granfondos, crowning an unforgettable week of passion and cycling. You will be entered into the race as a VIP! A pasta party will follow.
Monday, 10th June
Recovery day with an easy ride to Borghetto, our “Little Venice,” a nearby romantic village.
The trip ends, and you’ll check out and transfer to the airport.
The price of the package start from € 1340,00 per person, per 4 nights, in double room (single room on request)
Contact Us for a custom offer, for individual cyclists as well as for teams and clubs.
The following services are available at additional cost:
• Overnight saty in SINGLE room
• BIKE RENTAL: leave your bike at home and rent one of our high quality Pinarello bikes during your stay.
• Airport transfers (the transfer Verona-Garda Bike Hotel is already included in the package)
The following will not be included in the cost of the package:
Flights, Insurances, Personal expenses and purchases, Alcoholic drinks unless mentioned in the programme above
This was definitely the highlight of our stay at Garda. We would thoroughly recommend the package for cyclists wanting to experience the unbelievable exhilaration of a Granfondo with thousands of mad keen Italian cyclists of all ages charging off at the start with music, fanfare and cheering of supporters making this a memory that will last for a long time. The pre race dinner and winery tour with the group was the greatest night and an opportunity to get to know the others who were also riding. The beautiful streets of Verona are the perfect place to start and end the race but riding with the legends of cycling Eddie Merckx and Mario Cipollini through Verona the day before was surreal.
The race day preparation, and support from the hotel team during and after the race was excellent. The Ale race clothing was awesome.
The Eddy Merckx VIP ride and Gran Fondo was a great experience!
I enjoyed both events and would highly recommend it to other cyclists.
It was great riding with Eddy on Saturday and competing in the Gran Fondo on Sunday.
Starting in the front of the pack was another great benefit offered by Garda Bike Hotel.
It was an excellent course, very scenic with challenging climbs and technical descents.
With thousands of riders you were never alone and could always find other riders to join in a small pack.
The Garda Bike Hotel is a perfect location for cycling in this beautiful part of Italy. Whilst there I took part in the Granfondo Eddy Merckx. The staff at the hotel took care of everything, all I had to do was eat, drink, breathe and turn the pedals. Excellent hotel, wonderful staff and great riding. If you're looking to ride in an area you don't know and want to ride with likeminded people and have the support of a back-up vehicle and great staff who ride with you, I can't recommend this place highly enough.