We recommend a bike with front suspension, 29-inch wheels and flexible gear ratios (e.g. 28 – 42).
Mountain biking also has its heroes, protagonists who have been competing over the years to win the Sellaronda Hero: a gruelling event which takes place on a Saturday in June and attracts more than 4000 entrants from all parts of the world.
The race is unique amongst international MTB competitions in that it involves two alternative routes, of 62 and 84 km.
This event also requires a good level of basic training.
Gardena Pass, Campolongo and Arabba
We will opt for the 62-km route, because the other involves such an arduous climb that even great champions have had to confront it on foot (the ascent to Ornella).
Selva Gardena is a delightful village with its characteristic spires and squat houses with sloping roofs, nestling amongst woods and meadows. From here, we set off to tackle the first hard climb, the ascent to the Gardena Pass (Dantercepis), from where we descend via a track which borders a ski run in winter.
The last part is an almost flat section to Corvara. However, the relief is short-lived, because we are soon climbing again towards the Pralongià Plateau where, in a short stretch between pastures, we have to get off and push our bikes up the very steep incline.
We are now on the plateau at a height of 2157 metres. From here, we descend towards the Campolongo Pass and then Arabba, in the shadow of Mount Marmolada.
We then climb up again to the Pordoi Pass, that famous ascent which leads us on to the final challenge of this wonderful day amongst the meadows and streams: the legendary Sella Pass. Here the climb really makes itself felt, robbing us of our remaining energy. But then there is the enormous sense of satisfaction as we undertake the final descent to Selva Gardena.
We have completed a circuit of truly incredible wonders, touching the roof of the world as we passed, in a constant stream of bird’s-eye views which often took our breath away.
Yes, we are exhausted, but also extremely satisfied.
We have lived the dream of the Dolomites; we are the true Mountain Bikers!
Itinerary: Sesto, San Candido, Dobbiaco, Malga S. Silvestro, Marchkinkele, Prato a Drava, Sillian, Sillianerhutte, Silvella Pass, Casamazzagno, Padola, Kreuzberg Pass, Prati Croda Rossa, Moos, Sesto
Km: 120 km
Elevation gap: 4,000 m
As legend has it, there once was a MTB champ so concentrated on shredding the track that he didn’t even realize he was pedalling through one of prettiest landscapes in the world, the Valley of Sesto. To punish his shallowness, the mountain created a rockfall, sparing the biker but burying his bike under a pile of rocks. Having learned the lesson, the man carved a series of statues – the stonemen – which he then placed along the way…READ ALL
Truth or fiction, the iconic Stoneman Trail remains the most scenic route in the entire Dolomiti di Sesto region, and a dream for every fan of the discipline. Its “goal” is to collect a stamp from each of the 5 checkpoints set up at various malghe and huts. The route starts and ends in Sesto, and features many a challenge over the course of its 120 km, such as the famous “Demut” singletrack at an altitude of 2,400 m.
The 5 checkpoints:
- Cornetto del confine, 2,545 m elevation;
- Malga Sillianer, 2,447 m elevation;
- Silvella Pass, 2,329 m elevation;
- Valgrande, 1,362 m elevation;
- Croda Rossa upper cable car station, 1,900 m elevation
Nemes Hut and Croce Pass
Itinerary: San Candido – Sesto – Monte di Mezzo Fortress – Alpe di Nemes – Alpe di Coltrondo – Croce Pass – Sesto – San Candido
Elevation gap: 900 m
This route is not to be underestimated, and is only recommended for skilled, well-trained bikers. You’ll start off in Sesto heading towards the parish church, then continue uphill following signs for the Panorama/Monte di Mezzo hotel. Once you’ve passed the Monte di Mezzo fortress you’ll continue towards the Nemes Hut. A sequence of ups and downs through the shady forest leads to a lookout point with unbeatable views of the Dolomites’ peaks.READ ALL
Follow trail n. 136 up to the Alpe di Nemes at 1,950 m of altitude. Snap a few mandatory pics of the stunning surroundings, and continue towards the Malga Coltrondo Hut across a non-rideable stretch which will force you to proceed on foot. Once you reach the hut (1,879 m), you’ll start descending along the border with Veneto until you reach the Croce Pass. From there, one last fun stretch has you back in Sesto.
Monte Spina Tour
Itinerary: Sesto, Malga Nemes Hut, Silvella Pass, Monte Spina, Dosoledo, Padola, Val Grande, Monte Croce Pass, Prati di Croda Rossa, Sesto
Elevation gap: 1,792 m
An average difficulty ring itinerary that starts off in Sesto towards the Malga Nemes hut. Just before the hut, a left turn leads down the valley and, after a series of zigzags, to the Silvella Pass. At the feet of Mount Quatermà, you’ll head south 7 km on Monte Spina trail n. 148. Following a descent from Casamazzagno to Dosoledo – Padola – Val Grande, you’ll ascend to the Monte Croce Pass via forest road n. 155, then take trail n. 18 for the final 300 metres of elevation gain, up to the Prati di Crosa Rossa. From there, a quick descent will take you back to the start/finish point in Sesto.
Sellaronda Tour, clockwise or counter clockwise
Clockwise route: Selva Gardena, Dantercepies, Corvara, Campolongo Pass, Arabba, Porta Vescovo, Pont de Vauz, Pordoi Pass, Canazei, Sella Pass, Selva Valdargena
Distance: 58 km
Difference in altitude: 330 m
Difficulty level: **
Counterclockwise route: Selva Gardena, Sella Pass, Canazei, Pordoi Pass, Arabba, Campolongo Pass, Pont de Vauz, Corvara, Gardena Pass, Selva Gardena
Distance: 56 km
Difference in altitude: 1,020 m
Difficulty level: *****
The route around the Sella Massif can be cycled both clockwise and counter clockwise in a day. The clockwise route is more forgiving, while the counter clockwise itinerary is best left to the experts, a route that is no longer an invincible target thanks to the ski lifts. The valley descents take cyclists mostly on single trails and partially follow the road.
Santa Croce – Valgardena
Route: Selva Gardena, Corvara in Badia, Santa Croce, Corvara in Badia, Selva Gardena
Distance: 55 km
Difference in altitude: 2,244 m
Difficulty level: ***
The route is moderately difficult, winding through one of the largest protected areas in South Tyrol, the Fanes-Senes-Braises natural park, with its picturesque mountains and alpine meadows. The help of ski lifts will once again be indispensable. Once you reach Corvara, it is time for the climb up to Santa Croce, passing through the mountain pastures of the Armentara. Once at the top, a long descent to Corvara awaits, to then make your way back to Selva Gardena.
The Pala group
Route: Falcade, Valles Pass, Val Veneggia, Baita Segantini, S. Martino, Agordo (return with Bike Shuttle)
Distance: 60 km
Difference in altitude: 1,000 m
Difficulty level: ***
One of the most beautiful tours in the Dolomites, thanks to its technical single trails and characteristic mule tracks that date back to the First World War. You will reach an altitude of 3,000 m above sea level at the Rosetta plateau located on the Pala Group (Pale di San Martino), the largest group in the Dolomites.
Fassa Bike Resorts
From Canazei, situated at an altitude of 2,000 m above sea level, some of the most adrenaline filled downhill trails unravel, along which riders can test their skills between drifts, jumps, stretches on wooden platforms, banked turns and steep slopes. All you need to do is make a stop at the Fassa Bike Resorts Belvedere, suitable for 4x, Downhill, Freeride and Northshore enthusiasts, with more than 15 walkways for over 300 metres of bridges, jumps and supports.
For pros, it can be the victory that makes a good season. For the best amateurs, it may be that prestigious result displayed with great pride on their shelf of victories. For those who simply love riding, it can be that title that transforms you into a true hero, and no one will ever be able to take it away from you. Six passes for a total of 4,500 metres of elevation gain and a distance of 85 kilometres all in one go (the women’s race offers a shorter if not less challenging 60 km route with a 3,400 elevation gain): irrefutable cycling massacres. It is no coincidence that it has been dubbed as “the most difficult marathon in the world”.
Itinerary: Borgo Valsugana, Carzano, S. Antonio, Parise, Castellalto, Telve di Sopra, Borgo Valsugana
Elevation gain: 1,181 m
Conceived as a race and then becoming a permanent circuit, Three T Bike, as the name suggests, is the route that traverses the municipalities of Telve, Telve di Sopra and Torcegno in a succession of leg-breaking climbs and descents, through old manor estates, ancient hamlets, woods and century-old chestnut trees. The itinerary is marked with the red and white arrows of Dolomiti Lagorai Bike and finds consensus even among the most demanding of bikers.
Valle del Fersina Tour
Itinerary: Lake Levico, Pergine, Zivignago, Valle dei Mocheni, Passo di Redebus, Malga Stramaiolo, Altopiano di Pinè, Fornace, Civezzano, Levico
Also known as Valle dei Mocheni, Valle del Fersina is a valley that has maintained a strong and solid identity thanks to the cultivation of small fruits: strawberries, cherries, blueberries and blackberries. This extraordinarily panoramic itinerary is a circular tour that leads from Levico to Malga Stramiolo (1,677 m), below the slopes of Ruj Joch mountain and across numerous off-road tracts immersed in the verdant valley.
Ancient Traditions Tour
Itinerary: Caldonazzo, Centa San Nicolò, Torrente Centa, Centa, Pian dei Pradi, Vattaro, Torre dei Sicconi, Caldonazzo
Elevation gain: 1,163 m
The itinerary is characterised by amazing historical-cultural nooks, rather than by its level of difficulty, alternating between asphalt and dirt roads along several gentle climbs and pleasant descents. Start and end in the town of Caldonazzo. It’s worth stopping at the so-called Torre dei Sicconi, which from the top of Rive mountain controlled the main access roads.
Monte Civeron Tour
Itinerary: Borgo Valsugana, Val Coalba, Monte Civeron, Olle, Borgo Valsugana
Elevation gain: 687
An easy, short, circular itinerary leading from Borgo Valsugana to Monte Civerno, situated at the foot of Ortigara, the site of fierce fighting during the Great War and a strategic bulwark to cross for the Italian command. There are no technical difficulties; after a first stretch of bike path, the road climbs up Val Coalba to Monte, then the return trip is via a dirt road passing through the hamlet of Olle.
Brenta Dolomites Bike Expert Tour
Itinerary: Rifugio Graffer, Madonna di Campiglio, Malga Movlina, Passo Daone, Molveno, Andalo, Sporminore, Rifugio Peller, Malga S. Brigida, Malga Mondifrà
Elevation gain: 7,700 m
Challenging dirt roads, peaks, humps, slaloming between pastures, plummeting descents; this is the right itinerary for demanding mountain bikers who love to climb and conquer the Dolomite mountain passes. It takes training, determination and mental strength, but once the most challenging peak has been reached, all that exertion slips away in the blink of an eye, as the majesty of the landscape erases the fatigue and aching muscle.
Brenta Dolomites Bike Country Tour
Itinerary: Madonna di Campiglio, Pinzolo, Ragoli, Molveno, Sporminore, Cles, Dimaro, Campo Carlo Magno
Elevation gain: 4,600
The itinerary unwinds for the most part along the valley floor around the Dolomite Brenta group, and satisfies the desire to both experience the mountain and to reach its gorgeous horizons, coming into contact with the Trentino agricultural spirit, farms, apple groves and vineyards, pastures and dense woodlands. What’s more, the route runs parallel to the one reserved for experts; avoiding the steepest climbs, it is suitable for almost everyone.
Brenta Bike Park
Reachable via the Pinzolo town cable car, Brenta Bike Park is located at 2,100 metres, on the Doss Del Sabion mountaintop. The track offers a number of exciting opportunities: tracts over wooden walkways, wallrides and jumps, until you end up deep in the woods in order to reach the finish in Pra Rodont at 1,500 m. From here you can take the chairlift to the next round: a DH super flow on mixed terrain.