Big mountains and Barolo Wine - Piedmont is perfect Thomson terrain!
The trip starts in the eastern part of the region which is characterized by rolling hills and famous wine! We’ll ride through the incredibly beautiful Langhe region, home to Barolo, one of Italy’s top wines. We’ll stay at the Hotel Albergo dell’Agenzia, former residence of King Carlo Alberto of Savoy, and enjoy a wine tasting at the famous Wine Bank within the hotel walls.
The serious climbing starts with the Colle della Fauniera, a dramatic climb that has it’s place in the Top 5 most spectacular climbs in Europe. The Queen stage comes on Day 6 when we take a brief excursion into French territory over the 50km Colle dell’Agnello, topping out at 2744m on the French border, followed by Tour de France classic, the Col d’Izoard, then back into Italy via the Col de L’Echelle. The final day features one of Europe’s toughest climbs, the Colle delle Finestre, where Alberto Contador cracked in the 2015 Giro d’Italia. Bring your best climbing legs for this trip!
Welcome to beautiful Piedmont!
Our trip starts at Turin Caselle airport where our staff will be there to welcome you before the transfer to our hotel in Pollenzo.
After lunch, an orientation meeting, and bike build-up, we’ll head out on an afternoon warm-up ride through the Barolo vineyards.
Barolo and the Langhe vineyards
Today’s stage may not scale any major heights but it’s a real leg-breaker. A beautiful ride through typical rolling Piedmont scenery and the vineyards of Barolo and the Langhe with a succession of local short and steep climbs such as the Salita Marco Pantani, Salita Gino Bartali and the Salita Louison Bobet.
Ride to Cuneo
We move closer to the Italian Alps today, as we leave the beautiful hotel in Pollenzo and make our way across to Cuneo where we will stay for one night.
The ride today is easier on the legs after yesterday. Enjoy this “rest” day as the serious climbing starts tomorrow - and continues through the rest of the week.
Colle della Fauniera
The big event of the day is definitely the Colle della Fauniera, or to use it’s other name - the Colle dei Morti. At 2481m, this is a tough climb of 24km through daunting scenery.
In typical Thomson fashion though, you can’t forget the Madonna del Colette at the beginning of the ride with its almost impossible ramps at the bottom of the climb. And of course the La Piatta at the end, which will wring any last strength from your legs.
Up and down the Sampeyre
At almost 100km, today’s stage focuses on the 17km Colle di Sampeyre. With an average gradient of 7.4% tired legs can get caught out just over half way up when you come out of the tree line.
Stunning views greet you and accompany you up the mountain before you drop down the other side and speed back to the beautiful hotel Castello Rosso.
Our queen stage with over 4000m of elevation gain over 150km. The ride starts with one of the longest and most beautiful climbs in Europe - the 50km Colle dell’Agnello. At the summit of the Agnello we ride over the border into France where Tour de France favourite, the Col d’Izoard awaits. From the Izoard, enjoy the long descent into Briancon where we start the final climb of the day, the Col de L’Echelle, which leads as back over the border into Italy.
The climb of champions
The Colle de Finestre has to be one of the most infamous climbs in Italy, with its gravel road and gruelling 9.4% average gradient. Many a Giro champion has undone his rivals on this stretch of road.
A real challenge for the last day of the trip, followed with a climb up to Sestriere and a 25km descent back down the valley to the hotel.
Unfortunately our trip must come to an end. We’ll drop you off at Turin airport. Safe travels!