Tour de Friends in the Dolomites

Tour de Friends

The small, charming town of Feltre in the Veneto region of Italy may seem unassuming at first glance, but it is the perfect starting point for an extraordinary adventure: the Tour de Friends. Over 4 stages and alongside 350 others the participants will ride through the Dolomites. Here's an experiential report.

Tour de friends 7: Starting in Feltre

The starting point for the Tour de Friends is Feltre, Italy. Located on the edge of the Dolomites, all participants gather here for the Riders Briefing on the day of arrival. After a night in the first hotel, we set off at 8:30 am. This year, the challenge was to conquer a total of nearly 500 km and 11,000 meters of elevation gain across 4 stages. Due to the substantial elevation, there was also a rest day in the middle for the first time. We started alongside 350 other participants.

4 Stages with Luggage Transport

The event includes a luggage service. Each morning, you load your own luggage onto your bike and drop it off at the starting line, only to retrieve it at the final destination of the day. Therefore, it's advisable not to pack too much, as it's possible that the hotel at the destination could be as far as 3 km from the finish line. During the stages, you're free to fully enjoy the ride. The event is not a race, although there are occasional climbs that are explicitly marked. However, since there are no timing devices, it's difficult to determine who actually claims these KOMs (King of the Mountain) and QOMs (Queen of the Mountain). Information on this was hard to come by.

Race Day: Passo Rolle

Since information on who won at the top of the mountain was hard to attain, we preferred to focus on the breathtaking views in the Dolomites. There are always two refreshment points on each stage where you can replenish your supplies and enjoy local specialties. Volunteers from the villages prepare a variety of snacks and drinks, if you're lucky sometimes even with musical accompaniment. On the rest day after completing two stages, a real race took place among the participants at 8 am. It was a mass start heading up the Passo Rolle. However, for those in need of more sleep, there was also the option for late risers, with a recording of the entire race available on YouTube. We opted for this option and enjoyed a leisurely hotel breakfast.

Being Quick Pays Off

In total, the Tour de Friends is perfect for those who want to experience the Dolomites up close without having to worry about anything. With 350-400 participants, it's still relatively manageable. The route varies each year, introducing new climbs into the mix. Being quick to sign up is worthwhile, as the event tends to fill up very early.

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