Organizer Andrea Nicosia shares his experience on the Granfondo course

The Tre Valli Varesine Granfondo who took place for the second time last October is the base for the 2018 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships courses with a Granfondo course covering 130km and a shorter Mediofondo of 103km with a shortcut halfway.

The Granfondo has a total of 5 marked climbs with the first one starting after only 12km.

Andrea : “The first climb is called Passo dell’Alpe Tedesco (Pass of the German Alps) and will certainly spread the peloton in different groups with maximum 10 to 20 riders per age group who will make the break and battle for the World Title once on top. It’s a 4.5km climb with an average of 7.3%, rather narrow with a lot of hairpin turns. It’s a difficult climb as the pace will be high so I expect firework right away from the bottom.

After this climb, riders head towards the Lago di Lugano where the second climbs starts after 33km. The climb to Aldena is steep in the beginning but has a small 300-400m descent after 3km. The rest is undulating over a total distance of 5.3km. The average gradient is not so high but also this climb is hard.

After the second climb, the mediofondo makes the shortcut and will only do the fifth climb before the finish. The third climb towards Montegrino on the Granfondo course is not too bad. Some riders wouldn’t call it a climb as it’s only 2.5km long with an average of 4.5% before heading towards the Lago Maggiore.

The fourth climb towards Il Villaggio Ollandese (the Dutch village) is for me the hardest climb of the day. It’s very narrow and always between 10-14% with a lot of hairpin turns. It’s a short climb but tough after 70km. This could be a decisive climb. The fifth climb towards Brinzio is the easiest one of the marked climbs as it’s never steeper than 7%.

What follows is a long 30km stretch on flat roads along the lake before the final 3km who again go uphill towards the finish line. If you turn left from the Lago di Varese, the first 200m are still flat but then there’s a 500m steep part which continues going uphill until 500m before the finish. Riders often finish in smaller groups and I have never seen a sprint of more than 20 riders on the Via Luigi Sacco. The last 3km are not as steep as the climbs before but will count after 103 or 130km.”

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