While no two FinKraft Italy Camps are alike, the general outline of each follows a similar formula. Last year it was the 100th Anniversary of the Giro d’Italia which was a fantastic experience all around – perfect weather and and amazing route and group of guys. This year it will be the 10th Anniversary for our FinKraft Giro/Italy Camps.
Each year our travels take us to the northern regions of Italy—close to the Dolimites—where we will be riding on legendary routes that the Giro d’Italia and other classic road races such as the Giro di Lombardy have traversed. Given that the camp takes place in May—the same time as the Giro d’Italia—we make it a goal each year to watch and ride at least one stage of that year’s route. In years past, this has included iconic climbs such as the Stelvio,Passo di Gavia and Mortirolo. Additional events in years past have included trips to the DeRosa and Bianchi bike factories.
To enjoy and be able to complete this camp, I would recommend all riders to be a Cat 3-4 level at a minimum, with a good fitness base and bike handling skills , it is not required to be a racer though . Recommended gearing would be a compact crank-set or at least a 27-28 cassette. Total riding time will be at least 32 -35 hours with some extremely challenging climbs and narrow roads. Please do not let these facts scare you though. It is not a race and you will have the ride of your life and a trip that you will never forget.
Those who have been to our FinKraft Cycling Camps before know that there are few places that rival the uniqueness of Italy. With beautiful scenery, magnificent roads, incredible food, and a well-established bicycle culture Italy is an ideal location to host a cycling camp. Here at FinKraft we hope you can join us for this unique experience that we promise you will never forget. Our annual Finkraft Italy Cycling Camp is always dedicate to my dear friend Paolo Zenoni.
-Spouses and non-riders are welcome, but unfortunately there will not be any organized program for non-riders. Room and board will be included for an additional cost of $1,000.00 per non-rider.
-Price will include transportation to and from the Milan airport, hotel with breakfast, dinner and complementary snacks, sports drinks for our rides and many other daily logistics. All you have to worry about is eat, sleep and ride – enjoy the experience .
-Also included is a special Italy FinKraft cycling kit. High end rental bikes are usually available for this camp at about 125 euro for the 9 days we are there. You would need to provide sizing and measurements prior to departure, but this option makes travel a lot easier, but your are of course welcome to bring your own bike too if you like .
NOTE: Air fare , lunches on the road each day ( about 10 euro/day) , a few dinners while in the mountains and alcoholic beverages are NOT INCLUDED. We do not ride or spend any time in touristy areas , so very few places to buy souvenirs which means not a whole lot spending money needed
Friday: (May 18th): Depart from the USA.
Saturday: Arrive at the Malpensa ( NOTE : MXP ONLY) airport in Milan the next morning between 8.00-10.00 am. Bus transfer to the hotel, note only one pick up trip .The location of our base hotel Cascina Belvedi is right in the hearth of the perfect cycling mecca where many pros choose to live and train, we could stay here the whole week and it would be a beautiful different route to ride every day. When we get to the hotel we will have lunch and a short nap or just relax a little. At around 1.00-2.00 pm either pick up bikes from Salvi Bikestore or assemble our own if rentals are not available or not your choice followed by a short and easy ride in the valley short ride leaving 3.30-4.00 pm 20-25 miles, just to shake the legs out after travel
Dinner at Cascina Belvedi , I have been waiting for this for a whole year now -;) Go to bed at a normal time to get on Italy time schedule.
Sunday: On May 20th will be our first big ride .This route is for sure one of my most favorite rides/routes right out of the Hotel. This was Paolo’s training grounds as well and where he grew up and lived. This year we will start off with Valcava ( a beast of a climb. We do not always get to do this one, but this year you are lucky) and then head over to Passo Bura, where we will make our traditional stop at our friend Tulia’s coffee shop for some cake. Then via Talleggio valley ( where they make some very famous cheeses ) to San Giovanni Bianco, just North of the San Pellegrino the water company you all know . We are now in Brembo Valley. Little more climbing to Dossena and then via Serina along the ridge with a very beautiful view of the valley .
Monday: Weather depending of course, if all systems are go we will do our famous Madonna di Ghisallo ride which mounts to be about 100 miles.We will include of course Muro Sormano again ( also featured in the Il’ Lombardia race ) and a beautiful and scenic route around Lake Como to Bellagio. Plenty of photo opportunities here and lunch at the Madonna di Ghisallo by the cycling museum and church.
Tuesday: Today is still open , short local ride and possible Bike Factory visit , good to have some flexiblity in the schedule . No worries we will still get a good ride i today !
Wednesday: Our Giro Day , we will be watching Stage 17 near Lago di Iseo . Due to a rather strange route of this years Giro edition this will be the only day we will cross paths with the Giro d’Italia.It is always amazing see these guys ride by now in to their 3rd week of this race . Plenty of good spots to watch here and to set up our FinKraft Tifosi though. I will know the exact time schedule once we get closer to date. Today’s ride will only be about 60-70 miles and more about the Giro experience .
Thursday: Via some amazing back roads and hardly any traffic or cars for the whole day up Passo Manvia into Bagolino , around the Croce Domini pass to Breno . Some big climbs 1800+ meters still in the Lombardy Region .
Friday: Today we will be heading up towards the big mountains . We will have two options ; if Passo Gavia is open ( fingers crossed) we go over that one down to Bormio , otherwise to Aprica and down to Terrano . Either way will not be disappointing.
Saturday: Today we will ride into Switzerland , St.Moritz. Depending if we are in Bormio or from Terrano , either way it will be very scenic , but uphill most of the way. If from Terrano we will pass some very scenic glacier lakes on the way as well on the Swiss side climbing up the St. Benards Pass.
Sunday: Time to head back to Zogno and back into Italy where the Salvi Bikestore is located. Time to return the bikes if rentals and back to the hotel. Tonight is also time to pack and eat our last dinner in Italy, hopefully some more Casoncelli and Tiramisu.
Route and schedule has to be flexible due to weather and can be changed as we go , this years route will be as epic as any other year with some new climbs and roads to explore for our crew.
Monday (May 28th): Am bus transfer to the Malpensa ( MXP) Airport in Milan. Departure time from the hotel around 5.00-6.00 am, so schedule your return flights to depart 8.00 am or later if possible. If you have different travel plans you are responsible for your own transportation to the airport.