Nove Colli

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - FEATURE -

The nine chal­leng­ing climbs, which to­tal 3,840 m over a 205-km par­cours, have been part of an an­nual Nove Colli race since 1971. It’s based from Ce­se­n­atico, Italy, where famed cy­clist Marco Pan­tani lived. He used these hills as his train­ing centre, which ul­ti­mately led to his Grand Tour gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion wins at both the Giro d’italia and Tour de France in 1998.

Since his death in 2004, the race has gained pop­u­lar­ity. It now sells all 12,000 race num­bers in just five min­utes each year. If you miss out on the fondo, its route still makes for a great ride from April through Oc­to­ber.

“The scenery is stun­ning,” says Mon­ica Price, di­rec­tor of both Ex­pe­ri­en­ce­plus! Bi­cy­cle Tours and Cy­cle Europe. “Gen­tle hills lead into the Apen­nine Moun­tains through mixed forests, ploughed fields and fruit or­chards. The towns are amaz­ing, too, with so much his­tory along the route. But it’s the food – lasagne, tagli­atelle, and dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of filled pasta – that at­tracts most to visit this re­gion.”

The Nove Colli route was de­signed to squeeze in as many climbs as pos­si­ble into a sin­gle ride, but Price says there are plenty of other op­tions for vis­it­ing cy­clists look­ing for more va­ri­ety dur­ing their hol­i­days.

“The Apen­nine range is not very wide,” Price says, “so there is great cy­cling across var­i­ous passes with the Emilia-ro­magna re­gion on one side and Tus­cany or Lig­uria on the other.”

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