Giro delle Dolomiti 2019–Stage 3

Today’s stage was quite long at 175 km / 3000 m. We started in Bolzano again and headed North. Later we turned right onto a road that headed up into the hills. It’s the same one that Leonie and I have ridden in the past and leads up towards Sellajoch.

Not much to report. The ascent was quite ok as they let bunches form and didn’t force everyone to ride at a snail’s pace. It was very hot again and the sky was blue. The views to the dolomites were nice.

There was, however, a problem. My bike shorts were not playing nice with my undercarriage. We rode over Sellajoch and descended to Canazei. From there we had a timed section to Passo Fedaia. I concentrated mostly on my backside rather than the ascent.

By the time we got to descending it was really painful. We stopped at 110 km for a late lunch (so is the race) and the last 65 km back to Bolzano were not very nice, i.e. horribly painful. I tried to ride standing up as much as possible. Luckily a lot of it was downhill so that made things easier.

I collapsed in a pile of ouch back at the campground. I’d post a picture of my butt but nobody needs to see that. It turns out it was some sort of nasties in my bike shorts rather than the abrasion. Ouch…

Stage 3 start (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

Riding to first ascent (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)On the ascent towards Sellajoch (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

Going up (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Nearing Sellajoch (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

At Sellajoch (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)View down to Canazei from Sellajoch (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

Leonie at Sellajoch (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Cris at Sellajoch (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Leonie descending (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)The lake at passo Fedaia (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Cris at passo Fedaia (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

Giro delle Dolomiti Stage 3

Giro delle Dolomiti 2019–Stage 2

Leonie and I headed to registration at 7 am. I had arrived in Bozen yesterday by train. Leonie had ridden the first stage but due to the trickiness of life, I was not there. Looking back from 2020, this was the last nice trip we did together.


The Giro delle Dolomiti is a strange event. This was the first year doing it – and probably the last. I’d looked at it before but had been put off by the fact that most of the “race” is a bunch ride and only small sections are timed. Still it’s quite a long tour. It’s six days and each stage has quite a lot of climbing in it. All-in-all it was a memorable experience.


The race started each day from a big hall. We lined up amongst the many many people at the start line. The stage took us up Wurzjoch. Leonie and I have done this a couple of times in the past but we never got right to the top due to snow as we’re usually in Bolzano in March for some early season cycling. There was no issue with snow today, it being mid summer. Instead the issue was more the extreme heat. There was a timed section near the top that was perhaps 20 minutes long. Leonie and I helped ourselves to the huge amount of race food at the end and then to the complimentary gelato ice cream from a little ice cream truck. There was a grassy field at the finish and a view back to dolomites behind.


The descent was slow and annoying as we were required to ride behind the race car that drove at a very slow neutralised pace. We stopped along the way to wait for the last riders and then crawled off again.


It was meltingly hot at our camp site on the outskirts of Bolzano. Actually I don’t remember which day was the hottest. It was like this for the whole week. The little camp shop was air conditioned and I headed in there to discover chilled fruit juice which I bought and which became the daily ritual.


Us at the start of stage 2 (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Riding (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Cris (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

1) We started each stage at a large hall in Bolzano.

2) There were many many riders entered. The pace was slow as we had to ride behind the race car neutralised until the timed sections.

3) Me cycling.

Cris and Leonie at the drinks stop (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Leonie riding up the hill (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Leonie finishing stage 2 (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

1) Halfway up the ascent the entire peloton stopped and we had food and drinks.

2) We continued climbing up the pass.

3) Leonie crosses the timing mat at the finish line.

Cyclists waiting for ice cream (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Us and ice cream (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

Bikes at the finish line (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Leonie at Wuerzjoch (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)Cris at the finish (Giro delle Dolomiti 2019)

1) A nice touch – a little ice cream truck was at the finish line with gelati ice cream.

2) There was plenty of food at the finish line including a little ice cream truck serving us all ice cream. We cycled back to the start in one group veeery slowly.

3) Where to put ones bike?

4) The stage ended at Würzjoch.

5) Posing at the pass sign.



Giro delle Dolomiti – Stage 2

C&C Italy 2019

I spent a few days canyoning and climbing in Italy with Craig, Alec, Verena, Rachel, Jeremie and Patrick.

It went a bit like this:

Day 1 (13/7/2019)

Verena drove down to Lindau and met me there. So as to make use of the day we did the short Känzele klettersteig near Bregenz. We then drove down to Italy to meet the others, arriving in the evening. Our accommodation was a funky Air BnB in a small village to the West of Lago Maggorie.  According to Craig, it had the world’s most comfortable bed. I was inclined to agree with this as I was on the other side of it. Craig, Alec, and Patrick had already done a canyon during the day as we were driving down and Rachel and Jeremie weren’t yet there.

Kaenzele klettersteig (Canyoning Italy 2019)Entrance to our Air BnB (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: Verena and I did the Känzele klettersteig in Bregenz before driving down to Italy. Above right: Our Air BnB was large and full of ornamental bits and pieces. There was also a lot of wood and stone. It was quite nice in an old kind of way.

Above: The canyon on the first day was a bit splashy. Unfortunately my GoPro editing software decided to put the video together in reverse.

Day 2

We went canyoning. The canyon turned out to be more technical than we were expecting. At one stage Alec and I were stuck in a pool trying to get out to the next anchor. We were reluctant to get too close to the flow leaving the pool as we couldn’t see how strong it was and instead were attempting some rock climbing moves to get up to the anchor. It took quite some time as the rock had few features and kept slipping back into the pool. We finally made it and the others came down to us.

Craig wasn’t feeling quite so good near the end of the canyon. I think my curry the night before didn’t agree with him. We decided to exit the canyon at an escape point and clambered out up the side. Craig set up a make shift handline that we extended down into the canyon. We laughed at how little time it took to get back to the top.

Setting off (Canyoning Italy 2019)On our way to the canyon (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: Here we are leaving the carpark to walk up the river to our first canyon. Above right: The path up the canyon went through a little stone village of picturesque houses.

The waterfall above (Canyoning Italy 2019)Heading down to the first abseil (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: We started below this waterfall and headed further down river. Above right: We headed down the rock to the first abseil.
Craig throws the rope down (Canyoning Italy 2019)Pattrick abseiling (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: Craig sets up for the first abseil. Above right: Patrick was sent down as a guinea pig.

Pattrick watches Craig abseiling (Canyoning Italy 2019)Technical slide (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: The first waterfall was a little tricky. The abseil started to the left of the flow but you had to move into the flow. The best way to handle the last few metres was to drop as fast as possible to avoid too much water. It wasn’t anything too over the top though. Above right: Alec gets ready for the technical slide down into the pull where Patrick is. There was an awkward jump across onto the slippery rock but we all did it without problems.

Dinner time (Canyoning Italy 2019)Gear explosion (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: Rachel and Jeremie arrived in the evening.  Above right: We dried our gear out on the balcony of our funky Air BnB. It was filled with old furniture. It was old too. Big rooms with plenty of stone.

Day 3

The weather was not so good and neither was Craig. The weather improved a little in the afternoon but unfortunately Craig didn’t. We drove to Ponte Brolla in Ticino and did some very easy multi-pitch climbing. It was so easy it was almost like walking but still it was nice. Jeremie and Rachel did a harder route together.

Team Cris and Verena doing a very easy multipitch (Canyoning Italy 2019)Alec and Pattrick finishing off their climb (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: We did a very very easy multipitch climb. A little too easy but nice to mix it up a bit. Rachel and Jeremie did a harder route with more pitches while Patrick and Alec climbed on the route next to ours. Unfortunately Craig was trying to recover in the car by this stage. Above right: Patrick being a barefooted kiwi.

Day 4

It was back to canyoning again and another “alpine start” saw us arriving at the canyon in the early afternoon. The canyon was quite short but spectacular. It was narrow and there was a small stone bridge crossing the canyon high up above. Who knows why. We had a long free hanging aquatic abseil in the middle and finished in a hydro dam catchment. We cautiously exited the dam avoiding the area near the race intake.

In the evening we hung out at the castle above the air bnb and attended some sort of guitar concert thing. The highlight was the buffet before the concert which we got stuck into. The music was less good.

Heading off again (Canyoning Italy 2019)Canyoners going hiking (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: With the full team back onboard we headed out for another canyon. This involved trekking through another little stone house village. Above right: It must be a strange site seeing a procession of people with all sorts of gear walking through the forest.

Posing (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above: Never pass up the opportunity for a good pose.

Bridge above (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above: The route down the canyon was beautiful. Steep tall sides and a random bridge crossing above at one point.

The team (Canyoning Italy 2019)Dark abseil (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: More posing. Note all the gear. Craig even had an ascender, presumably to attract the woman-folk. Above right: The canyon closed up above and we had a free hanging abseil down and under this waterfall.

Big abseil (Canyoning Italy 2019)Alec in the flow (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: It was a really enjoyable canyon. Not too hard but really impressive and beautiful. It did however end in a hydro catchment, which was less beautiful. The guide warned about getting too close to the hydro intakes so we made sure we swam around to the left. Above right: Alec abseils through the flow.

Castle in the town (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above: The town was interesting with lots of little nooks to explore. It was nice European “old town”. Near our Air BnB, further up the hill, there was this castle. We went to concert there one night. The concert wasn’t up to much but they did have delicious food which I ate a lot of.

Day 5

The next day we did another canyon which was again fun. The only issue was the last three long technical abseils. Jeremie went down first and called us on Rachel’s phone to suggest that we walk instead. Craig and Alec went down to Jeremie and Verena, Rachel and I walked.

We drove to Lake Como after finishing the canyon. Rachel and Jeremie headed off towards Chamonix and Patrick had already left a day earlier.

We had a nice little Air Bnb up in the hills some way from Lake Como. We went walking the following day and then Verena and I drove back to Lindau and she continued on North.

Sliding (Canyoning Italy 2019)Technical abseil (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above left: On our last day after leaving our Air BnB we did an easy canyon with some slides and short abseils. Above right: The canyon had started out easy but ended in a couple of very technical abseils. Jeremie went down first, then Alec, and Craig. Verena, Rachel and I took an escape and walked down. Although we had to go back up to rescue the rope which had got stuck in the top anchor.

Dinner (Canyoning Italy 2019)

Above: Jeremie and Rachel had to leave for Chamonix. Craig and Alec convinced Verena and I to continue with them to Lago di Como. Alec had booked an Air BnB right up in the hills away from the lake. It was nice. We ate our dinner outside in the evening.