Full of charm and spectacular alpine scenery, the Aosta Valley is one of the best places in Europe for cyclists. With an extensive network of unsurfaced tracks, ski resorts with lifts open in the summer and a leg of the Giro d’Italia often passing through it, the Aosta Valley is a mecca for all forms of cycling, whether it be mountain biking, road cycling or the more extreme downhill mountain biking.
Cycling in the Aosta Valley
The Aosta Valley, which is often used as a leg of the Giro d’Italia tour (one of the most important races of the international season alongside the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana) has numerous opportunities for road biking with 21 routes on inland roads providing many scenic and panoramic rides amidst spectacular scenery.
With over 1000 kilometres of unsurfaced tracks stemming from its agricultural traditions, the Aosta Valley is perfect mountain biking territory. Mule tracks, farm roads and wooded paths offer cyclists the opportunity to enjoy the valley’s ever-changing spectacular scenery. Qualified mountain bike instructors are available.
Downhill mountain biking
Some of the local ski resorts (including Pila and La Thuile) keep their chairlifts and cable cars running throughout the summer, making them perfect locations for downhill cycling, an extreme version of mountain biking necessitating bikes with sturdier frames, protective gear and full face helmets. In Pila, the Baby Gorraz area has a Bike Park with numerous options from basic practice for those new to downhill to freeride acrobatics, for expert use only!
Cycling Tours and Packages
There are numerous organised cycling tours and packages within the Aosta Valley as well as a couple of road cycling sportives, or “Gran Fondo’s” as they are known in Italy.
Find more information on general cycling packages whether it is road, downhill or freeride.
La Mont Blanc
A relatively new cycling sportive, La Mont Blanc, takes place in July and skirts some of the most spectacular scenery you might see on a ride with the “Granfondo” weighing in at 138KM with 3800m of vertical. It is not for the faint-hearted though there is a slightly more relaxed “Mediofondo” at 95KM.
Further information on La Mont Blanc.
Check the review of the 2013 event in Cyclist Magazine.
Cervino Cycling Marathon
The Cervino Cycling Marathon, every June, is the highest sportive in Europe with two distances, 144KM and 92KM. The race starts at over 2,000m and heads all the way down to the central valley floor before wending its way back to the ski resort of Cervinia.
Find out more and register. (Website only in Italian)
Find out more