The UCI event is set for amateur cyclists. Gran Fondo Tre Valli Varesine will take place on the weekend of on 30th Sep and 1st Oct 2023 in Varese on roads used by 2018 Gran Fondo World Championships. Time trial on Saturday and road race on Sunday.
Below you can have a look at:
- the race course on Google Maps,
- the route description,
- the programm.
The road race is over a rolling course with no steep sections or long climbs. Start and finish are in Varese close to Palace Estense and its Gardens. There are two race course: the Gran Fondo (130 km with 1,950 m. of climbing) and Medio Fondo (105 km with 1,450 m. of climbing).
The route is winding, among the Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore and Lake Varese and you have to to tackle several climbs: Alpe Tedesco, Ardena, Montegrino, Villaggio Olandese, Brinzio and Casbeno. You have to tackle six climbs in the long race course (Gran Fondo) and four climbs in the shorter race course (Medio Fondo).
The course also includes two short cobbled sections at Roggiano Valtravaglia and Rancio Valcuvia.
Road race course map and route description
Look at the race course on Google Maps. Blue marker icons where the climbs start and yellow marker icons where the climbs end.
Most of the hills are on narrow, wooded roads. The climbs are generally are short (3-5 km) with average gradients of 4-7%. In between the hills are flat sections around the three lakes (Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore, Lake Varese).
There are also two sections of pavé to watch out for. The first one is up a short stretch at Roggiano Valtravaglia (after climb 4) and the second easier section is at Rancio Valcuvia, just before the Brinzio climb (climb 5).
The first 12 km is a combination of gentle uphill and false flat out of Varese which lead you to the first climb of the race: the Passo del Tedesco. A 4.7km climb averaging 7% with some tight hairpins. The gradient is pretty consistent at 7 to 8%.
From the top of the climb you then have a quick and technical descent down to Lake Lugano. This is a relatively straight forward descent. As soon as you turn out of Lake Lugano you are onto the second climb: the Ardena climb. A 3.2km climb averaging 6% - 8%, the first part of the climb is steeper than the second half. Then you have to tacke a 10 km undulating stretch.
At Bosco Valtravaglia village the Medio Fondo makes the shortcut towards Mesenzana village, so you have to tackle only Brinzio climb and Casbeno climb to go.
The third climb towards Montegrino on the Gran Fondo course is a 1.8km climb averaging 6% - 10% before descending to Lake Maggiore.
Then you have to tackle a short climb: Villaggio Olandese climb (a 2km climb averaging 8% - 10%) between Brezzo di Bedero e Roggiano Valtravaglia. The climb is narrow and wooded. Like Alpe Tedesco, this is another technical descent since the road is narrow and sightlines are often poor. Take care coming into the village of Rogiano Valtravaglia as there are 90 degree bends on narrow roads around ancient buildings.
Then there is Brinzio climb
(a 5.2km climb averaging 3% - 8%, the first 4 km of the climb is a steeper than the second part). At the top of the Brinzio climb there’s a 5 km flat wooded section, before the road descends from Orino through the plains near Lake Varese.
What follows is a long 30km stretch on flat roads close to the Lake Varese before the final 3 km who again go uphill towards downtown Varese. That's Casbeno climb from the Lake Varese to downtown Varese (a 3km climb averaging 6% - 8% through the town). The finishing straight is quick and flat making the last climb decisive.
The finish is pretty quick on a wide, flat section in front of the Palace Estense and its Gardens.
Time trial course
The 22km time trial with start and finish next to the Varese Hippodrome is challenging with a first upgoing part towards Ganna village to return over the same roads towards the finish.
2023 UCI Gran Fondo Varese - program
- Individual Time Trial on Saturday 30th September 2023
- Road Races on 1st October 2023
Beyond the Gran Fondo: Varese Cycling experience
While Varese is the heart of the Gran Fondo, the Northern Italian Lakes have a lot more to offer road cyclists if you’re coming here to explore the mountains, valleys and lakes by road bike.
Thrills, spills and plenty of hills. Have a look at: road cycling routes
Riding through the area around our Lake District hills is a great experience. With each twist and turn of the road bringing a new sight to see. Charming small villages, stunning landscapes and long, flowing descents all making the riding in this region like no other.
Ancient villas, parks, churches and hermitages which were built from 16th Century to the 19th Century, exibitions, history, art, culture.
Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
Villa della Porta Bozzolo
A cycling tour in Northern Italian Lakes is not complete without a ride up to Madonna del Ghisallo at Magreglio. The Shrine is between the two branches of Lake Como. Shrine of Madonna del Ghisallo
From Varese (381 mt. a.s.l.) or from Lake Maggiore (193 mt. a.s.l.) the intrepid cyclist can reach some local climbs: Passo Cuvignone (1,036 mt. a.s.l.), Alpe Neggia (1,395 mt. a.s.l.), Monte Campo dei Fiori (1,217 mt. a.s.l.), Sighinola (1,302 mt. a.s.l.), Monte Ologno (1,129 mt. a.s.l.), Monte San Martino (1.079 mt. a.s.l.), Monte Generoso (1,202 mt. a.s.l.).The roads are quiet in the mountains and side valleys, but they can be very steep.
To help you make the most of your stay in Varese we have put together a guide, packed full of information about all the
tourist attractions to see during your holiday.
Go back to cycling resources