A CHARITY RIDE FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK
Vélo Monaco welcomes you to an amazing and challenging cycle adventure!
Vélo Monaco is a Monaco based company providing bespoke cycling trips for individuals and groups in the area surrounding Monaco, throughout Europe and beyond.
We have been planning with Gareth, Andrew and Tom for many months and promise to have organised a cycling adventure never to be forgotten. Some of you rode the original M2M but for M2M2 we aim to raise the bar with a spectacular route, first-class support and our renowned TLC!
For M2M2, we are proud to be cycling ambassadors for Children with Cancer UK helping to raise money and awareness for this special children’s charity. Please do take the time to look at the website https://www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk/ for more information about their wonderful work supporting kids affected by terrible illness. Although we are not setting a minimum raise for individual riders, we and Children with Cancer UK, would be hugely grateful for any donation you or your friends, family and colleagues can generate for the cause. As for M2M, we will have corporate sponsors making an important contribution and they will proudly display their logos on our fabulous team kit. The link to our fundraising page will be posted here very soon…
Numbers are limited for this special and challenging event so don’t delay, contact us now to get signed up! You can elect to do the whole ride of 946km (for the hardcore amongst you); just the first few days including the Maratona at 546km or just the last couple of days including the Milano – San Remo course at a very respectful 400km. Hopefully most will want to complete the whole challenge!
Accommodation along the route will be shared, twin rooms with breakfast and dinner included and pack lunches will be provided for the official ride days.
As your rider support team, we are a complete-service crew. This starts with us, Veronica & Gustav Larsson, and we will be riding with you every kilometre of the way. Between us we have years of professional experience including the Tour de France, competing in the Olympic & World Championships and numerous international pro races (including numerous prestigious victories). Now that we are semi-retired, we want our cycling to be fun and to support you in making yours as enjoyable as possible. If that means us being at the front of a pack in a driving headwind for 300km then we’re all in! If it also means cycling at the back of the group, encouraging a rider having a bad day, then that’s us too!
The rest of the support team will be made up of two professional, sports therapists plus a fully qualified bike mechanic (with all the tools and spare parts needed to keep you rolling). They will manage the support vehicles following us along the route and offer assistance were needed. The sports therapists will treat and massage tired muscles and our mechanic will tune or fix broken bikes ready for the next day’s ride.
Everyone will be issued one set of cycling kit (short-sleeved jersey, bib shorts and a gilet) and closer to start date, we will circulate a list of suggested extra kit to bring with you.
For this cycling adventure, we recommend using a road bike with a cassette ready for the mountains. 11-32 or even 11-34 if you are not used to riding big climbs, trust us it will make a difference!
The Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel, is cycling’s most iconic sportive. Covering several unique and spectacular mountain passes in the Dolomites, Italy. The Dolomite mountains have been declared a United Nations World Heritage Site. “The Dolomites are widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world”. It is open to amateur cyclists only and on closed roads, with 9,000 riders from over 40 nations taking part.
Saturday 4th July – Day 1 Arrival We will meet up early morning in Monaco for those based in South of France. If you are flying in from England or elsewhere, please fly to Innsbruck to arrive no later than 14.30 (there is a flight Gatwick-Innsbruck 11.15-14.30). We will all need to pick up our starting numbers personally before 19.00. So we will all have enough time for a quick ride to check everything is ready for the ride tomorrow. Our mechanic will help you if your bike needs setting up after the flight. Be sure you arrive with a functional, clean and race ready bike. For both Saturday and Sunday nights, we will be staying at the *** Hotel Alpino Plan.
Sunday 5th July – Day 2 Maratona Sportive Early morning our team will drive you towards the start in La Villa, leaving you with a gentle descent by bike for the last few kilometres. For the actual race (the Maratona dles Dolomites) you have the choice of three routes. You don’t have to decide which route you want to do until you are actually on the course, so you can choose depending on how you are feeling. You can ride either 55 km (1780m climbing), 106 km (3130m climbing) or the full 138 km (4230m climbing). These options are clearly signposted along the route. After the finish you’ll be able to jump on the shuttle back to the hotel in time for a well-earned beer and time to relax before a celebratory dinner. The roads are closed off to all traffic apart from cyclists taking part in the ride. Everyone sets off at allotted times on an uphill section so the start is pretty civilized ride compared with some sportives that you might have done elsewhere.
Monday 6th July – Day 3 Bye-bye Dolomites | 80 km, 2500m climb Today is our shortest day but don’t let that fool you as there’s some decent climbing ahead. We start with a beautiful 22km descent down through the Dolomites towards Merano then climb back up to 1,200m followed by another long, beautiful downhill section to Bolzano. The ramp up from Bolzano to the hotel puts us in for a total 2,500m of stunning climbing for the day.Our accommodation is *** Hotel Zum Löwen. See Strava route.
Passo dello Stelvio
One of Europe’s epic climbs with the summit up at 2,757m. Standing at the top of the Passo you’re rewarded with the most amazing views. The road below winds its way around the surrounding mountains, no wonder it was voted as the greatest driving road in the world by Top Gear! Ok, we’ll be on road bikes, but it’s still amazing!
Tuesday 7th July – Day 4 Passo dello Stelvio | 128 km, 3200m climb After an undulating 75 km warmup we start to climb the magical and impressive Stelvio. This route is one of the must-do rides in Europe and features 48 switchbacks. The vans will be waiting at the top for a food stop and with your wind jackets and gloves for the long, long descent. The views are impressive, so try not to focus on the Strava KOM, just get down safely down and enjoying the amazing landscape! We will be staying at *** Meuble Rosalpina, where the last section to the hotel is uphill, but nothing compared the Stelvio you dominated earlier in the day! See Strava route
Wednesday 8th July – Day 5 Mountains to Como | 200 km, 1600m climb We start the day with a gentle uphill as we head towards Livigno, via Passo Foscagno and Passo Eira. Livigno is a low tax zone in Italy, one of the few places in Europe where it is fun to fill up the cars with fuel. Many pros and other athletes like to stay here and in Stelvio for altitude camps. After leaving Livigno and after a few short false flats, we hit the Passo Forcola and then on to Switzerland. The last real climb today is Passo Bernina then a beautiful downhill down to St Moritz. Don’t be put off by today’s passi, they are all fairly short! After 20 km of false flat, that’s all the climbing done and dusted – the van will be there with the wind jackets as it’s 37 km of downhill from here. The early section features tight, aggressive hairpins and the famous Passo Maloja on the way down then we enjoy a beautiful 80 km flat section, as we hug the lake all the way in to Como. In Como you will stay at **** Hotel Como for the next two nights. See Strava route
Thursday 9th July – Day 6 Rest day Como This the chance to rest our weary bodies, maybe take a dip in Lake Como and relax. Perhaps partners or family may want to meet up with you here to say hello? It’s also the day when we say goodbye to the riders just doing the first part of the route and hello to others joining us for last section down to Monaco.
Historical and Physical Adventure
Milano - San Remo, also called La Classicissima, is an annual cycling race between, naturally, Milan and San Remo. With a distance of 300 km, it’s the longest professional one-day race in modern cycling. This will be the Grand Finale of our amazing M2M2 adventure, certainly something to always remember!
Friday 10th July – Day 7 Gentle ride | 100 km 250m climb With fresh legs from yesterday’s rest, today will be a relaxed century ride and our flattest day as we head to Pavia. The route does involve us zig-zaging the outskirts of Milan to get there. We will do our best to arrive in Pavia early so everyone will get the chance of a massage before tomorrow’s epic ride. Tonight, we will stay at **** Le Gronde. See Strava Route
Saturday 11th July – Day 8 Milan-San Remo (Pavia-Monaco) | 300 km 1000m climb We end our ride with what some people will fear the most due to its length! Well fear not, for those who want, you will be able to start wherever you like along the course and of course Gustav will be there for you to follow on his wheel to save watts! For those doing the full 300km, it will be an early start as although the course is flat, it will take the whole day to cycle it. Think how good the beers will taste once you have conquered it! At 8pm we will have a celebratory meal on the beach in Monaco to which all friends and family are invited. Prizes will be given out to the best dressed rider, the Lantern Rouge (probably Gareth ;)), the most supportive rider etc. We will also hand out the official photos taking during the Maratona. See Strava Route.
For those of you who remember M2M, the weather may well play its hand and a last-minute changes to the route maybe necessary. We can also adapt the day’s route if you are in need of time to recover in the saddle. Support will always be close by – you won’t be alone.
Vélo Monaco will take care of everything, the only thing you have to do is to arrange your arrival and departure flights or find us at the meeting point in Monaco along with your bike (we can arrange bike hire if needed) and cycling kit. Just be sure your bike is in top condition and ready to go with the correct gearing for the mountains.