Maratona dles Dolomites

Who has raced/ridden the Maratona? BBS has me riding the climbs at ~72 IF for more than 7 hours. Should I remain even more conservative and save it for the last climb?

Currently 3.3 w/kg, aiming for 3.7 w/kg this season.

Save everything you can for the second last climb, Passo di Giau. It’s brutal. We’re talking 10 km at a relentless 10%, it never eases up. There is a stretch of a relatively flat 18 km before the Giau - make sure to ride it conservatively - it’s very tempting to jump into a faster group there and burn your matches.

BBS plan is optimistic but something around .7 sounds doable. Only you have to remember you will be at elevation so it really depends how you deal with that. There will be loads of people on the first climb (Passo Campolongo), you will not be able to follow any pacing strategy, just try to conserve the energy and be smooth. Overtaking slower people is tempting but all these microbursts will cost you later in the day. The crowd will thin out a bit at Passo Pordoi, this is where you should be able to keep your own optimal pace.

If it’s dry but not too warm at the beginning, it’s easy to get dehydrated and crash and burn on the Giau. Make sure you have a hydration strategy beforehand and stick to it.

The last climb, Passo Falzarego, is actually pretty mellow and standalone is not much of a challenge, but you will have 100km and over 3000m of climbing in your legs by then.


So much good info. Thank you!

Pretty much everything this guy just said is true. I have done it the last 2 years and I’m going next year too. I just looked at my file for this year and I did it at an IF of .81 but I think my actual FTP was higher than I had in TR at the time. It could be a reason why I blew up on the Giau this year though whereas the previous year I was fine. However I do think that was more likely a nutrition/hydration error as the heat and humidity were on the Giau was awful this year so I’ll be mindful of that and will be going at around 0.75 IF next year (with a correct FTP)

Great event, you’ll love it!

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Hope all that info helps! I just checked and my IF in 2017 was .75, this year .72. Both years I was aiming for a time below 5:30:00 and ended up blowing up on the Giau, This was especially frustrating in '17 - the friends I was crushing in April on a training camp in Mallorca ended up in top 100, I was like 45 minutes slower. Nutrition and hydration are really key.

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Checking back in on the subject. I am making progress with my fitness with good level of consistency. I recon I should be at or close to my FTP goal before the event.

Here is where I need advice: should I bring my carbon 50mm light tubular wheelset or aluminum clincher? I am considering the following:

  • Rim brakes. Carbon rims have a braking surface which works well in dry. Haven’t tried it in wet conditions.
  • 1300gr vs 1600gr. Lighter carbon rims accelerate noticeably faster and they are aero too.
  • Replacing a tub takes less time than a tubE. However, I am not sure how much tape will be left on the rim after I remove the punctured tub.
  • I can bring a 26" or 27.5" spare tube to speed up replacement. The time is usually wasted trying to tuck a tube into the clincher tire.
  • I can realistically bring only one spare tubular tire, but a few tubes.

What do you think?

I’d probably go Alloy in a mass group event. You may end up having to ride your brakes down the descent, and i’d feel much better about doing that on alloy compared to carbon.

Carbon in the wet is scary af too, well, at least mine are anyway!


All depends on your endurance condition. In 2019 completed the race with an IF of 0.75. Most of the climbs around 0.79 - 0.81 (even the Giau). Falzarego was 0.75 so fatigue was coming into town :-). Also have to take into account the altitude. Could be that you can not push the same watts at this level than you can at lower altitude.
In 2021 I hope I can do it a litte better (but not much more progression i think). Loose 2kg could help :-).

oh wow, it’s been a while. My performance at mdd 2019 was quite humble. I botched the 1.5 months of training leading up to the race and overextended on the day. I should have stopped after sella ronda in hindsight. Nevertheless, I finished with 8:15-ish time, learned a ton about why I failed, and I am now working toward mdd-2021.

Keep up the good work.
I try to extend my sweetpsot TiZ. Felt still good on the Giau but little mental break in the descent due to rain. Did the climbs around 3-3.2 w/kg mostly. Now aiming 3.2-3.4 w/kg

I rode them slightly higher than that, I reckon somewhere around .8ish. They are long sustained climbs and the gradients are not that extreme to point of pushing you into the red if you can control the urge to chase faster riders up the road. This is particularly important on the first two climbs of the Campologno and Pordoi.

Your starting grid is key as the further to the front the less you will be held up. 2015 was my first time and I started in the last pen, bit of a nightmare on Campologno as spent ages clipping in and out due to packed road.
I finished in 5’54 in 2015 and so secured a spot in the second grid. I got a spot again in 2018 and finished in 5,42 (170th overall) starting in the second grid.
My own strategy was ride around .80 IF on the climbs and recover on the descents. The only stop I made was on top of Giau for a drink/few gels. The Giau was horrendous and if you are racing the event its going to be a real battle of will keeping the pressure on the pedals. Falzerego was not the same level of torture as the Giau but if you are chasing a good time it will drain everything from you.

I hope to get back to the event in the next few years, greatest cycling experience I have ever had and still have ambitions of getting under the magical 5’20 but that might just be beyond me at 45 years young :slightly_smiling_face:

Here is my ride from 2018 but unfortunately didn’t have my power pedals.

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Nice one Arthur! Then you have a good W/kg for such performance. I only did the Sella in 0.83 IF. Falzarego was 0.75. Rest around 0.79.
Next year also a start pen earlier for me. Trying to improve and do the climbs at above 0.80. And 2kg lighter in weight.

Lets hope there are mass events next year. This year I was signed up for the Novi Colli in Italy also but cancelled of course and the entry carries forward to next year.

Best of luck with the training and weight loss @stino77

This is beyond imaginable for me. If at 0.8if you still consume a good chunk of fats, then you can probably still feed and restore glycogen to complete the course. So, success is a matter of high ftp and aerobic threshold being a higher percentage of that ftp. This wasn’t my case unfortunately.

Not sue I can add more to the discussion. In 2019 I was 58 with an FTP around 250. I was there in 2019 and did the first climbs between .77 and .8. I am a terrible descender so I rested on the descents and recovered. I stopped at the top of all climbs to put on a gasket.
Felt really good getting the Giau (wow is it long - I had practiced it a few times on Rouvy) and did it at 8.2 which later realized was too optimistic but I was trying to match my timing on the trainer. I felt it on the Flazarengo and could only do .74 suffering like a dog.
I also think that I needed better gears, my cadence on the Giau was 64 with a 34/32. Thinking of getting a 34 for next year.
I finished in 7:20
Hoping to do better this year!
Trying to get in more 7-8 hour rides when possible.

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I know the feeling on the GIau, but I think that is for every competitor ;-). I had a 34/27, also RPM of 63. So I think for next year I will train more indoor on lower cadence.