Video: Climb till you drop at Maratona Dles Dolomites
A few weeks ago I was extended an invitation by Pirelli to travel to the Dolomites in Italy, test out the brand new (as yet unreleased) PZero tyres, meet the developers and testers behind the company’s new cycling products and go for a ride in the mountains. An added bonus would be the opportunity to ride Maratona dles Dolomites, one of the best sportives in the world and one that’s rather difficult to get a place on due to the crazy popularity of completing a punishing amount of climbing in one ride!
Mad though it sounds, I didn’t accept immediately as I had two races lined up for the same weekend but after a bit of consideration, I figured the total ride time of said races would be less than two hours whereas the Italian trip would see me rack up serious time in the saddle. Plus, the Dolomites are prettier than west London.
Photos: Photo: Alessandro Trovati
I spent the first day riding alone and doing a spot of threshold training I’d wanted to get in the bag, which essentially meant riding as fast as I could to the top of the mountain opposite my hotel. Arriving early was actually accidental but worked out well in terms of testing tyres as after the Pirelli team arrived the following day and swapped my tyres to the PZeros I was able to head straight out and ride the same climb and descent for comparison.
At the time of testing, Pirelli hadn’t released a price of the tyres, believing that foreknowledge of price would affect how the tyres were perceived and therefore any reviews. As someone who’s task is to review said tyres, I disagree with this decision, feeling that price and performance are both vital factors in determining whether something is good or not. Either way, I’d like to test the tyres for at least a month or two before I give you my verdict but first impressions were certainly good. The tyre felt comfortable and reassuringly grippy both in the dry and the wet.
I was gifted the PZero all-rounder tyres which weigh in 210g apiece which is good and light for a tyre with a reasonable level of puncture protection. If you’re looking for something even lighter there’s a race tyre and the range is rounded out with a third offering that’s a bit heavier but more durable.
After a few days in the mountains enjoying rides in the name of testing, it was time to ride the Maratona dles Dolomites. The Maratona involves so much climbing that I’d actually wondered whether to do the medium or the long route! Happy to say that I plumped for the long one.
Check out the video below for more from my trip and a full account of the 4200m of climbing I did at Maratona dles Dolomites and stay tuned for a full review of the new tyres.