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02-05-2023 | Frank Jansen

The ultimate top ten: stage races for your bucket list

Europe has hundreds of one-day gran fondos, but the number of multi-day gran fondos (stage races as we call them) is much more limited. We have listed ten very nice ones for you.

1. Riderman

Date: September 22-24, 2023
Number of stages: 3 (including 1 time trial)
Total distance and elevation: 23 7km / 3187 m+
Start and finish: Bad Dürrheim, Germany

Perfectly arrangedy three-day event on the edge the Black Forest. Because it does not contain excessive meters of climbing, the averages are high and there is a lot of group riding. Popular with the Dutch and Belgians, partly due to the relatively centrally located location.

All articles about this event can be found here.

2. TOUR Transalp

Date: 18-24 June 2023
Number of stages: 7
Total distance and elevation: 827 km / 18233 m+
Start: Lienz, Austria
Finish: Riva del Garda, Italy

Beautiful and brutal multi-day across the Alpine main ridge. Participation is possible in teams of two (also mix) or alone. The course changes every year and is always a mix between big names and lesser-known gems.

All articles about this event can be read here.

3. La Campilaro

Date: July 21-23, 2023 (sold out, waiting list)
Number of stages: 3
Total distance and elevation: 330 km / 7550 m+
Start and finish: Bagneres-de-Luchon

Beautiful three day event through the French Pyrenees. This year including Port de Bales and the Col de Menté. The event is popular and quickly booked up, so sign up for the (French!) email newsletter if you want to be there in 2024.

4. Giro della Sicilia

Date: May 28 - June 3, 2023
Number of stages: 5
Total distance and elevation: 505 km / 9250 m+
Start and finish: Campofelice di Roccella

Enjoy five days on the island of Sicily. The event has a unique set-up: from one location the stages are ridden as sportives with the exception of some segments where you can go all out (or not). So it's a nice mix between touring and racing.

All articles about this event can be read here.

5. Haute Route Crans-Montana

Date: June 9-11, 2023
Number of stages: 3
Total distance and elevation: 201 km / 7450 m+
Start and finish: Crans-Montana

Made its comeback! This excellently organized but pricey three-day event introduces you to Lac de Moiry and the Col du Sanetsch, two of the most beautiful climbs in Valais, among others.

6. Tour de Kärnten

Date: 27 May - 1 June 2023
Number of stages: 6 (including 1 time trial)
Total distance and elevation: 417 km / 8150 m+
Start and finish: Faak am See, Austria

Flawlessly organized six-day stage race in Carinthia, Austria. Although the speed are generally high you see people of every level. Because all stages start from the Faakersee you have no displacements. Most stages are relatively short, so there is time in the afternoons to relax by the lake.

7. Engadin Radmarathon

Date: 30 June - 2 July 2023
Number of stages: 3
Total distance and elevation: 221 km / 4621 m+
Start and finish: Zernez, Switzerland

In the past, this was one-day gran fondo, today it's a stage race although you can also ride the stages separately. The course features some of Switzerland's most beautiful passes, including the world-famous Albula Pass. Also ride through the famous Munt la Schera tunnel to Livigno, Italy, which is normally closed to cyclists.

All articles about this event can be read back here.

8. Cyprus Gran fondo

Date: April 6-7, 2024 (not confirmed yet)
Number of stages: 3 of which 1 time trial
Total distance and elevation: 204 km / 3815 m+
Start and finish: Pafos, Cyprus

Special event, because part of the UCI Gran Fondo World Series. Those are always one-day events, but Cyprus Gran Fondo is the exception to that rule. Both stages count as qualifying opportunities. And of course there is a time trial first. Of course, there is a classification for riders who ride all events.

All articles about this event can be read back here.

9. TransPortugal Roads

Date: October 8-14, 2023
Number of stages: 7
Total distance and meters of elevation: 1100 km / 18000 m+
Start: Braga
Finish: Sagres

In seven days you ride from the north to the south of Portugal. The format is quite unique, as each rider is given a handicap. In our report from last year you can read exactly how it works. Hotels can be rebooked via the organization if desired.

All articles about this event can be read here.

10. Giro Sardegna

Date: there is no date for 2024, but most likely the end of April.
Number of stages: 6
Total distance and elevation: not yet known but usually about 450 km and 6000 m+
Start and finish: not yet known

Unique concept that visits a different part of Sardinia each year. There is always one base so there are few logistical challenges. The organization's hotel package is highly recommended, also for non-cycling partners!

All articles about this event can be read back here.

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