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15-04-2024 | Herman Nekkers

Gran Fondo Alé La Merckx: six stars

The launch of a new gran fondo is a rare event, especially one that immediately captivates us like the Gran Fondo Alé La Merckx did. Its route is a striking blend of beauty and challenge, a rival for any existing gran fondo and deserving of not just five, but six stars.

Gran Fondo Alé La Merckx

Over the roof of the Alps

The gran fondo's course is mindblowing. Spanning 167 kilometers and climbing 4300 meters, it starts in Livigno, Italy. Cyclists will conquer six peaks over 2000 meters in Italy and Switzerland, with the lowest point at 1300 meters. This high-altitude race starts with an ascent to the enchanting Forcola di Livigno/Berninapass, followed by a 48-kilometer descent through the Engadine Valley. Next, the Ofenpass (Pass dal Fuorn) offers a stunning climb with a midway descent.

One of the most beautiful roads in the Alps

The day's highlight is the Umbrailpass ascent to the route's summit (2502 m), arguably one of the Alps' most picturesque roads. The 13-kilometer climb, averaging 8.6%, is a unique feature of the Gran Fondo Alé La Merckx, blending enjoyment with challenge.

Gran Fondo Alé La Merckx

Iconic finish

The descent to Bormio offers a chance to recover before tackling the double Passo del Foscagno/Passo d'Eira. After 140 kilometers, the final 2-kilometer ascent to the Mottolino ski lift, peaking at 16%, leads to one of the highest gran fondo finishes at nearly 2,400 meters. The final 30 kilometers are shared with the Giro d'Italia's 15th stage, ending with a pasta party in Livigno.

Medio fondo

The 107 km/2050 m+ medio fondo is a formidable alternative, sharing its first half with the gran fondo before veering towards the Munt la Scheratunnel, normally closed to cyclists but open for this event. The finish at Mottolino matches the gran fondo.

Gran Fondo Alé La MerckxStart Alé La Merckx in Verona.

Experienced organization

Alé La Merckx, previously hosted in Verona and the 2023 European Championship Gran Fondo, is now in Livigno, maintaining its renowned organization and quality. Our 2023 experience is detailed in our report.

The Cannibal

The event honors Eddy Merckx, the greatest cyclist, with his participation alongside other VIPs like Sonny Colbrelli.

Gran Fondo Alé La MerckxLivigno is beautifully located.


Livigno, a tax-free zone, is accessible via mountain passes from Switzerland or Austria, an important consideration for travel planning.


  • Date: June 29, 2024.
  • Start/finish: Livigno/Mottolino.
  • Gran fondo: 167 km/4300m+.
  • Medio fondo: 107 km/2050m+.
  • Registration fees: €60 (until end of April)/€70 (until June 24)/€100 (last minute).
  • Official website.
  • More info on CycloWorld.

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