The HERO Südtirol Dolomites is the world's toughest mountain bike marathon. There are two tracks, one 86 km long and 4500 m of altitude and the other 60 km long and 3200 m of altitude lead around the Sella and the Sassolungo mountains through Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Arabba, Val di Fassa and the Alpe di Siusi.
The HERO Südtirol Dolomites will take place on Saturday, 17 June 2017. The HERO is once again part of the UCI Marathon Series.
The HERO was launched in 2010. In its first edition, 400 participants were at the start. Since then, the number has grown with reaching a current limit of 4000 plus this year. In 2015, the HERO organized the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships. The distances are 86 km in length with 4,500 m altitude change and 60 km in length with 3,200 m in altitude. The participants have to pass a total of four passes (Passo Gardena, Campolongo, Pordoi, Mahlknecht - and Sella on the shorter track).
The men's marathon distance measures 86 km with an altitude difference of 4,500 meters. The short track runs over 60 km and 3,200 meters of altitude. The tracks lead from Selva di Val Gardena to Dantercepies. From there, it goes down to the Gardena pass continuing to Corvara where the next long climb up to the Pralongià hut awaits the cyclers. The track continues over the high plateau of Alta Badia to the Campolongo pass before descending into Arabba in the province of Belluno. Shortly after Arabba, the following 1,000 meter climb is the most difficult and longest and leads to the highest point of the track: the Sourasass (2,351 m). The course then crosses at high altitude via single trails to the Pordoi pass before descending again to Canazei which is in the Trentino province.
Shortly before Canazei, the track divides into the short one that meanders up back to the Sella pass, then through the Rocky City at the base of the Sassolungo mountain to descent to the Finish in Selva Val Gardena. The longer track takes riders from Fassa through the Duron valley uphill to the Duron Pass. The participants reach the finish over the Alpe di Siusi and Monte Pana back to Selva di Val Gardena.
These riders will conquer four passes from Start to Finish: the Gardena Pass, Campolongo, Pordoi and the Duron Pass (Sella Pass for the short distance).