Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|15 May - 19 May 2019||On Sale|
Experience “La Dolce Vita” for Women V Cancer, cycling from Italy's fashion capital of Milan to the loved-up Venice in three days. This stunning 355 km route takes you along the southern edge of the Dolomites, Lake Iseo and the heavenly Lake Garda to a finale at the edge of Venice. After conquering our challenging summer cycle, you have a free day to explore the islands of Venice and their iconic architecture and canals, while telling yourself a big “Bravo” for raising funds for the invaluable women's cancer charities, Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust.
This challenge starts off a little differently than most in that you book your own flight from the UK to Milan–Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy. You’re likely to get a better deal booking your flight to Italy yourself and it means you can choose the most convenient and direct flight to suit your circumstances. A member of the Dream Challenges crew will be stationed at the Milan–Malpensa Airport in the evening to meet you upon arrival and take you to our comfortable airport hotel. After checking in, you settle down in your shared twin room for a good rest, ready to start the challenge in the morning.
Meeting as a group for the first time this morning, we have breakfast at the hotel and a challenge briefing, before we transfer away from the city traffic to the outskirts of Milan, where we have our bike fitting and start our challenge. Leaving Milan, we cycle towards the hills of Northern Italy through suburbs and smaller towns, such as Treviglio, stopping for lunch along the way. After approximately 85 km, we reach Lake Iseo, one of the several large lakes in this region of Italy and complete our day’s cycling when we reach the nearby city of Brescia, where we’ll stay the night. Brescia is a modern city with a beautiful, historic centre, featuring the San Salvator Basilica, a former monastery. The city was originally founded 3,200 years ago and was an important pre-Roman regional centre.
Today, we’re treated to unbelievably gorgeous scenery as we continue east through the hills on the southern edge of the Dolomites and reach Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. Here, we stop for lunch nearby, before continuing along the southern shore of the lake to our hotel in San Bonifacio, a picturesque town in the Veneto region. We get a chance to admire the gorgeous scenery tonight, when we head into the town for dinner, including the abbey dating back to the 7th century and the 12th century cathedral.
We spend our last day of the challenge cycling through a National Park and its wonderful rolling hills, stopping for lunch along the way. Drawing closer to our finish line, we approach the metropolis of Venice and complete our ride when we reach Mestre, part of mainland Venice on the North Western shore of the Adriatic Sea. We dismount our bikes here as it isn’t possible to cycle right into the tourist centre without a dip in the sea! Tonight, we gather for a group dinner to bid ourselves a big Bravo for our fantastic achievement, before settling down for a well-earned rest.
Today is a free day to explore Mestre and the islands of Venice on your own. Venice is a group of 118 islands in total separated by canals and linked by around 400 bridges. A famous romantic landmark, Venice is renowned for its exquisite architecture and its gondolas, but those aren’t the only features of this special city. Venice is also an important location in European historic and artistic history, home and influence to many a work of Renaissance Art and the birth place of the composer, Antonio Vivaldi. Needless to say, there’s lots for you to see and plenty of great places to eat and relax. As with your flight to Italy, you organise your own flight back to the UK. At the end of the day, we have one transfer at a fixed time to take you from the hotel in Mestre to Venice Marco Polo Airport for your flight back home.
The more money raised by participants on the challenge the higher the percentage of funds that directly support those affected by women's cancers!
Minimum sponsorship target
Many women who take part in this type of challenge are not regular cyclists, so it's imperative that everyone follows a reasonably serious course of training before the challenge. We'll send you a comprehensive guide to training when you register, which builds up gradually as the start date gets closer. The Women V Cancer Cycle Milan to Venice is a perfect motivation to get fit, lose weight and have an experience of a lifetime.
Please don’t be! The majority of people will sign up for our Women V Cancer challenges on their own. Once the challenge is fully booked we'll set up a closed Facebook group for everyone registered for the challenge, as often there will be someone in your local area you can meet up to train or fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about Women V Cancer is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. The age range is likely to be from 18 to 75.
How you fund your challenge is entirely up to you. Some women will decide to pay their own tour costs so they can tell their donors that the donation they are making is going directly to support the work of the charities. Others will fundraise the full amount.
No, your main luggage will be transported each day by our support team. Each participant however will be organising their own flight to and from Milan, so you'll be responsible for your own luggage on the plane. We advise you to pack light and if you're bringing your own bike with you, please make sure to check your airline's requirements. You will need a bag to go on your bike or a waste bag for things like your camera, sun cream, tissues etc. Any extra items you may need during the day can be carried on the support vehicle, which you will have access to at the snack stops and lunch.
A cycle helmet is essential and must be worn at all times. Cycling shorts are also recommended and everyone will need their own water bottles or a camel back-type hydration system. A kit list for the challenge will be sent to you when you register. A bicycle mechanic will be travelling with the group but you will be expected to bring two spare inner tubes, if you decide to bring your own bike.
We provide very good bikes with water bottle holders for you at no extra cost, which will be ready and waiting for you in Milan. Before we start the challenge, we have a bike fitting so that you'll be comfortable on it throughout the challenge. Please note, you do need to bring your own helmet. Helmets are mandatory and you won't be able to take part in the cycling challenge without one. Safety is always our priority. Some people also prefer to bring their own saddle so that they feel familiar on the bike.
You are otherwise more than welcome to bring your own bike to ride on the challenge if you prefer, but please keep in mind, it's your responsibility to pack it up for your flight and it will be at your own extra cost. If you decide to bring your own bike, please check out your airline's website to check their fees for bikes and their packing requirements. A road bike will be best, or you may choose to use a hybrid, but we wouldn't recommend a mountain bike.
If you don't reach your fundraising target you can either top up the additional funds yourself or simply forfeit your place on the challenge and lose your registration fee.
Yes of course! As you are responsible for organising your own flights to and from Milan, it is completely up to you which dates you book them for (as long as they give enough time for you to take part in the full challenge). Please note, though, that for our first night, we will be staying in an airport hotel and meeting as a group for the first time at the hotel the next morning, so you do need to make sure you make the challenge briefing.
Your flights to and from Milan will not be included, so you do need to arrange and pay for these yourself, along with your personal travel insurance to cover your challenge. Also, you need to arrange your own dinner on Day 1, as well as your lunch and dinner on Day 5 (we provide breakfast), when you'll have a free day in Venice and catch your own flight home.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. We have a recommended policy and will send you the details when you register. We also recommend that you have insurance to cover loss or damage to your bike. Currently, UK citizens do not require a visa for Italy, but we'll let you know if this changes before the challenge in 2019.