Venice to RomeCycle Challenge


Venice to Rome Cycle Challenge 2018

Join us

Cycle 620km from the canals of Venice on the Adriatic Coast to Rome, the historic Italian capital.

Registration fee: £250

Full fundraising minimum requirement: £2,000

Our exciting challenge takes us south on flat roads from the canals of Venice to the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria, passing terracotta-roofed towns with striking bell-towers and Renaissance churches, and small traditional villages hidden among the fields of corn, fruit and olives.

The terrain is hilly, with some long climbs and steep gradients – it’s wonderful cycling country, but not to be undertaken without training. We come down out of the hills on our last day and have a relatively flat run-in to Rome, where we finish a stone’s throw away from some of the main sights. This trip combines diverse, challenging cycling with a wonderful Italian experience.

But, most importantly you'll have done something truly amazing to help people affected by cancer.

Sign Up Today and select one of 3 ways to fundraise:

  • Full Fundraising Option (Fundraising target £2000 and the costs of the challenge will be covered)
  • Part Payment (Fundraising target £1500 and pay a contribution of £500 towards the costs)
  • Self-Funded (Fundraising target £1150 and fund your whole trip costs)

This event is available on the Team Macmillan App!

If you have signed up to cycle your way to victory, the Team Macmillan app brings together everything you need to make the most out of your event. Features include:

  • Find the key information for your event
  • Countdown to the event day
  • Interactive map to help you plan your event day
  • Add the date to your calendar
  • Contact the Macmillan event team
  • Social media updates
  • Training calculators
  • Personal trainer advice
  • Strava group links
  • Download your training guides
  • Track and promote your JustGiving page with custom messages

Available for iOS and Android.

When does the challenge take place?

17-22 September 2018.


What age do I need to be to take part?

Minimum Age: You need to be 18 or over on event day.


How can I take part?

Simply sign up online with Discover Adventure and pay your £250 registration fee at the end of the registration process. We will then be in touch after receiving your registration and will send you out a fundraising pack in the post.


What is included?

  • Full pre-trip support from Team Macmillan, including fundraising and training guides, sponsor forms, Macmillan cycling jersey, regular newsletters, and a dedicated team ready to help you on every step of your challenge.
  • Five nights at 2/3 star hotels in a twin room with en suite facilities (these hotels are comfortable and well-situated, but not luxurious).
  • All meals other than what’s detailed in the itinerary (Team Macmillan lunches are buffet-style and full of high energy foods to keep you going through the challenge).
  • Transfer to Venice group hotel from Venice Marco Polo airport and back to Rome Leonardo da Vinci Airport (this is a group service so you must be at a pre-arranged meeting point on time). If you fly to other airports you will be responsible for getting to the start hotel and from the finish hotel.
  • Full support from a Macmillan Cancer rep, Discover Adventure leaders, medical staff and drivers.

What is not included?

  • Flights – to keep fundraising targets down, and let you take advantage of the many competitive airline fares, Macmillan aren’t including group flights on this challenge.
  • Use of a bicycle, including making arrangements for this to be transported with you.
  • Insurance: our tour operator - Discover Adventure Ltd - offer insurance specifically created to cover Macmillan challenges.
  • We also recommend you bring £100 - £150 for personal expenses.

What sort of person takes part?

The group will be made up of up to 45 people - men and women - from all backgrounds, abilities and ages, although you must be 18 or over to take part. Some people sign up with friends, but most take part on their own – so it’s also a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.


Where will we stay while cycling?

Throughout the challenge we'll be staying in 2/3 star hotels, which can be quite basic but are clean and functional. We’ll be staying in twin rooms, so if you’re travelling on your own we’ll pair you up with a room buddy of the same sex and a similar age.


Do I have to carry my own kit?

We’ll be accompanied by support vehicles that carry all our equipment and supplies. You will need to carry a small rucksack or CamelBak though, to hold anything you’ll need during the day’s ride.


How tough is the challenge?

Cycling approx. 620km from Venice to Rome is challenging and it’s vital you understand just how tough this is. Our journey also involves some low to mid-range mountain climbs that you’ll need to be thoroughly prepared for. This terrain and challenge isn’t suitable for anyone who hasn’t trained hard and isn’t used to cycling. But for those who are well-prepared, the rewards are great.

Macmillan challenges are designed for people who lead an active lifestyle. If you don’t already cycle on a regular basis, you’ll need a considerable amount of training leading up to the event. This is all part of the challenge though, and a full training programme is included in your fundraising pack.

You’re also required to complete a medical form that may need counter signing by your GP. You’ll find this in your fundraising pack.


What’s the route like?

This cycle is graded by Discover Adventure and has been awarded a rating of 3 which is tough. The rating system is from 1 (moderate) to 5 (extreme).

The cycling is predominantly flat for the first day, and very hilly for the majority of the other days. We ride mainly on small quiet roads.

You should make sure you are fit enough to manage these distances confidently – especially in hilly terrain. It is important that you are used to cycling and very familiar with the range of your gears. Road bikes are the most suitable on this trip.

Our route is clearly marked and maps are also provided. Support vehicles will be stationed at the front and rear of the group, with one roving up and down. This enables participants to cycle at their own pace, although there’ll be breaks during the day where everyone regroups.


Do I have to bring my own bike?

Neither Macmillan nor Discover Adventure are able to provide bikes for this trip, so you must bring your own. We recommend that you bring a road or racing bike, as the route takes place on well-surfaced roads over long distances.


What if I can’t raise £2,000?

Our fundraising target means at least 56% of donations are spent directly on Macmillan services - so we'll do everything we can to help you reach this.

We’ll give you a full fundraising pack to help you get started, and will guide you along the way with our expert advice. The full fundraising total isn’t due until one month after the event, but if it looks like you won’t reach this target, you can make up the difference yourself or forfeit your place.


When do I have to pay my sponsorship by?

We ask for this to be paid four weeks after the event has taken place. However, Macmillan require at least £850 of your sponsorship four months ahead of the event before we confirm your accommodation. The remainder must be with us within one month of the event taking place. If you selected either the Part-Payment option or paying own costs when registering please see your t&c’s for breakdown of your fundraising deadlines.


FAQ 6 - How will my participation benefit people affected by cancer?

At least 56% of your £2,000 minimum pledge will be treated as a donation to Macmillan. Anything you raise above this amount will benefit Macmillan 100%.


What will the weather be like?

It can be very hot – or wet and cold! Rain and mist is always a possibility and it may be windy in the valleys; the weather and temperature can change rapidly especially in hillier areas. Average temperatures range from 11-29°C.


Who organises the trip?

The trip is conceived and operated by Discover Adventure Ltd, ATOL 5636, whose booking conditions apply.


Day 1, Meet in Venice

Venice is renowned for its beautiful waterways and buildings, such as St Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. Dependent on flight times, you can enjoy some free time exploring the sights of this wonderful city. We meet up at our mainland hotel in the evening, and ensure our kit and bikes are fully prepared for the start of our challenge tomorrow. Night hotel.
(Lunch not included)

Day 2, Venice - Ravenna

Leaving Venice behind, we head south through fertile fields, crossing many small canals and rivers which drain into the Venetian Lagoon. Our terrain today is predominantly flat, allowing us to ease ourselves in relatively gently: it is, however, a long day in the saddle. We avoid the larger towns, but pass through several small towns and villages, all with a distinctive Italian flavour. Just before our halfway mark we cross the River Po – Italy’s longest river – at the neck of its delta, a vast area of sandbars and wetlands. Continuing south, we ride alongside the huge lagoon of Comacchio and not long afterwards we come to the outskirts of Ravenna, an ancient city with many buildings and monuments dating back to the 5th Century AD. Night hotel.

Cycle approx 172km (106 miles)

Day 3, Ravenna – Laterina

A tough day today, as we clock up almost as many miles as yesterday, but on much hillier terrain. This morning, however, is flat as we head southwest and further inland, passing through fields and farmland, and small towns. Skirting the busy city of Forli, we soon start to see hills on our horizons, and after the pretty town of Meldola our roads start to incline gently. The gradients grow steeper and our surroundings gradually change from flat farmland to wooded hills. At the pretty town of Santa Sofia the gradient becomes more challenging and we follow narrow twisting roads into the hills and along ridges. After a lovely descent and a few miles of flattish riding, we start to climb again, with twisting hair-pin bends taking us back up into the wooded hills. There are some steep sections, but we take it steady and enjoy our surroundings. An exhilarating 10-mile descent follows, and the last 20 miles form a fairly flat valley ride as we pedal alongside the river Arno. Our day ends at the wonderfully-preserved historic town of Laterina, not far from Arezzo. Night hotel.

Cycle approx 156km (96 miles)

Day 4: Laterina – Orvieto

Today sees another demanding day as we head further into Tuscany. Although there are no particularly long climbs, we will be almost continually climbing and descending, with very few flat sections. The scenery is beautiful again. We set off south from Laterina on a rolling road, coming to our first notable climb after about 10 miles. A long morning follows, with fabulous views of small hilltop towns and rolling farmland. A short steep climb brings us to the picturesque walled village of Lucignano, perched atop the hill, before a fast descent and more rolling roads. A flatter stretch follows as we approach the ancient town of Chiusi. Then the climbing starts again, and we enjoy a hilly afternoon passing shady woodland and vineyards as we head south, crossing into Umbria. A couple more steep climbs await us towards the end of the day, but then we have roughly 10 miles of descent to finish our day. Orvieto is another ancient town, dominated by a huge cathedral, built on the top of rocky cliffs rising over the plains below. Night hotel.

Cycle approx 143km (88 miles)

Day 5: Orvieto – Lake Bracciano

Today’s shorter mileage will come as a relief after yesterday’s big effort! We continue through beautiful old towns and villages, still in hill-country, with lovely views. A flattish road takes us out of Orvieto, but before long we start to climb gently. Our road then becomes steeper and winds up through the hills as we approach the old town of Bagnoregio. We then descend fairly gently for over 15 miles through fields of crops, interspersed here and there with rows of olive trees. Our last long climb takes us back into the hills again, then we enjoy another fabulous descent through woodland, catching small glimpses of the blue Lago di Vico below. A shorter climb and descent on narrow roads brings us to the larger Lake Bracciano, a lovely setting for our final evening. Night hotel.

Cycle approx. 88km (54 miles)

Day 6: Lake Bracciano – Rome; Depart

We ride along the lake’s edge for several miles before heading off southeast, again on small roads. Our roads are now fairly flat as we approach Rome’s outskirts through woodland and quiet towns. Rome’s busy streets are not very conducive to easy cycling, so we follow a cycle path that runs along the River Tiber, taking us right into the heart of this ancient city, finishing within a stone’s throw of some of its most famous sights. After the obligatory photos, we head off for a celebratory lunch to mark our achievements. Later we transfer to the airport for your homeward flight – or of course you can stay on longer and make the most of your time to explore Rome’s iconic sights. Dinner not included.

Cycle approx. 70km (43 miles)

Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.

Getting involved in a Macmillan challenge gives you a goal to work towards

Liz, Team Macmillan cyclist

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