THE BADGERS TOUR OF SICILY 5TH – 9TH JUNE 2024

THE BADGERS TOUR OF SICILY 5TH – 9TH JUNE 2024

  • June 5, 2024 - June 9, 2024
    7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sicily is tucked away, the ball to the boot of Italy. It is the largest and most populated of the Mediterranean islands and is most famous for Mount Etna, its UNESCO heritage sites and the Mafia. In the words of Meatloaf, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!

Volcanic activity has played an intrinsic part in the shaping of this island and its history. In 1693 a massive earthquake destroyed many of the buildings, starting a building frenzy now recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The resulting stunning towns and villages of this period that we are visiting are Catania, Noto, Modica, and Ragusa where we finish.

Glorious as they are, Sicily is also home to Etna. The towns and villages that are the UNESCO sites, are perched on the hills that have been created by Etna’s activity over millions of years. Etna itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world.

So we will once again be on the trail of the professional cyclists as we pick up the Giro d’Italia routes up Mount Etna and the Giro della Sicilia. Used in 1967 and then again in 1989 it was ignored for a while but since 2011 Mount Etna has returned 6 times to the Giro itinerary though not always from the same side or with the same finish.

Between Etna and the villages is stunning scenery, often dominated by a profile of Etna in the morning or shrouded in the build up of clouds that flow from the cone in the afternoons. From Etna you can look out across the coast and over the sea towards the rest of Italy, Greece and the Arab world, all of whom have left their mark on this island.

The Tour of Sicily will follow the usual successful formula of 3 route options a day, each of different difficulties, guided riding, support vehicles, medics, transport of bikes to the start and back (additional cost), a minimum of 3 food and drink stops a day, post ride snacks, excellent evening meals and accommodation, finish celebrations, and amazing cycling!

Dates: June 5th – 9th 2024

Cost per person:

£1995

Includes all food, accommodation, jerseys x 2, drinks with meals, post ride snacks, single group airport to hotel transfers return, guides, medics, 3 route options per day,

New for 2024 – Return transport of bikes from Weybridge, Surrey, etc. will be charged at £85 per bike, both ways. We are looking for a sponsor to avoid this cost – get in touch if you would like to be involved.

Excludes flights.

Where Are We Going?

Sicily!

A route breakdown by day:

Highlights:

  • UNESCO Heritage site towns and villages – Catania, Modica, Noto, Syracuse and Ragusa
  • Summit of Mount Etna
  • Following in the footsteps of various Giro d’Italia routes
  • 3 route options per day
  • Excellent accommodation, all with spas and / or swimming pools

Distance and Elevation

Famous Sicilian Cyclists

  • Vincenzo Nibali – known as the Shark of Messina, won the Giro d’Italia in 2013 and 2016
  • Francesco Moser – winner of 4 Giro dell’Etna. The Giro dell’Etna was a one-day road cycling race held annually in Sicily from 1980 until 2004. From 2001 until its final edition in 2004, the race was known as the Trofeo dell’Etna.

Day 1

Fly into Catania, or train travel. See flight details below. Transfer from Catania airport to night one accommodation on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort. 3 options of warm up loops on the northern slopes of Etna with lovely riding around the lava flows.

Accommodation:

We will have dinner and spend the night in the Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort. The hotel boasts a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and indoor spa area. In the evening we have exclusive use of a dining area to enjoy the excellent food.

Day 2 Summiting Etna

 

As we have started our day at around 600m above sea level there is less height to gain to get to the top of Etna today.

Singers will go round to the start of their climb at Lingualossa:

This climb averages 6.5%. The steepest quarter mile of this climb is 13.2% and steepest continuous mile is 10.3%. 1.6 miles of the climb is at or above 10% grade. The gradient on this climb is broken down as follows: 0.3 miles (2.2%) of descent; 3.2 miles (26.7%) at 0-5% grade; 6.9 miles (58.1%) at 5-10% grade; 1.5 miles (12.6%) at 10-15% grade; 0.06 miles (0.5%) at 15-20% grade.

Badgers will start their climb at Zaffereti:

This climb averages 7.2%. The steepest quarter mile of this climb is 11.7% and steepest continuous mile is 9.7%. 2.3 miles of the climb is at or above 10% grade. The gradient on this climb is broken down as follows: 0.2 miles (2%) of descent; 2.7 miles (23.6%) at 0-5% grade; 6.3 miles (54.6%) at 5-10% grade; 2.2 miles (19.3%) at 10-15% grade; 0.06 miles (0.5%) at 15-20% grade;

Barking will start at Nicolosi:

This climb averages 6.5%. The steepest quarter mile of this climb is 13.3% and steepest continuous mile is 10.2%. 1.8 miles of the climb is at or above 10% grade. The gradient on this climb is broken down as follows: 0.2 miles (1.8%) of descent; 3.8 miles (33%) at 0-5% grade; 5.7 miles (49.4%) at 5-10% grade; 1.7 miles (14.8%) at 10-15% grade; 0.1 miles (0.9%) at 15-20% grade;

The Uber Barking Barking Route is a double ascent of the Singers plus the Badgers routes.

All groups will climb up to get views across the Ionian sea and down the coast line to our hotel.

Accommodation:

In the evening we will have dinner and spend the night in the Brucoli Resort *****. Swimming pools, bars, restaurants, beach, spa, etc,

Day 3

 

 

Accommodation:

Il Monasteri **** – Dinner in our own private area, swimming pool, spa, bar, etc

Day 4

Today is our last day and it is a day where we savour the towns and villages of this stunning island. The classics are all here – Noto, Modica and we finish in the town of Ragusa, perhaps the jewel in the Baroque crown.

 

Accommodation

At the end of the day we finish in the centre of Ragusa. We will be in split hotels tonight, both 4 star – Villa del Lauro and the Hotel de Stefano Palace. The former has a garden and pool, the latter has the spa. No matter which hotel you are in, you can use the facilities of the other hotel. Dinner will be at the Villa del Lauro. They are 2 minutes walk from each other.

Day 5

Free time until the transfers to the airport. See below for flight details.

 Included in the Badger’s Package;

  • 4 night’s twin room en suite accommodation in 4 – 5 star hotels
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 2 restaurant lunches
  • 2 excellent packed / picnic lunches
  • Refreshment stops in the morning and afternoon on each full riding day plus on the Wednesday afternoon
  • 4 x 3 course evening meals including wine
  • Transfers to and from the start / finish hotel from the recommended flight
  • Guided riding on your choice of 2 – 3 routes each day (numbers dependent)
  • Guides at a ratio of approx 1 guide to 8-10 Badgers
  • Support vehicles with bike spares, med kits, water, etc
  • Tour leaders in charge of the logistics of the ride
  • Medics x 1- 2 (number of cyclists dependent)
  • 2 unique Tour cycle jerseys
  • pie water bottles
  • Drinks reception before dinner on the last night
  • Gala dinner on the last night with auction and prizes

Not Included in the Badger’s Package

  • Flights
  • Return transfer of your bike from The Storage King, Weybridge to the start of the ride and back to Weybridge from the finish or from a Badger’s home in Lincoln. Additional charge of £100 return
  • Transfer from/to other airports if you choose not to book the recommended flights below
  • Single room – available for a supplement of £325
  • Travel insurance
  • Bicycle insurance
  • Personal expenditures
  • Friends and family package – contact us for details 01932 460090

Low Carbon Travel Options:

 Recommended Flights:

If you would like to go out early and make more of your time in Sicily, we have special rates at the night 1 hotel.

If you would like to stay on in Ragusa at the end of the ride we have links for you to book your extra nights.

Get in touch on Tina@pieevents.co.uk for more information.

Easyjet Gatwick

  • Into Catania: 5.6.24 LGW London Gatwick EZY8285 07:00  – 11:10 CTA Catania Fontanarossa
  • 9.6.24 CTA Catania Fontanarossa EZY8286 16.30 – 18.50 LGW London Gatwick

Easyjet Luton

  • Into Catania from Luton EZY2491 07.35 departure arrival 11.50 (The Gatwick flight transfer will wait for this flight)
  • Depart from Catania EZY2492 10.55 departure from Catania arrival in Luton 13.25 (I am sure there will be enough people to do this for us to put on another transfer)
  • Other options are available from other airports. You may need to wait for the group transfer or organise a taxi.

British Airways

Please note the outbound option will mean you will not be able to do the Wednesday afternoon ride and we will therefore not be meeting this flight. However the start hotel is one hour away from the airport so doable in a taxi.

  • 5.6.24 Outbound Departure London LGW to Catania – 16:55 Arrive Catania: 21:10
  • 9.6.24 Depart Catania to London LGW – 21:55 Arrive 00:10 London Gatwick+1d

More options may be available closer to the time.

Green Option – train to Catania, see www.rome2rio.com

Please consider offsetting your flights.

Bike freight

Bike freight will not be included in the cost of your tour in 2024. There is a supplement of £85 for the return transfer of your bike.

We have a relationship with an excellent storage depot called the Storage King in Weybridge. Bikes can be left at the Storage King from May 18th – May 30th 2024 to be transported to the start.

At the end of the tour, we take your bike off your hands and return it to the Storage King for your subsequent collection from Tuesday 11th June up to Close of Play 23rd June . This return transfer has been kindly donated and paid for by MAM Transport and Welford Investments.

Please note that due to Brexit we are now only able to take bikes out in the freight if they also come back. They must travel both ways with us or not at all.

When completing the registration form please indicate:

  • If you wish your bike to be taken out to the start by pie from Weybridge
  • If you wish your bike to be brought back from the end by pie to Weybridge

Testimonial from a Previous Rider

“I’ve ridden many time on pie events over the years, and I can say without fear of contradiction they are superb. And that word applies to all the essential components of a great trip – the organisation, accommodation, food, guiding, support, location and routing. Oh – I left out the craic and camaraderie as well!”

Dermot Murnaghan, Sky News Reader

Action Medical Research

Action Medical Research are a UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research.

AMR fund a broad range of cutting-edge medical research most likely to deliver real benefit to babies, children and young people. With the help of our supporters, we raise funds to make vital research possible.  We want to make a difference in premature birth, pregnancy complications and treating sick and vulnerable babies, as well as in preventing infections and helping children affected by disabilities, disabling conditions and rare diseases.

Fundraising

We encourage Badgers to raise money for / make donations to Action Medical Research if they wish. If you wish to make a donation to AMR please contact Toby Tennant ttennant@action.org.uk for more information.  You can also set up a fundraising page with this link: https://www.action.org.uk/support-us/create-sponsorship-page

Corporate Event Sponsorship:

This trip continues the great Badger’s tradition, going back 20 years, of raising money for Action Medical Research. We welcome sponsorship of the kit, drinks, meals, guides, and freight as every penny of sponsorship will go to support our partner charity AMR.

Please contact Andy Dewhurst on adewhurst3@googlemail.com.

Jerseys

You will be receiving 2 exclusive Le Col tour cycle jerseys. Please note your size below and advise on the registration form link below. Le Col jerseys are made by and for Italians – they can therefore come up a little small!

pie Guides

The Badger’s Tour is a guided ride with groups being led by pie guides who are familiar with the terrain and who help all abilities complete the challenge. For those not familiar with the pie guiding system:

  • We offer guided rides to make sure we offer the very best care to our cyclists
  • All of our guides are experienced cyclists. They range from ex-professional racers to keen amateurs and all are very used to guiding groups of differing abilities, experience and skills
  • All of our guides will navigate their small group of 8 – 10 cyclists from start to finish
  • They are on hand to do mechanical work so there is no waiting around for a mechanic’s van
  • Many pie guides are first aid trained
  • On most days cyclists can change groups (up or down) at any time during the day
  • We make it suitable for most standards of cyclists – check the minimum daily distances and elevations to make sure you are happy with your level of fitness
  • http://www.pieevents.co.uk/about/the-pie-team

 Strava

We have set up a Strava “club” for the Badgers Tour of Sicily. The link will be sent to you when you sign up.

If you have already got a personal Strava account you can just log on using the link we will send, join the Badgers “club” and start your training with other Badgers.

If you haven’t got a Strava account, simply enter your details in the “Sign Up for Free” section on Strava.

Don’t be daunted by the leader board and other people’s fast times. We offer 3 different routes and, with 5-8 different guides, we will be offering 5-8 different speeds as well, so there is something for everyone.

Booking

To book on the Badger’s Tour of Sicily 2024 ride register using the Registration button below. If you would like to invite someone on the ride please do, or if you would like to add someone to the invite list, please ask them to contact Tina@pieevents.co.uk.

Payment:

Payment is as follows:

  • £500 on registration as a non refundable deposit to secure your place plus the single room supplement of £325 to secure a single room
  • Balance of £1495 payable by 1st April 2024

All payments are non–refundable. Please therefore take out suitable travel insurance should you need to cancel for an insurable reason.

Method of Payment:

  • There are 3 payment options.
      • First option is to pay £500 deposit by cheque or BACS (please contact us for details: tina@pieevents.co.uk)
      • 2nd option is to pay £500 deposit below online
      • Finally, the 3rd option is to pay the £1995 in full upfront by cheque or BACS (please contact us for details: tina@pieevents.co.uk)
      • Freight cost of £85 is payable with final balance

If you are signing up 10 weeks before departure or less, please pay the £1995 in full.  If you would like a single room, please check with us first as availability is limited (01932 460090).

We look forward to seeing you there!

Or, in Sicilian … Non vediamo l’ora di vedervi!

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