Along the shores of the Adriatic Sea the final countdown to the 25th edition of one of the great cycling races on the Italian amateur circuit is under way.

Granfondo Via del Sale, organized by the Fantini Cycling Club of Cervia and part of the Nalini Road Series, will see over 5000 eager participants take to the starting pens on Sunday 10 April to assault the legendary Romagna route, including the famous ‘Cima Pantani’ climb.

Four important climbs will be faced on the main 152 kilometre gran fondo route, including Cima Pantani, that is, the ascent of Montevecchio (355 meters), pro cyclist Marco Pantani’s favorite training ground. It is a climb of 5 kilometers, with an average gradient of 6% and peaks reaching 16%.

Other dizzying climbs that will define the rankings of the hotly contested overall “Mountain Gran Prix” competition include Montecavallo (460 meters, 8 kilometers with an average gradient of 4.3% and a maximum of 15%) and Ciola (547 meters, 7 kilometers, average gradient 5.1% with peaks of 14%).

The fourth and final test will be the Collinello (300 meters), a climb of only 4.5 kilometers with slopes that reach 15%, while the average stands at 5.1%.

The granfondo start is scheduled for Sunday at 08:00 in front of the beach of Cervia, but the entire weekend is part of a three-day Cervia Cycling Festival with planned activities for over 28,000 festival goers.

Complete Granfondo Via del Sale information and race results HERE.

Photos: Granfondo Via del Sale