Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike
The Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike is a relatively new mountain bike marathon race, held in northern Italy in mid-July. It boasts of being the "hardest mountain bike race in the Dolomites." The 17th edition of the race is scheduled to be held on 11 July 2010. It is open to both men and women. A juniors race for boys and girls in their teens or younger is held the day before the main race.
As the name suggests, the race is held in the Dolomite Mountains in the eastern Italian Alps, in the region known variously as the Südtirol or the Trentino Alto-Adige, close to the Austrian border. In fact, the race course crosses back and forth between Italy and Austria. The start and end point is a town known as Villabassa to Italian speakers and Niederdorf to Germans. Two courses are available for riders to choose from, depending on their skill and confidence. Originally, these courses were 111 kilometers (69 miles) and 59 kilometers (37 miles). Since 2006, the courses have been revised several times to adjust the difficulty, and currently stand at 119.9 kilometers (74 miles) and 56.9 kilometers (35 miles). A 28-kilometer (17-mile) course was also run in the 2002-2004 editions, but this has since been dropped.
The first running of the Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike was in 1995. The men's winners were Markus Rainer (short course) and Ekkehard Dörschlag (long course), both of Austria. The women's winners were both Italians: Nathalie Santer on the short course and Maria Canins on the long course.