#9 - From Valconca to Valmarecchia

#9 - From Valconca to Valmarecchia
Difficulty: Medium
Distance: 61 Km
Elevation gain: 1730 Mt
Montegrimano Terme, Monte Cerignone, Villagrande, San Leo

A course exploring some of the district’s highlights via the two main valleys surrounding the ancient Republic of San Marino.
From the summit of Monte Titano, you descend towards Montegiardino (mount garden), the Republic castle dominated by a markedly verdant landscape, as evidenced by its name. After a nice descent from where you can appreciate the picturesque panorama, you reach Mercatino Conca and continue towards Montegrimano Terme, a village at 600 m.a.s.l. characterised by pure air and a mild climate, where a beach resort within a beautiful park is located, renowned for its alkaline and sulphurous waters. The mediaeval Castle of Montefeltro, which still maintains its original position at the centre of the town that was the stronghold of the Dukes of Urbino, is reached via a steep climb surrounded by nature and silence. The climb ends in the town centre, but we recommend a ride around the walls; in good weather you can see the sea and the Romagna Riviera to the east, and the Monte Carpegna range to the west and, closer still, the unmistakable village of Monte Cerignone, the next stop on this tour.
The climb that leads to this beautiful mediaeval village should definitely be tackled, so much so that every year it is included in the cycling portion of the now classic Triathlon Challenge-Rimini.
At this point you can enjoy a stop in front of the Rocca Feltresca fortress before tackling the most beautiful and challenging part of the tour, which will take us to Villagrande (remember to fill your bottles at the icy fountain!).
The Villagrande climb winds up almost pristine slopes and alternates between significant and easier gradients, from where you can appreciate the sublime views over San Leo bluff, the next stop and final highlight of the day, which is reached via the Madonna di Pugliano plateau.
The medieval fortress of the beautiful village of San Leo (almost 600 m.a.s.l.) is the old residence of the Malatesta family, and is famous because the alchemist and healer, Cagliostro, was imprisoned there.
The course returning to San Marino passes along the Fiorentino face, which enthusiast will remember as the scene of the passage of the 2004 Giro d’Italia and finish line of the 1987 time trial.