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24h of Finale Ligure

Duration: 5 h
Sea level: 284 m
Categories: MTB, Generali

Leave from the meadow at the back of the Restaurant Ferrin, riding around the left hand edge of the field, ascending the terraces to get onto the wide dirt road which runs from the main road to the 'Semaforo' of Capo Noli (0.400km). Go left on the dirt road which immediately climbs a little and then descends quickly over a track with water drains and bumps which produce exhilarating jumps.

After 1.5km, at the bottom of the descent, you leave the dirt road close to an open space where there is a crossroads, then take the left where there is a great level track which dips into the woods. After a few hundred metres, you leave the woods, climbing again to the right on a steep track which is impossible to do and remain in the saddle!

After 50 metres the track connects with another track. You go to the right and up an easy climb to arrive at the crest of the area, known locally as 'the take-offs', a highly panoramic section, characterised by steep and gravelly climbs and slightly risky descents, which bring you back via a less difficult descent to the dirt track of the 'Semaforo'.

You turn back to your right and on to the crossroads which you passed on the way out. At km3.150, you take a track to the left before climbing and then pass through a flat section flanked by low Mediterranean vegetation. This is followed by a technical descent with sharp curves and rocky sections which brings you out on the crest of a fantastic panorama, looking over Finale Ligure and its port. This track ends at the road, which is initially cement and then a dirt road, which connects the towns of Varigotti and Isasco.

Go right and after a few metres you leave the road and take the lane on the left which is at first flat and then begins to rise as it reaches the main road to Le Manie. It then turns immediately towards the left and there is a short downhill section followed by two short uphills which take you back onto the Le Manie road near the 'La Foresta' campsite.

Go right along the main road for a few hundred metres and rejoin the dirt track on the right towards the 'Semaforo' of Capo Noli. A few hundred metres along the same track you leave on the left, jumping an obvious hump to get back into the field at the Ferrin Restaurant. Then a left turn brings you back to the start.
The 24 Hour race of Finale Ligure has become an unmissable part of the year for mountain bikers all round the world. It is the first, and still the only, event of its type in Italy, and owes much of its popularity to the beauty of the course, which snakes around the high plateau of Le Manie, alternating easier tracks with technical sections, all with breathtaking views over the seaside towns of Noli, Varigotti, Finale Ligure and their environs.
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