Italy Bike Hotels is a group of sixty hotels with services tailored to the needs of cyclists, many of which provide bicycle hire facilities too.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the largest cluster of member hotels can be found in the Dolomites and Alpine foothills, but there are also members clustered around the Adriatic coastal resorts and hills and a fair few in Tuscany. If you want to cycle further south though there’s more limited coverage below Rome, although there are a couple of member hotels in Sicily.

>>> Riding the Ciclostorica Emilio de Marchi

Hotels’ cyclist-specific facilities are categorised into three grades. The “1 Bike” Bronze class will provide secure bike storage, workshop facilities, bike washing, cycle clothing wash, route maps, physio, specialised catering for cyclists (which we guess means cake), a multilingual bike manager and a sag wagon in case of a mechanical.

The peloton on stage seventeen of the 2012 Giro d'Italia

The Giro descending off the Passo Giau in the Dolomites

Go up a level to Silver and in addition you get bike hire service, organised daily bike tours, individual locks for bikes, GPS routes, transfer service to events and airports, a registration service and an end-of-ride buffet.

>>> Riding the Maratona dles Dolomites

A Gold level hotel will also provide a fitness area or access to a gym, in-house sports goods for sale, energy foods and drink, welcome and parting gifts and activities for your non-cycling significant others.

Italy Bike Hotels is a major sponsor of the Strade Bianche race

Italy Bike Hotels is a major sponsor of the Strade Bianche race

>>> Which training camp is best?

As well as road cycling, there are hotels which provide facilities for triathletes, tourists, e-bike riders and MTB fans.  All the hotels provide the opportunity to hire a bike tutor, some of whom are Olympic athletes or ex-pros.

>>> Strade Bianche 2016 route and teams announced

Partners of Italy Bike Hotels include bike brands Orbea and Merida, as well as Limar, Prologo and Elite amongst others. Italy Bike Hotels puts its money where its mouth is too, being a major sponsor of the Strade Bianche pro race, which is coming up on 5th March.

Photos Graham Watson