Castles and Fortresses of the Malatestas (via Monte Lauro)
This is an easier, alternative route to the last, passing by Mount Giove; the distance is less, as is the change in level. However, a 121-km ride and a 1550-metre level change should not be shrugged off, and a cyclist should be fit and well-trained to undertake it.
You leave from Cattolica and immediately climb towards Monteluro; then continue to Tavullia, home village of Valentino Rossi. From here, you have wonderful views over a plain of sunflowers. After Tavullia, you reach Montegridolfo, where the road climbs steeply (at up to 15%) for 2 km as far as Mondaino: 400 metres above sea level. An enjoyable 3-km descent leads to another 4.5-km climb, with an average gradient of 5%. This takes you to Tavoleto, famous for its fine castle dating from 1300.
After a short descent and a snack and drink, the route takes you to Montefiore and then Morciano. Then a 14-km stretch of slight ups and downs takes you to the ascent of Mercatino Conca, 6 km al 7%, leading up to Montelicciano. A final effort and you arrive in the Piazza della Libertà in San Marino.
The climbs of the day are over, and now the long descent to the Riviera awaits you, past Mount Ventoso, Verucchio, Gaiofana and Coriano, and finishing at Cattolica.
Distance: 125 km
Altitude: 2224 mt