Basics - Nove Colli means 9 hills and that's how many you ride over in the long 200km course, you'll do the first 4 hills on the shorter Medio course.
12,000 cyclists participate! 1,400 from outside Italy with 126 coming from the UK. A further 100 from the USA and Canada, 15 from South Africa and 16 from Australia and New Zealand.
The short course offers 1871m of climbing, the long has 3840m of upwards.
The event started in 1971 with 17 riders and this year (2013) was the 43rd "edition". One aspect of having been going for so long is that you accrue participants - about 100 have done it 15 times, and over 500 have done 10.
Its just about the biggest Italian Gran Fondo and probably one of the oldest - I'll research more into the history in another post. One thing I know for sure - its one of the toughest!
More tomorrow - lots of photos.